Don’t be a “political chump”

Allow me to get my political pundit on…

We’ll start at the top of the pyramid. The presidency. About 50% of Americans vote. 2 candidates then campaign for the majority of those ballots = the popular vote. Then there is the electors aka electoral college. But by the time you reached college age whether you attended or not you forgot, ignored or didn’t know at all that the electoral college has been in place basically since the beginning of this country. It probably didn’t matter to you as long as things went your way.

National politics is like religion and racism which un-ironically both play a major part in the founding and continuance of power in this country and this election cycle. Most of us are born into it. Most of us say we chose/choose but that’s arguable. You more than likely share the belief system of your parents. You are a democrat or republican because your parents are. You are a Baptist, protestant, or catholic because your parents raised you to be. You are most likely Jewish or Muslim because you were raised to be. Not in all cases but most. You’re a bigoted sexist because your grandfather, father and mother are/were as were their parents. This is how most belief systems are formed. Many don’t have the insight nor guts to challenge their belief systems so they either double down and subscribe to them or develop cognitive dissonance.

This was on full display this election cycle, especially exhibited similarly with those supporting Trump and Hillary. I know that stung a little.

On the one hand, “the deplorables” were seen exhibiting behavior that has been present in America since it’s inception. Race based attacks, religious intolerance, sexist behavior.

On the other hand “the moderates” were exhibiting the denial of these very same behaviors existing in our country until Trump’s popularity soared, while at times exhibiting behavior that have also been present and persistent throughout our history. We are not and have never been “post-racial”and if the only time your are this emotional about it is when you have skin in the game, then human rights might not really be your thing.

Most Trump supporters can only quote sound bites that have nothing to do with the policy or work of a president-elect Trump. They didn’t care that while suffering poverty for generations that the man promising to bring jobs back to America sends most of his to Mexico and China and represents the ruling wealthy class that does so also. As long as he spoke to their belief system which has been shaped since the English arrived in Virginia.

Most Clinton supporters could overlook a past that fought against civil rights as a college student. A FLOTUS position that called their children super predators and policy support that further tore apart the families in the very communities they live. The financial benefit from human tragedy in Haiti, the close ties to Wall Street and military action the world over including the assassination of heads of sovereign states which in America would be called terrorism.  As long as she spoke to their belief system that she was “progress” and the “lesser of two evils”.

Affirmation is much easier to accept than to have your belief system challenged. Especially if affirmation is your love language. And as Facebook has shown us, affirmation is a very popular love language. But my love is conditional and I cannot overlook certain behaviors and not see them for what they are.

When “progressives” are berating Bernie Sanders and 3rd party supporters for wasting votes. Calling them stupid, traitors, etc. That is intolerance. When folks are looking to blame another individual or group for them losing the fight, it is because those folks confidently stood opposed to their beliefs. They didn’t sit down and make a heartfelt case for Clinton, they took on the position of privilege and behaviors of the oppressor.

I was raised a democrat. I am registered as a democrat. I have served as a state legislator as a democrat. I have also shared many beliefs with republicans while in office and in my personal life. I don’t default democrat. I have listened to Malcolm X’s speech “Ballot or the Bullet” over a dozen times. I had to then challenge my belief system. (I am more independent than democrat.) And I’ve seen it in practice. In recent history, people of color and “progressives” default democrat. And because they do, it lowers the value of their political power reducing them to “political chumps” as Malcolm X put it. It also weakens the party. As a state representative, I have sat in meetings with candidates for US Congress and Senate who have almost no presence in my community ask colleagues and I to endorse them and ask our constituents to do the same. They pay $12 an hour for residents whom they’ve never spoken to and will never again to hold signs and wear t-shirts. For almost nothing in the way of political favor in return. It is this behavior that cost Martha Coakley her race to Scott Brown and it is what cost Hillary Clinton her race against Donald Trump. People get tired of being chumps. I know I did. To assume I will vote for you because of my party, because the black president asked me to, because my favorite rapper asked me to, to make history is insulting to me. I didn’t support the practice as a public official and I won’t as a private citizen.

I didn’t vote for Clinton, Trump, Johnson, Stein, Harambee or Hennessy. I blanked the presidential ballot. 1. Because I couldn’t in good faith over look the harm they have done or would do to me and my community. 2. They didn’t speak to me, or my love language, or even my community in a genuine way. 3. I understand that Massachusetts is not a swing state, that it will go democrat and my ballot will not swing the electoral college vote. If I lived in Florida or Ohio, I may have considered a different action but I don’t.

I blanked president. I blanked congressman. (I like Capuano’s politics but want to send a message that he’s not speaking to my community). I blanked Governor’s council. Register of Deeds. (because they didn’t speak to my community which I find disrespectful). I voted for Sheriff, all 5 ballot questions and wrote my name in for State Representative in the 5th Suffolk because I’m Stillreppin.

I’m not here calling the play by play, just giving you my color commentary !


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