by Subhash Kateel, 1/2 of Let’s Talk About It! Radio. (Tune in Wednesday’s 7pm EST at 880thebiz.com or 880 am in Miami.)
Let’s Talk About It! is a weekly Miami based radio show that tries to talk about real issues that affect the lives of real people. This past Wednesday, the focus of our radio show (check it here) was: Does It Matter Who Won the Election? But in my hardest of hearts, I wanted the topic of the show to be: Do the Democrats Suck? And Should We Keep Voting For Them?
On the show, we talked with Gihan Perera from Florida New Majority, Tobias Packer from Equality Florida , Bradley Gerber from the Miami Young Republicans, Rosa Clemente from the Green Party about this idiotic term that I just added to the list of some of the dumbest things I have ever heard in my life: the enthusiasm gap. You see, some folks have actually decided to blame voters for the Democrats not winning because they where not “enthused” with their candidates. They wondered out loud why the same folks that came out for the 2008 election (read: Black folks, Brown folks, young folks, Queer folks, first time voters) didn’t come out this time.
If the 2008 elections taught us anything, it is that people who believe in who they are voting for, will try by any means necessary to get to the polls to vote for that person.
On election day in 2008, I was a volunteer outside one of the polling stations in Liberty City, Miami. Liberty City is a great community that had the misfortune of having a Grand Theft Auto video game made in its image so it is now considered the “hood” of all “hoods” in Miami. My volunteer job was to explain to first time voters what a ballot looked like and how to fill it out. The stuff I saw that day is sketched in my mind forever. I saw city workers, teachers, formerly incarcerated folks, guys that hung out on the corners and one woman that seemed clearly strung out determined to cast their vote. One young kid in the neighborhood, not affiliated with any campaign, took several trips from his neighborhood in a pick-up truck, taking people to and from the polls, including homeless folks. For the first-time voters in the bunch, you saw this glow in their eyes as they finished casting their ballots, as if their voice and vote finally counted.
So why didn’t that happen this time around? Ok, maybe it was because Obama wasn’t running. But it was also because most democrats that were running just sucked. And I am done making excuses for them. They sucked at articulating a vision that anyone cared about, they sucked at talking to the base of folks that stepped up and got them elected in 2008. They sucked at paying attention to anyone but the Tea Party. And during a recession (and I will keep saying this) in which people are literally killing themselves and losing their livelihoods, they sucked at feeling the pain of people. And where they sucked at feeling the pain, republicans succeeded in harnessing the anger.
There are two main issues in the country today that define people’s pain: the economic crisis and the housing crisis. We are currently witnessing one of the largest losses of working folk’s wealth ever in this country. And the Democrat’s response to it underscores just how bad most Democrats suck and how little most of them deserved to stay in office. To the point where even the ones that don’t suck got confused for the ones that do and were subsequently booted out.
Democrats spent their entire tenure in power complaining that they didn’t have enough of a majority to do what they wanted to do, while the Republicans via the Tea Party spent their entire time in the minority harnessing the anger of the majority of Americans. Yet despite supposedly not having enough of a majority to tackle the housing crisis in a way that eased the pain of homeowners and renters that where losing roofs over their heads, Democrats seemed to muster enough of a majority to easily pass a republican sponsored bill to make it easier to kick more Americans out of their homes.
Yep the folks that failed at bipartisanship and failed at pushing a real agenda to save homes or jobs succeeded in passing a bill that would have forced courts to accept electronic notarizations across statelines for homeowners fighting their foreclosures…In other words, the bill would have made foreclosures easier.
The bill wasn’t like the PATRIOT ACT either, where idiotic politicians just saw how big the bill was, decided not to read it and just trust the title of the bill and then pass it. No, the bill was two pages long. In fact, the only reason the housing bill didn’t become law is because the President vetoed it.
So tell me Democrats, why should I ever vote for you again? Because you are the lesser of two evils? I’m sorry, the lesser of two evils is still evil. And please, don’t blame the Tea Party for your support of the bailout, not doing much for homeowners, and passing up a real chance to help people that are looking for work. Wait, whats that? I should vote for you because you decided you are going to move to the “center” now (another of those stupid words on my stupid list)? You IDIOTS, no. No matter how hard you try, spinelessly moving to the middle is NOT a substitute for feeling people’s pain, working with them to solve our problems, or proving that you are willing to re-up and fight.
Democrats, even though not all of you suck, until more of you stop sucking, I am done talking to you about how you can stop sucking. Instead, I would like to talk to the people that feel abandoned by you about what they can do to make sure this country doesn’t suffer from you sucking.
If you came out to vote in 2008, expecting change, then as Gandhi said, you have to be that change. How? I’ll give you four simple ways:
1) Join an organization that fights for something you want to fight for
2) If you work, dedicate 1 lunchbreak a month to talk with your co-workers about the problems we face in the country. End each conversation with just one idea that you can do collectively to work towards fixing that problem.
3) If you don’t work, do the same with your church groups, dominos table, the folks you play ball with or whoever.
4) Find out who your elected officials are and call them whenever you think they suck and tell them what to do to not suck. Politicians will never stop sucking if we don’t put pressure on them
Let’s Talk About It!