Dear Democrats: Give Me A Reason To Vote For You Again
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...
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