Tag: Presidential Politics

On The Arrogance of Power in the White House

By Michael January 4, 2019 2

American Presidents have never been wilting violets with tiny egos. Once Richard M. Nixon averred out loud, that criminal activity is not criminal activity if committed by the President of the United States.

Nixon believed it was lawful to order some of the President’s men to break into the Democratic National Committee Headquarters and steal their plans for defeating his reelection efforts. Also, any subsequent lies to cover up his involvement in the break-in was a legal exercise of the powers of the Office of the Presidency. After all the federal criminal code was designed to prosecute all other Americans except the President – the only person in the American system of justice whom the law did not apply – placing the President above the law, at least so Nixon thought, vowing to the bitter end that he was “not a crook.” read more

Is Clinton Or Stein Eligible To Be President?

By Michael September 19, 2016 2

Here we go again? Now that the birther issue has finally been put to bed by Donald Trump, a new constitutional question arises concerning eligibility to serve as President of the United States. This election cycle the issue of eligibility does not center on citizenship, but on sex.

Albeit, this specter is raised only by this writer, but it is not too far-fetched to imagine that Donald Trump, should he lose the 2016 General Election, would raise this question. After all he spent six years and good money investigating where the first American president of African descent was born in an attempt, not to delegitimize the Barack Obama presidency, but to have cause to remove him from office.

If Trump is true to form, he may  hire the best lawyers money can buy to dig into the records of the Constitutional Convention that in 1787 gave us our governing document seeking to find whether Secretary Hillary Clinton or Dr. Jill Stein are eligible to become president of the United States of America.

The constitution specifically refers to the president by use of the pronoun”he.”

This article will look at the following constitutional provisions that deal with the office of the president:

(1) Article I, Section 4 of the constitution as ratified in 1789,

(2) Article II, Section I of the constitution as ratified in 1789,

(3) Article II, Section III of the constitution as ratified in 1789,

(4) Article VII of the constitution as ratified in 1789,

(5) Amendment XII of the constitution as ratified in 1804,

(6) Amendment XX of the constitution as ratified in 1920,

(7) Amendment XXII of the constitution as ratified in 1951,

(8) Amendment XXV of the constitution as ratified in 1967,

The constitution as ratified in 1789, Article I, Section 4 required congress to convene each year on the First Monday in December. In presidential election years, Article I requires Congress to certify the new president by the first Monday in March. Also, in 1804 the 12th Amendment set the commencement of the term for the president as March 4th.

During the period that Articles I, II and VII were debated and voted upon by white men, women held legal status through their husbands or fathers. Thus they, perhaps, held rights equal to the rights of their husband’s or father’s African captives. These Articles do not specifically prohibit women from becoming president. There would not have  been a need to do so, as it was understood by the white men fashioning out a document that would give them economic and political control over the colonies that women had no voice or right to govern the Republic or any of its states.

In 1932 the constitution was amended to change the date that congress convenes to January 3rd each year and set January 20th for the date that new presidents are sworn into office.

In each of these three constitutional provisions the constitution specifically speaks of the president in the masculine person, “He”.  While on the other hand when the constitution references members of congress or members of the citizenry it uses the terms “person” or persons.”

For instance, Article II, Section 1 reads: “The executive ower [emphasis on the P is in the original document]  shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold Office during the Term of four years…”

Article II, Section 1, Paragraph 6 reads: “The President shall , at stated Times, receive for his services, a compensation,…, and he shall not receive any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.”

Paragraphs 7 of Article II, Section 1 reads: “Before he enters on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:…”

Article II, Section 2 says, “…and he shall have power to grant Reprieves and ardons for Offenses against the United States, except in cases of Impeachment.” While paragraph 2 of this section states, “He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties…”

The constitution states in Article II, Section III, “He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses,…he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers; he shall take Care that the laws be faithfully executed…”

The framers of the Constitution went to great length to clarify the meaning of several words in their articles of incorporation. They codified the meaning of these terms in Article VII, which is the last Article of the original constitution. The thirty-nine men who approved these Articles on September 17, 1787 did not attempt to give any different meaning to the pronoun “he” than its common usage in the eighteenth century.

When the 12th Amendment was added to the constitution in 1804, it clarified the method for election of  President and Vice-President,but it was silent on the question the president’s sex. Perhaps, there is no mention of it for one or two reasons.

Obviously, women were not considered a party to the Articles of Incorporation of the United States of America, and the assumed understanding of of the 18th century men drafting the legislation was that a woman could never become president of their political and business entity.

By 1920 woman had gained the right to vote. Eight years later, the constitution was amended for the 20th time as mentioned above. Women had just begun to flex their political muscle and correspondingly the 20th Amendment does not contain any language specifically allowing women to serve as president.

In 1951, the constitution was again amended to address the presidency. The 22nd amendment dealt with term limitations. In this amendment, the pronoun “he” does not appear. However, in Amendment 25, the Presidential disability and succession provision ratified in 1967  the pronoun “he” reappears. This was at the beginning of the “Women’s Liberation Movement.”

Amendment XXV, Section 3 states, “Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary….”

If America is indeed a country ruled by law, then these examples point out how antiquated the constitution is in the 21st century. Women, kidnapped Africans and immigrants were not included in the founding document that our leaders purport to the world as a shining document on democracy. The harsh reality for both Hillary Clinton and Jill Stein is that  the black letter of the law contained in the constitution could be used to prevent either of  them from taking the  oath of office should one of them win the presidential sweepstakes in November.

The ethos of America has changed greatly in the last 229 years when the constitution was debated and put forth to the 13 original colonies for a vote. Women had no voice or vote. Africans imported in chains had no personhood and were deemed to be worth 3/5th of a white man. White women who were powerless in 1787, now have the right to vote and serve in government. Enslaved Africans have been recognized as human beings. Immigrants continue to pour into the country, some legally, some illegally.

Perhaps, it is time to amend the constitution to reflect American life as it has evolved since 1787. David Cobb, a California lawyer is one American who believes it is an idea whose time has come. He is part of a group called, “Move to Amend.” The group is addressing the personhood status given to corporations by the  Supreme Court of the United States in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010).

While the Supreme Court has defined a legal document as a person, thus entitled to freedom of expression protection granted to the people under the First Amendment to the Constitution, neither it or the constitution specifically states that a woman can take the oath of office for president. Additionally, any effort to amend the constitution should include outlawing the continued enslavement of African people via the 13th Amendment, Section I. This provision permits enslavement of Black people as a method to extract free labor in concentration camps called prisons, which in the 19th century were public facilities, but today are largely private run concentration centers.

Given the precarious position of women in Colonial America, the absence of language granting women the right to serve as President should be corrected. For more reasons than one, it is time to amend the Constitution and make it more inclusive of all hues who make up the mythical “melting pot.”

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round; and the host of Beyond the Law with Harold Michael Harvey. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com.

SOURCES:

The Constitution of the United States of America, American Civil Liberties Union edition

 

 

A Green Challenge To The Red And Blue

By Michael August 9, 2016 2

 HOUSTON, TEXAS, CASCADE PRESS (CP) Is a Green challenge to the red and blue teams possible in 2016? I am not Green. But last week I spent three days at The Green Party Convention in Houston, Texas.

My presence prompted three people to ask me the following question.

“Harold, why would you travel to Houston to cover The Green Party Convention,” Tracy Larkin, host of the Tan Town Coffee Club on the Tracy Larkin Broadcast Network (tlbnetwork.com) asked right off the bat, during our weekly telephone interview on Presidential Politics. For the past year, I have been offering my perspective of the 2016 presidential race to listeners of the Tan Town Coffee Club Show.

 In the past, I have provided my commentary from the College Baseball Hall of Fame in Lubbock, Texas, from the Golden Isles of Georgia on Saint Simon Island and while lost on a country road in Newtown, Pennsylvania. Last Saturday morning our interview took place via telephone, as usual, while I was in a theater at the Student Center South on the campus of the University of Houston.  I was embedded in the media section of the Green Party’s Nominating Convention.

As fate would have it, the convention took a recess in order to set up a Skype interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, just in time for me to receive my regular Saturday morning call from Tracy Larkin.

This was not the first time I had been asked that question. The day before, I was walking through the student center enroute to a press conference with Green Party Presidential Candidate Dr. Jill Stein. I was stopped by a sheepherder, Beryl Baker, from Tucson, Arizona. She took one look at the handwritten media pass that had been issued by the media credentialing committee and queried, “What’s with that media badge?”

She has been a member of the party since 2000. She is running for the office of constable  in Tucson. The look on her face doubted that I was a member of the media and had handwritten a media pass in order to spy on her party’s gathering. I assured her that I did not have time to play games and that I did not appreciate her challenge of my credentials, inasmuch, as her party had issued the handwritten press badge. The Green Party Press Pass was a far cry from the press credentials that allowed media access to the 2012 Democratic National Convention. The 2012 DNC was a historic convention. It was the first time a major political party had nominated a Black man as it nominee for two consecutive election cycles.

After we cleared the air, she wanted to know why was I there, because she said, media outlets rarely covered any of their other conventions. As only a sheepherder can do it, she got to the real nitty-gritty, she asked if I was there to write a mean-spirited story about the Greens.

I told her what I would tell Tracy Larkin the next day. I told her that I came to answer two questions in my mind. First, I wanted to understand who are the people who make up the Green Party. Next, I wanted to get a feel and sense of whether the Green Party could take advantage of the growing discontent Americans have for both of the major parties nominees. In short, could the Green Party pull off a miraculous victory.

Then a prolific blond video blogger from Vermont, Claudia Stauber, posited the same question and broadcast my answer to thousands of her followers on Facebook. As a result, I received a flood of new friend requests from her subscribers.

So, in between, press conferences and workshops on “abolishing corporate constitutional rights, confronting oppressive behaviors on racism and sexism and why the Green Party must become a membership financed party,” I talked with as many delegates and attendees as I could.

Racially, the Green Party is primarily white, working class and poor. Very few of them watch television and of those who do, none tune into Fox News. It has a strong contingent of indigenous people, and a small, but solid tribe of Africans. If I had to guess, I would surmise that fewer than 10 percent of its members make more than $50,000 annually; with a large percentage making an average of $35,000 per year. There is no scientific basis for this guesstimate. I based these numbers purely on what members told me about their lives and by use of my own internal radar.

Many of those in attendance were like Tim Dehne, a party regular since President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) into law in 1994. He took a two-day ride on a Greyhound Bus from his home in Corvallis, Oregon. A two-time victor over cancer, Dehne, encountered many Americans on his bus trip, who are not registered voters and could care less about the presidential election taking place in November.

Others drove from California, Washington State, Missouri, Vermont, Michigan, Georgia and Mississippi. They are serious about their issues, i. e., climate control, $15.00 an hour wage, universal health care, immigration reform and providing reparation to descendents of enslaved Africans.

A refrain heard by several white speakers during the convention was that white people had to stop being white. David Cobb, the driving force behind the Move to Amend Movement said that white was a construct that has no place in today’s world. In fact he opined, that race was created to keep the natural allies – European immigrants and African immigrants – separated and at each other throats; and not at the throat of the captains of industry who profit from this division.

Two black scholars, Asa Gordon, an expert on the electoral college from the District of Columbia and YahNe’ Ndgo, a nineteen year old freedom fighter from Philadelphia, challenged members to cleanse themselves of their racial biases. One white delegate from Mississippi walked out on Ndgo’s challenge for whites to purge themselves of their racism. The delegate later explained over a cool beverage, “I walked out on her because, I know I am a racist, but she does not have to tell me that I am one.”

Which leads me to the second question I wanted to answer during my sojourn to the Green Party Convention. In order to have any chance of competing against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the Green Party will have to expand its base. While they have much in common on the issues with progressive whites, Latinos, indigenous people and Blacks who supported Bernie Sanders, they are not, as is the case with most white Americans, familiar with the nuances of people of color.

However, I saw a genuine and unique attempt to embrace the differences in people, in race relations, in sexual preferences and in perceived disabilities.  It was refreshing to see white people check other whites on race and ethnicity. Stein has pledged to paint the White House Green, thus sticking a psychological dagger into the heart of racism and white supremacy with the stroke of a house painter’s brush. No longer will the assumption be that the White House belongs to a dominant white male mindset, but to people of all hues, sex and religious belief or nonbelief.

While the Jill Stein-Ajamu Baraka ticket will get some Black votes, it is not likely they will pull many members of the Black Bourgeoisie into the Green fold. Members of the Black professional class would lose status and finance should the Green Party win and lift the Black poor out of poverty. Surely, had this class of Black people been interested in lifting up less fortunate Blacks, there would be some tangible manifestations of this desire, as there is enough representation from this Black class in congress to have made significant inroads by now.

Black congress members perpetually fight the battle for voting rights, purely it seems, out of a desire to survive in office; without correspondingly pushing for a decent wage, or for instance, financial access  to college.

A case in point, many of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities that were founded to provide a pathway for Blacks to enter the American economy coming out of the era of enslavement are on the verge of closing their doors due to lack of funding and student financial aid from the federal government.

If the Green Party is going to get a large percentage of Black votes, Baraka, a renowned international peace activist, will have to get the Pan African community to turn out in record numbers. This segment of the Black community, like the disinterested white poor that Dehne saw on his two-day bus ride down from Oregon, has never exerted its political muscle on election day; at least for the Blacks, not like their ancestors did in 1868 and for a few decades after the Reconstruction era. Many Pan Africanist have thrown up their hands at what they believe is a corrupt political system. This resulting hopelessness in the system, causes a sense of apathy about voting.

Should the Pan African community show up around the issue of reparations; and Stein can mobilize recent college graduates with her plan to forgive student loan debt, the Greens could pull off a nonviolent revolution at the ballot box. We will watch and report.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com.

 

Jill Stein One Upped Sanders

By Michael July 3, 2016 0

Jill Stein has”One Upped”  Vermont Senator and Democratic candidate for president Bernie Sanders. Stein, the presumptive Green Party nominee for President has gone one better in addressing the tremendous debt college graduates have after completing their education.

Stein sensing that voters under the age of 45 will need a place to park their hats in the November General Election, has pledged to make “student loan forgiveness” a top priority on her first day in the Oval office should voters select her in November.

Sanders gained traction for his campaign earlier this year by advocating free public college tuition for any high school graduate who desires to further their education. His proposal came under fire from the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who argued that Sanders’ proposal was unrealistic.

Clinton’s supporters seized upon her opposition to Sanders “free public college tuition initiative and framed Sanders as out of touch with reality.

However, Stein believes that offering student loan forgiveness is not only the right thing to do but would also give her an opportunity to attract the throng of young people who made Sanders’ run for the Democratic nomination a competitive possibility. So she “One Upped” Sanders’ proposal.

“If we can bail out the banks who crashed the economy in 2008, we can bail out students who are paying back loans at higher than normal interest rates due to the banks wrecking the economy, Stein told a crowd of over 300 supporters who came out to hear her campaign pitch last week at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Georgia.

Her one upped pronouncement was met enthusiastically with applause.

Stein said that her campaign was hovering around 2 percent in the polls before she tweaked Sanders call for free public college tuition.  In two weeks she quickly gained 5 percentage points and now polls at 7 percent. Stein has assurances from CNN that if she polls 15% by time of the first presidential debate, she will be invited to participate.

“The mainstream media is not covering our campaign, but young people know how to communicate by using technology; so I need you all to get the word out to recent college graduates,” Stein exhorted her audience of primarily under 45 year old attendees.

“I can achieve student debt relief by doing a simple act of quantum easing. On day one I will appoint a Chairperson of the Federal Reserve System who will do a little quantative easing,” Stein said.

Sanders has yet to endorse Hillary Clinton or released his supporters so they can get behind another candidate. Jill Stein has “One Upped” Sanders and is seizing the time to make her pitch for his supporters in a big way.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com.

 

 

 

 

Jill Stein Brings Prez Bid to Atlanta

By Michael June 25, 2016 0

ATLANTA, GEORGIA, CASCADE PRESS (CP) Over coffee, cheese eggs, biscuits  and salmon patties, a group of political activists met in Southwest Atlanta, Georgia on a Saturday morning to plan ways to get Jill Stein, Green Party candidate for President, on the Georgia General Election Ballot. Stein needs 7500 signatures on a petition to be included with the names of the Republican and Democratic Party nominees. The deadline for submitting signatures to the Georgia Secretary of State is July 12.

The group met ahead of a planned visit by Stein to the state on Thursday, June 30. She is scheduled to greet Green Party members and other supporters at Murrell’s Cafe at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC), from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.

Stein hopes to capitalize on the large number of progressives in the Atlanta metropolitan area who supported Bernie Sanders during the Democratic Presidential Preference Primary. Sanders has yet to release his supporters.

On the MSNBC Morning Joe Show this week, Sanders said,  “The issue right here is I’m going to do everything I can do to defeat Donald Trump. I think Trump, in so many ways, would be a disaster for this country if he were elected.”

While Sanders supporters wait for him to signal where they should give their support, the Green Party is not wasting any time in showing them that Stein shares many of Sander’s views on climate change, on radically reducing the school to prison pipeline, legalizing marijuana and in addressing drug use and mental illnesses that are plaguing the country.

Jerome Taylor recently moved to Georgia from North Carolina, He attended the breakfast because, “I wanted to see what I could do to help Jill Stein be elected president. I will phone bank, knock on doors and pass out flyers,” Taylor said.

“I became interested in the Green Party when Gore lost. Then when Bush won the second time I knew something was wrong,” Taylor said.

The Georgia Green Party plans to fan out across Atlanta at street festivals and parks this weekend seeking signatures to place Stein on the Georgia ballot. Anyone wishing to participate in the Presidential Petition 2016 in Georgia Drive can contact the group at 470-223-1239.

 

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com.

 

Lamenting Losing Democratic Friends

By Michael May 15, 2016 3

I am losing far more of my Democratic friends than I care to lose this year. Albeit, many of these Democratic friends I only know via social media. Nevertheless, I regret the strain that the Democratic Primary has placed on the relationships I have enjoyed with my Democratic friends on social media.

I lost many social media friends in 2008. A few more during the 2010 mid-term election year; and a great deal more in 2012 and 2014. The friends I lost during this time period were my Republican friends. They fell out with me over objections to their disrespectful attitude toward President Barack Obama.

I tend to like the people who disagree with me. I am always searching for ways to bring them into the light. It seldom happens. I simply enjoy the verbal gymnastics involved in this pursuit. I do not miss the bombastic negativity of my departed conservative friends. I do regret that we could not remain friends in spite of our differences of opinion on the course the country should take in these uncertain times.

This year’s presidential primary election  cycle has removed people – Democratic friends – from my sphere whom I rather enjoy. Most of whom share the same aims and goals that I do. We tend to agree on political solutions for resolving the issues confronting our country at home and abroad.

Losing them is particularly painful. I am afraid that this schism between Democratic friends may portend a rift inside the Democratic Party that cannot be mended by the time “Early Voting” starts for the 2016 General Election.

I began this campaign season, as a politico without a candidate, who merely desired to see a spirited debate between two or more strong Democratic contenders. This desire put me at odds with my Democratic friends because most of them had penciled in their support to Secretary Clinton long before Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders paid the qualifying fee to run.

Any position that advocated an open discussion on the issues was rebuffed by Clinton’s supporters in ways reminiscent of the manner in which my Republican friends pontificated about the deficiencies of President Obama before they closed the door to friendship.

Although, I voted for one of the three candidates on the Georgia Presidential Preference Primary ballot in March, I still remain open to a good debate. I hope that whoever emerges as the winner is the best candidate to represent the party.

This year, Democrats have watched with amusement, the Republican infighting, as 17 candidates jostled for the right to face off with the Democrats in November.

My Democratic friends came to the conclusion that the Republicans were in such disarray they could never get their act together again. Little did Democrats know, that their presumptive nominee was executing a campaign strategy in her effort to win the nomination, that would drive a wedge right down the middle of the Democratic Party.

First Secretary Clinton questioned Senator Sanders’ authenticity as a supporter of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, and queried where Sanders stood during her 1990s quest for universal healthcare, then she adopted Sanders’ far leftist progressive positions as if they had always been her positions, while at the same time, denigrating Sanders’ proposals as pie in the sky and laughed at his ability to get results. Sanders’ posse took offense to this attempt to muddy Sanders’ work of a lifetime.

Secondly, Clinton’s supporters, my Democratic friends, parroted her characterization of the Sanders’ candidacy. It is this political hot-air that has been blowing back and forth between the two political camps which threatens to derail a Democratic victory in November.

We are beginning to see the fallout of the Clinton plan to delegitimatize the candidacy of Bernie Sanders.  Supporters of Sanders punched back and hit Clinton hard on the issue of trustworthiness, questioning her character in ways that will be hard for Donald Trump to match this summer.

This war of words that has built up between Democratic friends has caused inter-party discord that is not likely to be undone before the next president is sworn into office. In the meantime, we are all losing some good friends in this war for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party and progressive politics in this country.

I’ve lost far, far too many of my Democratic friends. At the end of the election, the political bosses could care less if the people are on good speaking terms, so long as the bosses maintain their power to control who gets what, how much and when. This after all is the objective of politics. The object is not closing the door in your Democratic friend’s face.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com.

Dag Bern Bernie Still In the Race

By Michael May 13, 2016 0

“Dag Bern it,” Bernie is still in the race!

After feeling confident that he would overcome a 48 percentage point deficit in the New York Primary (he was only able to shave 33 points from that lead), nevertheless, Sanders presses on in his race for the White House.

The media has written him off, but the dogged Vermont Independent, vows he can wrestle the Democratic nomination from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In New York, Sanders and Clinton traded punches reminiscent of the epic battle in Madison Square Garden between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali. In that bout, Joe Frazier landed a blow that put Ali on the seat of his pants. It was the first time in his career that Ali would be on the canvass looking up at his opponent. Many attending the fight  that night said it was sheer will that enabled Ali to get up from what should have been a knockout punch. Although he lost, he finished the fight.

Ali would later vindicate himself in a brawling thriller in Manila, Philippians. Like Ali, Sanders did not spend much time on the deck. He is on a roll and as quietly as it is being kept by ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC and FOX News, Sanders is working with the “Big Mo,” as in momentum. The Bern is poised to win, “Dag Bern it,” 19 of the last 25 primaries.

Out west, far from the lens of mainstream news sources, the Bern has been drawing 2008 Obama like crowds. With each passing day, Clinton, feeling the Bern, intimates that Sanders should, “Dag Bern it,” drop out of the race like she did in 2008.

What Clinton fails to mention is that she did not concede the 2008 race to then Senator Barack Obama until after the June 7, 2008 California Primary. Nor does she want her African American supporters to recall that she strongly suggested, she was staying in the race until California because strange things had happen in the California Primary. She was alluding to the assassination of Bobby Kennedy in 1968 moments after he had won the state’s Primary.

It is a good thing for Democrats that “Dag Bern it,” Bernie is still in the race because this week, Republicans, sensing that Clinton is a beatable candidate, circled the wagons in the District of Columbia in an effort to unify the party around Donald J. Trump.

Finally, Republican leaders have come to the realization that the Democrats are on the brink of nominating a flawed candidate. Secretary Clinton has the largest mistrust factor among voters than any Democrat in history and not to mention the quiet, yet thorough ongoing FBI investigation into the private email server she used to conduct State Department business from her basement.

Sometime between now and the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, Democratic politicos must come to the realization that the crazy, wacky Bern beats Trump in the major national polls by double digit percentage points, while Clinton’s slight lead over Trump is within the poll’s margin of error.

This salient fact should give any Democrat whose head is not stuck in the sand a cause to pause and figure out a way to put forth their best candidate in a one-on-one face off with Trump. Perhaps history has passed on Clinton breaking that glass ceiling once again.

“Dag Bern it,” Bernie is still in the race, and in a few weeks, Democrats will be glad that he is!

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com

Clintons Tricks Blacks Again?

By Michael March 22, 2016 2

The Clintons are a formidable tag team on the presidential election circuit. Between Hillary, the candidate, Chelsea, the daughter and Bill, the husband, the Clintons have moved throughout the country urging Democrats to  give the country back to the Clintons to run for  essentially another eight years.

When the primary season turned to the southern Black states, the Clintons urged Black voters to elect her over the Vermont Independent, Bernie Sanders, because only the Clintons could continue the legacy of President Barack Obama.

This argument played well with Black voters who did not want to invest any time in getting to know Sanders, or learn exactly how his idea of a political revolution could benefit the aspirations of the Black community; so willy nilly, Black voters overwhelmingly propelled the Clintons political machine to huge wins in the Black belt.

Now that the race for 2016 supremacy has turned out west, the Clintons, led by Bill, have begun to ditch the notion that President Obama’s eight years have been good for the country. Bill is now urging primary voters in the remaining primary states to give their vote to Hillary if they are tired of the “awful legacy of the last eight years.”

Yes, you guessed it, the last eight years have been the presidency of Barack H. Obama, the nation’s first American of African descent ever elected to serve as president.

In spite of the fact that Bill Clinton was a conservative Arkansas Governor, he has been able to use tricks of a car salesman, that he obviously learned from his step-father, to sell his brand of conservative politics to Black voters time and time again.

Blacks heard Bill play the saxophone on late night television and dubbed him the nation’s first Black president long before Obama’s name was a household word in the Black belt. Bill Clinton did not have to effectuate any public policy initiative to get Black folks to place him on this pedestal.

He played a little jazz and just like the pied piper of folklore he has had Blacks following his tune away from the issues that would really empower their community towards further trickled down assistance from Democratic stalwarts and the Clintons.

There is not much that Black voters can do now, but “skin and grin”; and chastise anyone who would dare point out the fact that the Clintons will say and do anything to consolidate their power in Washington and the world. If that means lying to Black voters, well, what the heck, what else is new?

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com.

Why Do Blacks Not Feel The Bern?

By Michael February 22, 2016 45

Why do Blacks not feel “The Bern,” a twitter connection from my hometown of Macon, Georgia tweeted me the other day?

“Why are Blacks supporting the HRC Machine,” he tweeted. “I don’t get it. Can you explain? Is it the Jewish thing or the not electable argument?”

“Bernie is preaching the spirit of the Gospel and blacks are missing his message, ” I responded with a promise to give more thought into this political anomaly.

I’m often asked in private conversation what I think about a variety of things. People throughout the world whom I have never met, nor likely will meet, will connect with me on social media when they are looking for truthful answers without a spin on one side of an issue or the other.

I am not quite sure why I have come to have such respect among the people I meet on social media, or a few people who know me in real life, who have a similar admiration for my ability to give them a rounded answer. The twitter referenced here is a man whose hand I have shaken in the flesh, and  with whom I have attempted to solve one or two of the world’s problems over a good meal and beverage or two. Although it should not matter, my friend is white, a Sanders supporter and wonders why the Sanders message is not resonating with Black folks.

Many of my Black friends have asked a similiar question.  The difference is my Black friends couch this question this way: “Do you think Sanders can get the Black vote?” Imagine a black person asking what other blacks will do with a vote that is in that black person’s hand.

I have never given a definitive answer to their questions. I usually say, “I don’t know,” which is the truth; but I have left these conversations puzzled in my own mind over this conundrum of contemporary American politics and determined to gain some clarity of thought on this issue.

As I ponder the reasons Blacks are not feeling “The Bern,” Harriet Tubman keeps coming to the forefront of my mind.

After the conclusion of the Civil War, Mrs. Tubman once said, ” I could have freed more slaves, if more people knew they were slaves.”

This statement is shared in a perfunctory manner on social media. Oftentimes, Blacks sharing it and reading it think how sad that more Blacks enslaved in that day did not realize that they were not free. Who needs a “Black Moses,” as Tubman was called, when you know with a degree of certainty how to navigate your way around the plantation?

As Malcolm X would point out a hundred years after Tubman’s exploits on the “Underground Railroad,” in his analysis of the “House Negro and the Field Negro:”

“Where  can you find a better house than this? Where can you find better food than this? Where can you find a better master than this?”

Black folks share these quotes of Tubman and Malcolm, especially in February during Black History Month, without taking into account that these words have application to the situation of Black Americans today.

On the campaign trail, Secretary Hillary Clinton in essence says to Black folks:

Hey don’t worry about anything. I’ll be the first white lady in the big White House, that your ancestors built and I’ll take care of you. I apologize for calling young Black men ‘serious predators’ and for encouraging congress to pass tough sentencing guidelines that have taken Black men out of the community and placed them in prison for most of their lives, if they were lucky to survive after 30 or 40 years. I apologize for supporting the expansion of private prisons which has led to more Black men being behind bars than those attending college. You know, it’s a tough world, and I have had to make the tough decisions. We were all scared of those Black men and had to do something about them. You don’t need to go anywhere else, stay right here with me. Where can you find a better Whitehouse than this? Where can you find  better food on your table than what Bill and I can provide for you? Where can you find better caretakers than Bill and I?

As Harriet Tubman found out, the “House Negroes” had a compelling argument for staying on the plantation; this is no less true for Clinton’s sales pitch to descendants of enslaved Africans. Many feel more comfortable with the reality they know rather than in venturing out to seek an alternative to the status quo.

This gets me to that spirit thing and that Jewish thing.

Bernie Sanders is a Jew. You would hardly know it because he does not make his cultural and religious upbringing a litmus test for seeking votes, unlike Clinton who oftens mentions that if elected, she would be the first woman president. A powerful Clinton supporter, Madelyn Albright, said there is a special place reserved in Hades for women who do not vote for Hillary Clinton, because she is a women.

If elected Bernie Sanders will become the first Jew elected president. However, he is not running on his Jewishness, but on ideas conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that All Americans should share in the wealth and prosperity of this bountiful land.

What is confusing about Sanders lack of support among Black folks is that the Black community is still largely a very religious community. Sanders platform comes straight out of the “Sermon on the Mount,” that was preached by an itinerant Jewish Rabbi.

Sanders believes that it is not okay that only ninety percent of Americans have health insurance. Many of those in the ten percent category without health insurance are Black Americans who live in southern states controlled by Republican governors and legislatures. These southern states chose not to expand their state run medicaid programs to insure their citizens. “The Bern” believes that the government should provide health insurance to all Americans.

Sanders believes that it is shameful that the unemployment rate among Black folks is at least fifty percent. He wants to create a jobs program to repair the country’s infrastructure that will eliminate unemployment in the Black community.  The crux of Sanders work program is to raise the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour.

This will directly benefit the working “Black poor,” who will have sufficient income to take care of their families. Most sociologist agree that the absence of jobs in a community creates a pathway to crime for young people in those communities.

This measure will have enormous impact in improving the quality of life in the Black community and in eliminating the rising rate of crime and drive by shootings.

The centerpiece of the Sanders platform, and probably the thing that does not resonate with Black folk is his notion that the rich should be taxed more to provide for health insurance for all Americans and college tuition  for all Americans, including Black people, who qualify for college.

In short, Sanders’ platform is the specifics “of the things hoped for” in the Obama campaign of 2008.

Which brings me to the electability argument.

Black folks lack the faith “of the evidence of things not seen” in order to give birth to a reality that ultimately will empower their community.  Since, it is not apparent that Sanders can take on the giant corporations and win, like it was not apparent that the shepherd boy David could defeat Goliath, Black folks are skeptical about joining the Sanders political revolution.

When the dust clears in Philadelphia this summer, I will break bread with my friend in Macon, and, perhaps lament, that Bernie Sanders could have moved Black folks off the plantation, if only more of them knew they were still on the plantation.

SOURCES:

Why are Blks supporting the HRC machine. I don’t get it. Can U explain? Is it the Jewish thing or the not electable argument

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com. read more

The Bern In The House

By Michael February 18, 2016 0

 

ATLANTA, GEORGIA, CASCADE PRESS (CP)

The Bern was in “The House” on Tuesday this week. “The House” is Morehouse College. For years students and alumni have affectionately dubbed it as simply “The House.” The welcome mat was laid out for Bernie Sanders, affectionately named “The Bern” by a host of loyal followers and supporters of his chaotic run for the White House.

On Tuesday, those riding with “The Bern” on the theme of a “Future You Can Believe In,” stood in a line more than a mile and a half long, waiting to pass through the secret service security checkpoint to enter into Forbes Arena, home of the Maroon and White Tigers of Morehouse College.

Among those in the long line was Moses Jenkins, a “Morehouse Man” from Sacramento, California. Jenkins is a senior and will graduate in the spring with a degree in business. He has secured a job that he will begin promptly upon graduation.

“I did an internship with this company, they made me an offer and I accepted it,” Jenkins said.

When asked if he was feeling “The Bern,”  Jenkins replied, “No, not yet. But I wanted to come out and hear his plans for the country.”

Jenkins did not appear to be bothered about the fact that Sanders has pledged to closely regulate the financial industry. However, he was surprised to see so many white students from other metro Atlanta area colleges on Morehouse campus.

“I’ve never seen so many white students here. I hope they enjoy their stay,” he said before being directed to a line for student attendees.

Trinh Huynh, immigrated from Vietnam in 1980 to Gainesville, Georgia where she finished high school and went on to obtain an undergraduate degree from Princeton and a law degree from Emory University, came with several of her girls friends. While standing in line they were feeling “The Bern,” taking selfies, buying “The Bern” Tee shirts and joking about whether there will be enough room for them in Hades for feeling “The Bern.”

The ladies agreed that if Sanders did not win the primary, they would give their vote to Hillary Clinton and escape that special place Secretary Madeleine Albright said was reserved for women like them. One of the ladies in the group (not one of the ladies pictured above), said she saw Donald Trump as an alternative candidate should Sanders not win the primary.

At the security checkpoint for media, former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner got into a mild altercation with a secret service officer who told her she had to be searched before entering the arena. Turner has been traveling around the country introducing Sanders at similar events.

This may have been her first event since Sanders received secret service protection a few weeks ago, because she seemed perturbed that the officer did not recognize her and required her to wait until he searched media representatives who were in line ahead of her arrival.

“I don’t know why I have to go through this,” Turner said, “I’m the person who will be introducing the senator.”

Turner was escorted by Atlanta Rapper, “Killer Mike,” a burly, no nonsense, pro Black Lives Matter brother, with a full melaninated hue.

“Killer Mike,” came to Turner’s aid and exchanged polite, but firm words with the secret service officer.

Cool heads prevailed, Turner and “Killer Mike” were searched and were allowed to enter the building, as were every journalist, who entered at that checkpoint .

On the inside of Forbes Arena, the Morehouse College “Spirit Band” entertained the crowd with their horn and drum section. At 5:30, the brothers of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity came out and performed a brief step show. If anyone in the crowd had not caught “The Bern,”  they were probably beginning to feel it after the Q’s step show.

Atlanta Actress Jasmine Guy, feeling “The Bern” took the podium and told the group that she was honored to be a part of Sander’s HBCU tour. She joked that she had attended two HBCUs: “Mission College and Hillsdale.” The “Sandinistas” roared with laughter. Mission College and Hillsdale are the two mythical colleges in the television sitcoms Guy starred  in during the1990s.

After her brush with the secret service, Turner stood on the podium and fired up the faithful by delivering a message to the Clinton campaign: “I want you to know, that we ain’t nobody’s firewall. You don’t have our vote, you have to earn our vote.”

“Killer Mike” had a message for Albright. He rejected the notion that people should vote for Clinton because she is a woman. Although he used less flattering terms than these.

Sanders sauntered onto the stage, showing the wear and tear of a long day on the campaign trail. He had spent a good portion of the day in South Carolina shoring up support in the African American community. He came to life once he reached the dias and quickly dispelled the Clinton notion that he is a one issue candidate.

“The number one issue is the campaign finance system is corrupt. A handful of families are trying to undermine our democracy,” Sanders said.

“Two, we have a rigged economy. The number one beneficiary of the welfare system is the Walton family. We need to get them off of welfare and tell them to pay their workers a decent wage,” Sanders roared.

“Three, we have a broken criminal justice system that is tied to a racist system. My pledge to you is that after my first term as President, we will not have more people in jail than in college,” Sanders exhorted, bringing “The House” down.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com.