Here in Ohio it didn’t take long to see the ongoing trend of Republicans maintaining or winning a seat in office. The voting numbers was so dismal for democrats that many of the races were called early by the associated press in favor of the republican contender before the total count was made. It wasn’t just bad for democrats locally but nationally. Republicans won one seat more than they needed in the Senate and now the Republicans control both the House and Senate. This was the lowest voter turnout since 1942. What does this mean for the last two years of President Obama’s administration? More than likely it means a lame duck administration, much of the president’s agenda on infrastructure, skilled training, increasing the minimum wage, immigration reform and other issues will remain on the back burner.
I saw Governor Chris Chistie on the Today’s Show with Matt Lauer the day after Election Day. Matt said to him, “opposing the President’s policies is not policies; what can Republicans do with this power? Gov. Christie danced around the question to finally state that he believes the focus should be on Tax Reform and a National Energy Policy. There you have it, the pressing priorities for Republicans is enforcing major tax relief for the wealthy like Chris Christie and funding the desperately needed keystone pipeline; despite the fact that we are already decreasing our foreign dependency on oil which that along with using alternative energy resources is lowering gas prices across the nation.
The epic fail of the democrats began when the party failed to tout the accomplishments of the Obama administration from lowering unemployment to expanded healthcare for millions of Americans that was once denied in this country because of pre-existent conditions and or the inability to afford preventative care. Democrats allowed the opponent to define what they felt the President and his administration haven’t done. Many Democrats nationwide stepped away from the President because his poll numbers were low. They forgot that Barack Obama is what inspired the record turnout in both Presidential elections. Instead of being confident and proud of their party, Democrats coward away and was silent when they needed to speak up. Having to listen to weeks, months, and years of Obama bashing without a consistent defense that was broad, led too many being confused and uninspired to vote.
Democrats had nothing to motivate young people, black people, or their base overall. However Democrats are only part of the blame the other half belongs to the electric within the party that either don’t understand the power in their vote or just simply take it for granted. All the multiple demographics that make up Democrats took part in staying home on Election Day. Some said they really didn’t know the candidates, which translates that many did not do their due diligence and researched the candidates. In the age of information at your fingertips there is no excuse. Some felt that their vote wouldn’t matter one way or the other and in some districts, like here in Ohio, the Republicans have gerry mandered the district to their advantage so re-elected officials like John Boehner will always hold that seat over a Democrat. This is democracy at its worse. The people should be choosing their elected officials not them carving out their base choosing or not choosing us.
So which one is it the chicken or the egg? Is it an unenergized base of voters that’s prohibiting change or an uninspiring party? Close to 90% of African Americans are Democrats but I would venture to say that many of the pertinent issues concerning African Americans are not addressed. Police Brutality and the wide use of excessive and often deadly force has led to a nationwide epidemic of unarmed black men being killed with little to no consequences to law enforcement. The fact that many democrats remained silent on this issue became disheartening to many in the African American community. Many African Americans have proclaimed that they would be one issue voters like gun enthusiasts and only support candidates who will speak to their issue. If Democrats believe that their base will continue to be there for them despite the party’s lack lustered efforts in speaking toward issues concerning minorities, and young voters they are going to be left with a lot of disappointing elections. The same holds true for minorities and youth who are waiting for someone to advocate for their issues with out a demand of what they want. If you’re unwilling to organize, petition, pressure and stand for something you will always find yourself behind the eight ball.
Whether “We Can” or “Cannot” depends on our willingness to be engaged and demand the things we want to see from our government along with the Democratic Party standing on their principles, ready to lead and advocate on those tough issues.
What do you think?