With the rash of state legislatures eager to pass bills that clearly disenfranchise members of the LGBT community, I thought I’d take the opportunity to call BS. While I’m disgusted by the legislative actions of states like North Carolina, Mississippi, and almost Georgia, I can’t say I’m all that surprised. History in the U.S. has countless examples of what happens when this country finally takes steps toward equality for all.
Despite record breaking turnout in some states’ primaries or caucuses, I for one find myself increasingly underwhelmed by this 2016 presidential race. I’m sick of the media talking about Hillary’s emails, I’m tired of the back and forth pettiness between candidates, and I’m beyond over the ignorant and clownish phenomenon that is Donald Trump. To be honest, American politics is slowly becoming a sick joke that I can’t believe is our reality. And I’m left to wonder, where did it all go wrong?
So in the past week, I’ve been reminded of a major reason why Trump is seemingly so popular. The ignorance that he spews from his platform, preys on the very fears and ignorance many in America have. His “othering” of Muslims, condemnation of Mexicans and Mexican Americans, and belittlement of women, strikes a chord with the apparent millions of people that treat minorities as a scapegoat for all the turmoil in this country.
It’s almost 2 months into 2016, and some of the trends that I hoped would phase out with the end of last year are still lingering around, and actually becoming more prominent. And that’s maddening. Well you read the list, and tell me if I’m alone in my thoughts here.
Look, I won’t attempt to beat what should be an obvious dead horse, but I will offer my two cents on the nonsense. While Beyoncé is not responsible for this debate, she has definitely brought about the resurgence of the conversation. A conversation that still baffles me is even taking place. It might be 2016, but some things apparently never get old.
Black Power, Black Lives matter, and similar pro-black sentiments, have never been created with an anti-white premise. They were created as an expression for black men and women to embrace and rally behind in the face of injustice and inequity. Injustice and inequity subtly, and sometimes overtly, perpetuated by the governing authorities of a given place and time in the U.S. When black lives were trampled, overlooked, and lost, it was movements sparked by the chants of “Black Power,” that showed this country and the world, that people of color are united in our demand for something better. That the unfortunate accepted norms, were no longer tolerable. And that our voices will be heard and change must be imminent.
- Lincoln Chafee Failed in a Big Way
Where to begin with this former senator and governor? Last night was simply not his night. I’m not sure if his nerves got the best of him, or he simply wasn’t prepared to engage in a debate. But whatever it was, he will need Olivia Pope herself to save his campaign run. When asked about his vote as a senator to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act, he basically said “I had just arrived in the Senate.” As a viewer and voter, I instantly knew his candidacy has a fast approaching expiration date. And I completely understand him being new in the senate, and the fact his dad had recently passed at the time of the vote. However, no voter wants to be offered excuses by a presidential hopeful. No matter how valid the excuses may be.
Oh and by the way, Chafee fell victim to Hillary Clinton’s most celebrated one-liner of the night! A simple “NO”!
- Jim Webb Is the Odd Man Out
I don’t think anyone would be surprised if Jim Webb dropped out of this presidential race after last night. When he wasn’t being forgotten about in the deep corner of the stage, he was offering the American public gripes about Anderson Cooper’s skill as moderator and awkward responses to debate questions. More than a few times, his answers made me cringe. I mean it got so bad, that I actually had to wonder why he considers himself to be a democrat. Plus, his response to the question about the Black Lives Matter movement was laughable. While I’m sure the black community is appreciative of his support of a black hero in way of a memorial/monument, that’s not exactly helping the community in the continued fight for equality and justice.
- Martin O’Malley is Really Campaigning for a V.P. Spot on Someone’s Ticket
In many ways the former Maryland governor echoed Bernie or Hillary. Other than perhaps his stance on immigration reform, he didn’t really state anything that makes me as a voter give him a second look over the party’s two front runners. I ultimately came to the conclusion last night that he is really in this race running for vice president. His debate answers and at times soft attacks on Sanders and Clinton, made this “VP” theory quite clear.
- Everybody Loves Bernie, BUT Are His Plans Realistic
While many of us watched republicans attempt to sink Clinton’s campaign, we also saw Bernie Sanders emerge as a real democratic contender for president. I have to admit, while Clinton has struggled over the past few month, Sanders has managed to capture my attention. His ideas about free tuition, student loan reform, and attacking Wall Street really almost made me a full Bernie supporter and one day voter.
Now as amazing as Sanders was last night, and he was really pretty spectacular, he failed to convince me that his policy proposals are actually possible. When he attempted to explain how he planned to expand things like social security or fund a free tuition program in this country, he claimed to want to institute a higher tax on Wall Street and the wealthiest 1%. The problem I have with that, is that tax reform is extremely difficult to get passed in Congress, especially when both the House and Senate are overrun by a disjointed Republican Party. So taking away his unlikely tax hikes, where does that leave his platform in the realm of probability?
In addition, last night’s debate shed light on the fact that the gridlock we see in Washington under President Obama, is nothing compared to what it will be under a Sander’s administration. While I admire his “shake up D.C.” attitude, I’m not sure his revolutionary spirit will be beneficial to bipartisan compromise. And I for one am sick of the looming threat of government shutdowns.
- Hillary Is Finally Back
As a longtime supporter of the former secretary of state and her husband, I like many was excited when she officially announced her 2016 candidacy for president. I was thrilled to see her again vie to become the first woman leader of this country, and perhaps even more thrilled to see a solid democrat contender possibly follow President Obama in the White House. However, since announcing she was running for office, she and her campaign fell kind of flat.
Prior to last night’s debate, I honestly felt Mrs. Clinton was resting on her 2008 bid for president. Almost as if she felt she didn’t have to work hard for votes this go around. And then came along this asinine probe into her very legal, but possibly compromising email account. For months now, a largely led republican witch hunt has attempted to nail her for this account in the press. It got to the point I could barely discern her 2016 platform amongst the republican noise, and was slightly confused on where she stood on key issues. Unfortunately for this former New York senator, all of this was working against her in terms of my support.
But last night, the one and only Hillary Clinton hit restart on her 2016 campaign and made it clear she is a formidable opponent. Her debate preparation was impeccable. She was clear on her perspective, didn’t allow her opponents to knock her off her game, and redirected negative comments or questions back to the narrative of her solid political platform and experience. I’d be completely surprised if Clinton doesn’t see a bump in her poll numbers as last night’s debate winner. Kudos to her!
Oh and check out some highlights from last night.