On 8 April 1913, the 17th amendment that provided for “direct” election of a U.S. senator was ratified. Some would argue that what this amendment did was democratize the selection process for US senators.
What it really did was expand the political industry, making it necessary for senate candidates to come up with fancy slogans designed to capture the eardrums (and wallets) of the electorate. An example of a whacked campaign pitch is offered by Reverend Raphael Warnock, a sitting US senator and pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church. Reverend Warnock has been using the following opening to one of his campaign videos:
“Voting, in a real sense, is a kinda prayer….”
My eyes roll every time my YouTube videos are interrupted by this statement. The statement raises two questions:
1. Why are you running as a reverend versus a US senator?
2. Are you making a declarative statement that a candidate is “god”?
Mr Warnock’s posters, billboards, and yard signs use the title “reverend” versus “senator.” At first blush, I look at the use of reverend as a reminder of Mr Warnock’s indisputable membership in the Black Boule (boo-lay) class. This strategic communications approach is an attempt to get black voters to recognize and fall in line with a leadership class that many blacks still cling to and is otherwise useless.
Senator? Meh. Reverend? Eyes brighten and ears perk for the sermon.
In my opinion, for Mr Warnock to use his senate credentials risks a greater level of critical scrutiny. As a reverend, Mr Warnock can hide behind the pulpit and his years as a community leader. As a senator, Mr Warnock will be forced to defend his voting record or justify why he supports certain corporate positions on legislation. Or he may be asked to describe the content of the legislation he either supported or was opposed to.
Either way, Mr Warnock has demonstrated that over the past two years he is too inept to even play a senator on TV. His campaign is an example of a candidate short on policy analysis and description and long on pulpit performance.
Lastly, a vote is not a prayer or anything close to it. Why should voting for you or any other candidate be likened to tossing into the ether a telegraphic message to an incorporeal being hoping that manna comes back to Earth for our consumption? Is any representative to the government really in any position to provide for our best interests and even if that is the case, the question should be, why is any candidate in any position to satisfy my needs in the first place? Who granted them a monopoly or duopoly on life?
To fall for Mr Warnock’s narrative tells me that Americans are not free or worse, prefer to be slaves to a narrative that says a few well- connected snobs are in a better position to feed me, clothe me, and provide me with medicine.
Sounds less like prayer and more like neo-slavery.
No, Mr Warnock. Voting is not prayer. Voting is a part of the selection process in a tax-funded popularity contest.
27 November 2022
My latest book, “Take It from a Black Man. WASPs Need to Take Back Their Country. Essays on Capital, Democracy, and Political Narrative”, can be found on Amazon. Visit my author’s page, amazon.com/author/altondrew.