By Quardricos Bernard Driskell, Special to the AFRO
The Democratic National Committee does not want to let the people decide and nominate Bernie Sanders. It was reported last week that a small group of DNC members has begun to seek ways to weaken Sanders’ presidential campaign. I suppose rightfully so, Bernie Sanders has been the consistent democratic socialist. Technically, he doesn’t represent Democratic principles. Yet, Republicans are hoping he is the Democratic nominee, as many of the GOP thinks his policy most notably, “Medicare for All” will ensure a Trump victory, which I opine most certainly will.
Moreover, if not all of this was enough the Iowa Caucuses on Monday was a debacle. The meltdown was the third consecutive presidential election cycle during which there have been problems with the Iowa caucuses, raising anew-serious questions about their results and integrity. And this is all because Iowa Democrats wanted a new app.
Parenthetically, this speaks to the issues of technology in our society. Sure, technology has created a lot of good, but it has also contributed to the break of civic communication. People are more likely to attack someone they cannot personally see. Some of the first philosophers argued that a function of rhetoric is to bring us together and create a common polity in which we can make decisions together.
Democratic political leaders, some of whom have previously questioned whether a more diverse state should host the cycle’s first presidential contest, were also criticizing the caucuses.
Fundamentally, this leads me to ask – what is wrong with the Democratic Party? I ask this question not because I am championing the GOP, but because at present it seems the Democrats are the only hope America has at securing some resemblance of our federal republic.
The last 72 hours have been a huge wake-up call for Democrats. Trump’s State of the Union address, despite the egregious lies was a strong speech not only for his base but also for some African Americans and Latino voters. His addressed fundamentally managed the politics of race. It was a trade-off between African Americans and Latino voters. He mentioned the proposed legislation regarding sanctuaries cities, H.R.516 – Ending Sanctuary Cities Act of 2019 even though published by the libertarian Cato Institute found that native-born residents were much more likely to be convicted of a crime than immigrants in the country were legally or illegally.
This was a warning to Democrats.
Emotionally, African Americans and Latinos make not like his behavior and rhetoric but its showcase of African Americans and Latinos and his mention of school choice, HBCUs, opportunity zones, criminal justice reform, the strong economy, and low unemployment rates are enough to increase his percentage points for some African Americans. Even as Trump awarded Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as he filled hours of airtime each week with hateful commentary directed at African Americans, Asian Americans, women, people with disabilities and pretty much anyone who is not white, straight and male?
If Trump can chip away three or five points of the black vote, it is far more important than three or five of the Hispanic vote in terms of the Electoral College. If Trump wins five percent more of the black vote than he did in 2016, it would be enough to win the Electoral College again. Americans who do not like Trump cannot solely focus on the popular vote. It is also about the Electoral College.
The State of the Union by Trump was a warning to Democrats. All of this – the Iowa caucuses; on Tuesday, President Trump delivered a “good show” for the State of the Union and today, the U.S. Senate voted to acquit the President of any wrongdoing.
If Democrats are not careful, Trump will be reelected. Wake up!
Professor Quardricos Bernard Driskell, a federal lobbyist and professor of legislative politics at The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management. Follow him on Twitter @q_driskell4
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