“A 50-50 split in the Senate with a reduced Democratic majority in the House not only puts the GOP back into their familiar position as “obstructionist”, but gives Biden-Harris some cover to not present as progressive an agenda as the Far Left would like to see. Centrist and center-right senators like Angus King, Susan Collins, Rand Paul, and Joe Manchin will take more of the spotlight.
Mitch McConnell will still play the “parliamentarian” role, using Senate rules to delay floor debates, filibuster, or, if he is lucky, table certain items.
The last thing Kamala Harris will want, as president of the Senate, is the optics of having to do a yay or nay on any progressive legislation. She’d rather Collins, Paul, and Company head off any controversial bills before they hit the floor for a vote. She can’t afford to enter the 2024 presidential race inaccurately labeled a progressive.
Commodity, currency, and energy traders may get over their initial nervousness about the volatility a liberal Congress may introduce when they realize that the “adults” are finally in charge …
I can see U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, doing some damage to the Democratic Party in 2024 or 2028. The Democrats are led by individuals twice America’s median age of 38.2 years. While Ocasio-Cortez was born right smack in the mid-range of Millennials, a generation defined by almost universal use and access to the internet, the growth of online companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, the terrorist attacks that occurred on 11 September 2001, unaffordable housing, and onerous job competition and declining wage rates as a result of offshoring of jobs.
U.S. House speaker Nancy Pelosi, born in March 1940, and Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden, born November 1942, are members of and born during the tail end of the Silent Generation, a generation defined by an expectation of a hard life. Because they were born on the tail end of the Silent Generation, their life experiences bled into the Baby Boomer Generation, a generation that saw a booming economy, but also witnessed the social unrests that spawned the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s and America’s police actions in southeast Asia.
Initiatives like the Green New Deal and her status as a democratic socialist has helped put and keep the 30-year old Bronxite in the public eye. She also has a strong social media following (8.9 million followers on Twitter; 1.5 million followers on Facebook; and 6.9 million followers on Instagram).
But even with all her social media love, she has to work on her public approval rating if she wants to take over the Democratic Party as a presidential standard bearer in 2024 or 2028. Approximately 44% of Millennials approve of Ms Ocasio-Cortez, while 38% of Generation X and 32% of Baby Boomers give her a thumbs up.
Meanwhile, Senator Kamala Harris, Democrat of California and Joe Biden’s running mate, enjoys a favorable rating of 47%. Many pundits believe Ms Harris will either replace Mr Biden midway through a first term, should he become president, and make a bid for election in 2024 and/or 2028. Ms Harris, 55, while touted as a progressive by the Right, is more moderate than Ms Ocasio-Cortez and could garner more voter support as Democrats get older and face having to make pragmatic decisions regarding household finances.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez has some time to make the adjustments that will increase her favorability ratings while making gains on Ms Harris. Ms Ocasio-Cortez has already shown a willingness to work with establishment Democrats, joining with Chuck Schumer, for example, to publicly object to nominating a replacement of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg on the U.S. Supreme Court before the next election and allowing instead for the next president to do so.
The irony about her joint venture with Chuck Schumer is the possibility that she may make a run in the 2022 primaries against Schumer for his senate seat. Serving as a senator from New York would add more weight to her national standing. She would be in a position to push a President Biden on policy especially where he is falling short on any progressive policy promises.
If Ocasio-Cortez follows the traditional glide path to a Democratic nomination for president and somehow wins the presidency, she could have the opportunity to fill at least three seats on the high court. Samuel Alito will be 78 years old. Clarence Thomas will clock in at 80 years of age. Stephen Breyer will be 90.
America is a trading platform and how the high court treats challenges to domestic commerce regulation could make the difference to sole proprietors who are forced to take the entrepreneurial route to making a living. I would like to see less restriction on an individual’s ability to trade goods and services locally and ensuring the lessening of restrictions on local levels, especially where cities are led by Democratic mayors and/or city councils may require filing challenges to restrictions and taking these challenges to the high court. I have not seen anything in Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s platform where she emphasizes small businesses and lessening restrictions on them. If she were to become president and choose justices that interpreted the Constitution as allowing onerous local regulations on business, such “bench packing” would not benefit citizens who are seeing accelerated changes to the labor markets that are not in their favor.
Yes, the United States electorate has to get through the 2020 elections, but keeping an eye on the politicians who may have an impact on how we trade in the future is important.
The hate for Donald Trump expressed on social media by blacks is disturbing. It takes me back to 30 March 1981 when I was a freshman at Florida A&M University and we learned about the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan. A number of students in the dorm actually made up a dance called “The Ronald Reagan” where you would waive your arm in the air and when someone yelled out “Bang!” you would immediately drop the arm and double over. None of us were Reagan fans, to say the least. Any president advocating the replacement of the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant with loans was getting no love from poor young students who were the first in their families to get a college education. The dislike of his policies, however, did not justify joy in an assassination attempt.
Fast forward to November 2000. I worked in Washington, DC during this time. Black colleagues at my job would express to me in hushed tones their fear of an uncaring newly elected Republican president who they expected would attempt to eliminate their civil rights and suspected stole the election from a Democratic candidate who, ironically, lost his home state and 11 Electoral College votes that may have swung the election his way.
With all the fear generated by the White Left regarding Donald Trump, I have yet to hear any stories of The Orange One sending goose-stepping troops into homes and pulling Ann Frank wannabes out of their attics. And while Mr Trump has talked tough about opening Chinese markets to more American goods, he has not expressed any interest in starting hot wars that disproportionately impact Black American lives given their historic overrepresentation in the United States Armed Services.
I am not offering a defense of Mr Trump. I am exposing the ongoing problem of how pushing the fear button is used to operationalize a collective of people whose only significant tie to one another is a high level of melanin and a pain and suffering narrative that originated on slave ships leaving West Africa and slave plantations in the deep American south. This pain and suffering narrative has been passed down for generations and is as virulent as a strain of Covid. In the immediate term, for any Black person that is aware of the toxicity brought on from the virulent spread of the pain and suffering narrative, political distancing may be in order.
As a good friend of mine shared with me a couple weeks ago, it may be time to stop “repping for race.” Blacks can maintain cultural affiliation without falling in lockstep with White Left social and political goals as repeated by the White Left’s paid agents in Black media. Individualism is in order for members of the Black community. This starts by comparing your household needs with the goody bags that Republicans or Democrats offer. More than likely you will find that their agendas offer you nothing that you couldn’t go out there and negotiate for yourself. Listen very closely and you will hear them reiterate why you should be afraid of the world around you versus how they plan to maintain a platform where you can create your own world or reality.
An individual who faces the world on a secure platform will not exhibit the fear that is easily manipulated by partisan politics, especially from the White Left. Instead of shuddering at the prospect of a Republican president, Blacks should respond with a “meh.”
After a 40-year trek in the desert, Moses took his people to the river Jordan. They crossed. He didn’t. America has been on a 40-year readjustment ever since real wages, particularly for people in the labor class, started to flatten. By 2008, a major readjustment in the economy spawned the first great threat to a Baby Boomer class entering retirement.
This widening gap between labor and capital compounded by a meltdown in the financial markets and the “I’ve had it up to here” exasperation by Rick Santelli on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange gave birth to a Tea Party that saw America falling further and further under the sway of the banks.
The promises of “hope and change” extended to the voting public by a young president from Illinois did not translate into any policies that would close this gap. On the contrary, the banks were provided with three legislated mechanisms (TARP, HOPE, and Dodd-Frank) that would strengthen their balance sheets versus sending alleged perpetrators of the alleged economic fraud to jail.
Forty years after the beginning of The Gradual Descent, Baby Boomers now see either no yields on their accumulated cash or worse, see a Federal Reserve willing to go the European route by asking investors to “pay”, via negative yields, the banks for holding their cash. As if to rub the salt further into the wounds, voters were now being asked by the wife of the leading architect of a corporatized Democratic Party, a former member of an Administration that turned a blind eye to the widening gap between capital and labor, to continue the work of the last Administration.
While the 2016 popular vote favored the Democratic candidate by a delusional and deluded 3 million votes, the Tea Party reached out from the Flyover States and gave the electoral college decision to a reality TV star, an admitted political outsider (and genital grabber) who the Republican Establishment could not control and the Democratic Party loathed.
While the 2016 election’s presidential winner promised to “Make America Great Again”, the four years since that victory has produced a further diversion by the financial markets from the real economy, a diversion that is setting the table for what I believe will be political calamity for the American polity in 2024 and 2028.
Whether the 2020 Democratic candidate wins in 47 days will make no difference to what is to come in 2024 and 2028. Fringe elements of the Democratic Party in concert with non-party societal fringe elements who still want a government (they are mistakenly referred to as anarchists) will be given license to break up a Democratic Party whose very Establishment is too weak to keep the far left in check. The Big Tent will implode and the implosion will give western states pause to consider seriously the possibility of seceding from a political economy too undisciplined to maintain a union.
America’s trek to its river Jordan is coming to end. Some people, particularly blacks, will not want to cross the river, preferring to hold on to a myth of America that was never intended to materialize. Blacks are too rule-based and a rule-based people hanging on to myths won’t survive a new frontier as the collective they now know. Only capital will make the crossing.
Election 2016 was the doorman at the restaurant. Election 2020 is the server. Elections 2024 and 2028 will provide the feast for those who recognized early the emergence of a new American order. “You should move to a small town, somewhere the rule of law still exists. You will not survive here. You are not a wolf, and this is a land of wolves now.” — ‘Alejandro’
With all the attempts by the far left and the far right to resurrect the year 1968, racism is again at the forefront of the national political discussion. Joe Biden is campaigning in part on a platform asserting that he rather than Donald Trump is capable of stitching up America’s social fabric. Can Joe Biden do anything about racism in America? Having offered nothing of policy substance on the issue to the liking of American Blacks after 47 years in national politics, it is unlikely that he can. Beyond his apparently ineffective Washington tenure, I offer three reasons why Mr Biden can’t do anything about racism.
First, Mr Biden cannot even define racism. Mr Biden has not provided a clear, cogent definition of what racism is. Mr Biden hopes that people view racism the way U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart described pornography: “I know it when I see it.” Unfortunately, the definition of racism has gone from the use of political, legal, and economic systems to keep a certain group oppressed due primarily to their phenotype and lineage to an individual not liking another individual because of bias against their looks, language, and culture.
It is easier in the 21st century to call any individual a racist. This ease of identity attack, where racism has been dumbed down to name calling on steroids, makes it easier for candidates to push the emotional button and extract the black vote. Mr Biden has shown that he will not hesitate to push the button to get blacks in line.
Second, Mr Biden doesn’t understand the philosophy of America’s creation. Mr Biden is listening to his vote aggregators who have been using the narrative that America was built on slavery and racism. This narrative is false. America was built on a world view of manifest destiny, a world view that was refined over a four century period of western civilization’s expansion. Western man’s pursuit of global economic and political domination used non-western European human resources i.e. enslaved Africans as tools, but his reason for expanding was to spread his value system, ensuring that his philosophy flowed through the world via trade in goods, services, and ideology.
Given this world view, the only role the African played was that of chattel property. The African was so different that the western European could see no other use for him but to use his physicality as a tool for helping bring the vision into reality. Again, America was built on a philosophy. Slavery was just a tool.
Third, blacks were not and will never be fully incorporated as Americans because they contribute no value to the western European world view. Mr Biden hopes to govern over a social-political-economic construct that only incorporates groups that, at a minimum, have a lineage that traces its history to Europe; to the characteristics that make the lineage European. The lineage of blacks do not include original European characteristics. Any European characteristics exhibited by blacks today are merely imitation.
When the American black was freed from chattel slavery, he lost any value that the American social-political-economic system sought to extract. No executive action on Mr Biden’s part or legislation proposed by Mr Biden and sponsored by a fellow Democrat in the Congress can legislate a fabricated value that blacks can claim to then provide. In other words, legislation cannot create “whiteness” in blacks.
The closest blacks come to wrapping themselves in whiteness is through consumerism. I won’t expound here, but American blacks have overextended themselves on credit merely to keep up with white America much to the economic detriment of blacks.
So, how will Mr Biden use the narrative of racism to buy the American black vote? Fortunately for Mr Biden, blacks have not done the critical thinking necessary to deconstruct the definition of racism. The current state of mind of blacks finds it difficult to fathom their status as black in America as merely the result of a trade transaction that merged distinct African tribes into an economic asset. In telecommunications we call this multiplexing, where multiple signals are combined onto a single frame, making communications more efficient to manage.
It is not in Mr Biden’s interest to share this reality about being black in America. As long as Mr Biden proposes legislative packages that address basic needs i.e. healthcare, food stamps, affordable housing, etc., or, in the case of American black elites, more affirmative action set aside programs and government hiring, Mr Biden won’t have to do much.
Otherwise, for those hoping for a solution to the problem of racism, they are in for another multi-generational wait.
Article II, Section I of the US Constitution as amended by Amendment XII of the Constitution describes the design and function of the Electoral College. With the exception of Maine and Nebraska, the popular vote in each state determines the number of electors awarded to a presidential candidate. Given all the hub bub over election interference and voter fraud, why not get rid of the Electoral College and consequently the popular vote and return the selection of president and vice-president to the Senate and the House of Representatives where the ticket winning the majority of the quorum becomes the next president and vice-president? Americans feigning concern about their non-participation in the presidential election would find solace in voting out any senator or congressman who voted for the ticket not of their liking.
There are advantages to this approach. First, the transparency of the vote eliminates charges of voter fraud. A public vote by each senator and congressman puts him or her on the hook. Second, the ‘silly season” of election campaigning is reduced since candidates will not need to invest much time or money trying to persuade 535 senators and congressmen versus 150 million potential voters.Third, the citizen has to spend some time learning about their incumbent congressmen’s philosophy and policy stances as their views will help determine who they select for president and vice-president. Congressmen and senators will have to be transparent with citizens as their seats become increasingly vulnerable with their added responsibility of voting for president and vice-president.
Citizens will see an increase in their electoral power because every two years depending on who their congressmen and senators choose for president and vice-president citizens are in a position to clean out incumbents.
Question is, are citizens prepared for that kind of increase in electoral power or would they rather the comedy and status quo of the silly season?
No matter who wins the presidential election this fall, by the end of summer 2021, all those corporations promising investment in the black community will have reneged on said promises. The existing political-economic model was never designed to generate said promises. Even if implemented, the matrix of existing political-economic rules cannot sustain these promises.
Unfortunately for the Afro-Diaspora, none of its representatives in Congress have proven themselves bold enough or adept enough to create a coalition necessary for passing radical legislation that authorizes the “Fourth Branch” to take the necessary administrative steps to change the model. The steps voters will have to take is to clean these leaders out along with their younger progeny and heirs who hope to take their place. A one-swoop, multi-generational housecleaning is needed.
In other words, any under-40 aspiring politician who parrots the hat-in-hand, “massa hook me up” mantra of the current old heads in power needs to be discouraged from even running for county dog catcher much less a seat in government.
The Marines have a saying. We don’t care if you are a lawyer, doctor, engineer, mechanic, or administrative assistant. You are first and foremost a fighter. The Diaspora needs a new narrative based on critical thinking and less emotion. It is that narrative that will energize and guide the street fighters the Diaspora needs.
Politics is a blood sport. This is something the Republicans, and in particular members of the Hard Right, have come to realize. This is why, although their views are allegedly held by a minority but significant amount of the population, they have been able to hold significant sway over Congress, the White House, and state elections. They don’t have a big tent. They have a focused headquarters company of political operations and strategists.
Unlike Democrats who have conflated diversity in the rank and file to mean having multiple voices espousing multiple narratives, the GOP speaks with relatively one voice (although some will say the current one voice is the wrong voice).
Democrats have too many “Karens, Chads, and Biffs trying to lead and too many Keishas, Leroys, and Jeromes trying to impersonate them. The “Big Tent” needs to be cleaned out.
In all this confusion, head faking, and delusion, the promises of so called “equality” will fade away, and reality will raise its annoying head.
Chaos, however, should not be looked upon with despair. Rather, this is an opportunity for the Diaspora to create what I term ‘controlled anarchy.’ Rather than stepping in and trying to save the Chad, Becky, Biff, Karen-led Democrats, the Diaspora should clean its own house and then implement a plan of arms length manipulation of the Democratic Party with the end game of getting the Party back to its original mission: to serve the interest of the common man.
As the economy changes to a model that is further opposite of the needs of the average Afro-Diaspora man and woman trying to make their way, it is time for Afro people to stop trying to equate to or be white, and create a political model that in the end, ironically, serves everyone.