Representative democracy has failed black people in America

The growth of political capitalists …

Representation means nothing if the spoils of society are not being delivered for each vote provided by citizens.  Black voters in particular are interested in optimal physical safety, a need stemming from violence perpetrated on them during the Jim Crow era; optimal access to capital, without which economic security is near impossible or very difficult; and the right to exist as a unique and thriving culture.

What I see being exchanged for each vote delivered by black citizens is the acquisition of a title by one or two elected representatives.  Representative democracy has created political capitalism, where owners of the political factors of political output are not creating political outcomes that address protecting uniqueness of black society, optimal black economic security, or optimal protection from violence.  Government, rather, is a feeding trough for black political representatives, with the number of voters they can persuade to vote for their party serving as the tickets for admission to the political feeding spots.

Government as a club you swing, not a club you join …

Blacks should not look at government as a club to send their smoothest talking salesman to.  Rather, blacks should look at government as a club that can be swung in order to generate capital access, physical security, and economic empowerment.  The outcomes should be a result of pressure politics.  This means that black political leadership should not be found embedded in the political machinery.  Black political leadership should be manipulating the political machinery from the outside.

Blacks in America need only go back to 1954 when the U.S. Supreme Court, in Brown v. Board of Education, vacated the ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson, holding that segregated educational facilities were unconstitutional.  This major landmark civil rights action did not flow from the efforts of black members of Congress.  There were hardly any.  This ruling was the result of blacks taking alternative action in the courts, an approach that was focused and targeted on, in my opinion, the most important branch of government.  It is here where the social and public policy goals of law are interpreted and in some cases, where current social policy is brought to light and used to overturn precedent.

Creative chaos versus status quo ….

When black representatives allow themselves to be embedded in the current electoral structure, their priorities shift to satisfying congressional leadership and mining votes for their national parties.  These activities serve the interests of a majority white congressional leadership versus the black constituents black representatives are supposed to be advocating for.  Take for example U.S. Representative Al Green’s attempt to bring forward articles of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump.  The articles were blocked by the House with Mr. Green, Democrat of Texas, not being able to bring the majority of his own party on board with the proposal.

Mr. Green’s actions were in keeping with the status quo of congressional politics.  But did his actions result in any benefits for black constituents?  Did they lead to an increase in physical or economic security?  Did they lead to increased influence of blacks in the national Democratic Party?

What is likely is that Mr. Green lost political capital and as a political capitalist he must realize that a decreased ability to bring voters with him to the trough means lessened prestige in the Congress.  The other issue he has to face is how his constituents will deal with the knowledge that their congressman has wasted scarce political capital on a go nowhere initiative all because being embedded in the machinery creates the obligation of delivering outcomes that don’t serve them.

Conclusion: Representative democracy is failing blacks …

Representative democracy has failed black people in America.  The representatives from the black community in Washington have been converted into agents for their respective party’s leadership, securing the votes needed so that they can pull up a chair at the trough.  Just like social media has turned subscribers to social networks into resource and product for advertisers, the electoral system has turned black voters into lumps of coal with black congressmen acting as the conveyor belt carrying the coal to the primaries and the national elections.

The question is, what is the alternative approach?



The negative factors that Trump must turn around to secure re-election.

The news …

Since the opening of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Vote Share Market contract on 7 February 2019, the Iowa Electronic Markets has Democrats taking the greater share of votes in the November 2020 presidential elections.  The purchase price of a win by the Democratic presidential candidate has increased by 15.2%, from $.50 per share on 7 February 2019 to $.576 per share as of 17 June 2019.

Meanwhile, the price of a win by the Republican presidential candidate has decreased by 4.71%, from $.467 per share on 7 February 2019 to $.445 per share as of 17 June 2019.

With just over 16 months left until the general elections, there is still time and opportunity for changes in these prices, driven particularly by who is chosen by the Democratic party to vie for the presidency.  During this time period the expected Republican nominee, President Donald Trump, will be expected to work on the negative aspects of his narrative given his unpopularity among the American electorate.  Here are some negative factors that traders in the political prediction markets should expect to see Mr. Trump to make an effort to improve on.

Mr. Trump’s overall approval rating and the areas he has to target….

After 860 days in office, Mr. Trump’s approval rating is at 40%, according to Gallup poll data.  But as Shannon Pettypiece and Mike Dorning point out in a piece for Bloomberg, no president since 1952 has won re-election polling under 48%.  Mr. Trump, according to the article, has never polled above 46%.

To start driving up the value of his electoral stock, Mr. Trump’s management team will have to reassure farm states like Iowa that his trade policies will eventually pan out for them.  Politic prediction market traders should be concerned if they see no movement in this area.

Another area, more along the line of political optics, is Mr. Trump’s activity on Twitter.  As Ryan Girdusky notes, Mr. Trump’s addiction to Twitter is “toxic.”  Both Democrats and Republicans want Mr. Trump to stop using the micro-blog service.  His detractors and some of his supporters express that Mr. Trump’s Twitter activity makes him look petty.  Mr. Trump pushes back on this argument by asserting that social media is an effective way of communicating his policy positions.

Traders should be looking for changes in this political behavior over the next few months as the change in optics may be reflected in prices.

Mr. Girdusky also adds that Mr. Trump has a media problem and that whether stories are true or baseless, the media paints him as corrupt, incompetent, or both.  Mr. Trump’s activities feed this perception.

While the economy is strong, with unemployment falling below the historic full employment rate of four percent, the 2017 tax cut that Mr. Trump credits with spurring economic growth is viewed as unpopular by most Americans, writes Ben White of Politico.  The majority of Americans don’t believe they benefited from tax relief under the law.  Again, Mr. Trump will have to use the next few months persuading the American public that their perception is wrong.

One last area traders will have to look for movement on by the Trump team is the President’s perceived embrace of bigotry.  Marc Thiessen raises the point that the public is not enthused by the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their families.  In addition, Mr. Trump has, according to Mr. Thiessen, not done enough to separate himself from “ethno-nationalists.”

Searching for the “surprise”….

The new information that traders should be looking for is political behavior on the part of the Trump campaign that seeks to turn the above negative factors onto positive ones; that describe the factors either as strengths or transmitting benefits to the electorate.  Mr. Trump will have to be seen as spinning these narratives into political packages the electorate is willing to purchase with the vote.