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Date: Feature Week of March 15, 2004
Topic: Black Press Business/Economic
Author: William Reed
Article ID: article_ema031504b


Will Either Help Advance African American Issues and Concerns?

America is pumped up for a rough 2004 election and African Americans in several key states will play a major role in tilting the electoral vote in November.

 Already, there's a significant passion among American voters.  Driving voters to the polls is anger about the arrogance of a president who rushed the country to war, oversaw the loss of millions of jobs while also passing out huge tax cuts, massive subsidies and damaging tariffs to buy support of the nation’s wealthy and business interests.  The Democrat’s candidate is Senator John Kerry, who is being labeled as “a war hero and anti-war activist”.  For what it’s worth, current polls show that Kerry could defeat Bush in a snap election.

That's because George Bush has established new records for anti-incumbent sentiment.  His disapproval rating is the highest in presidential polling history for an incumbent this close to a re-election challenge.  A larger share of voters views him as a failure than they did Richard Nixon at the end of the Vietnam War, when Watergate was unraveling all around him.

The truth is: Either way, African Americans will be no more empowered in American society after November 2004 than we were after say, the 1992 elections.  Think about it.  There’s not a dimes worth of difference between the candidates when it comes to issues that affect African American life and lifestyles.  Unless African American voters are also campaign contributors they have absolutely no choice in matters of “who” or “what”.  Special interests pre-select the candidates for president before a single primary vote is recorded, and they influence the policies and platforms of the candidates.

Political establishment-oriented African Americans try to point us to one or the other, but, in essence, America’s electoral process is broken, with only four percent of the population contributing to campaigns and over half of eligible voters not voting in every federal election cycle.  In the primaries, conventions and general election, African American oriented issues will be cast aside in the Tweedle-dum verses Tweedle-dee personality contest between the two corporate-backed parties.

 Anyone telling you African Americans has any influence in choosing the president is a day late and dollars short.  It's special interest money that manipulates campaigns and leave African American interests on the sidelines.   The process of choosing a president has moved from the voting booth to the auction block.  The real powers in this country are not on any ballot; and are accountable to no one.  The campaign process has become so expensive that it limits the talent pool available today to only millionaires or those willing and able to raise substantial sums of cash from wealthy and powerful interests with business before the government.  Case in point, President George W. Bush collects more than half a million dollars a day, much of it from companies currently feeding at the Iraq trough of “reconstruction”.

Forty members of the current U.S. Senate (including Kerry) are millionaires - less than one percent of American people are millionaires.  And big money mixed with irregular and high-tech redistricting help explain why the incumbent reelection rate in the House of Representatives the past three elections has been more than 98 percent.

African American “pundits” will never tell you, but Ralph Nader has a message worth noting – America’s corporate excess threatens the democratic process.  He is the only candidate left standing that speaks out for all the people and depicts who really are the investors and guiding forces of American politics.  He’s the only one not afraid to confront political and corporate institutions that do not act or perform in the best interests of all the people.  Though we are among the most disenfranchised of Americans, blacks still buy into Democratic and Republican rhetoric that may sometimes sound like they truly have the interests of the people as a priority.  However, when Black Americans look at their most pressing issues – unemployment, the War on Drugs, criminal justice, racial profiling etc., we find that both of the major political parties are talking loud, but are saying nothing we can take to the bank.


© 2000-2003 William Reed - www.BlackPressInternational.com


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