Friday, September 28, 2007

This Pissed Me Off

Okay... it's 3 AM and I'm still awake and pissed off. I'm mostly pissed off at the Mets, but that's another story for another blog, so I'll have to talk about something else.

Last night, a Republican debate aired on PBS focusing on minority issues. The debate, which was at a traditionally Black university, opened with the question "Can the party of Abraham Lincoln win the hearts and minds of all Americans?" Giuliani, Thompson, McCain, and Romney-- the front runners for their party's nomination for president-- declined invitations to participate in the debate. Each cited conflicting fundraisers.

I'm obviously not a Republican, and I don't want to belittle or lecture Republicans or their party, but I thought this was an unequivocal disgrace. (I'll belittle and lecture the candidates in particular, thank you.)

How could someone who aspires to lead this country put his back to so many Americans so publicly? How could they refuse to speak to their issues so blatantly?

Blacks and Hispanics are disenfranchised in this country, by almost any measure they are doing worse than their white counterparts. In that community a feeling of alienation persists, a feeling that minorities are left almost entirely out of the political process in this country.

And apparently they are.

Minorities vote less. They are more cynical about the process, and so they stay home at a greater rate on Election Day. And I guess that'll suit these guys just fine, because it seems these candidates did the political calculus that they are better off taking money from rich folks than sharing their ideas and opinions with a group that doesn't usually get to hear them. And if they don't show up to vote, if this gets minorities a little more alienated from the political process, well then that's two birds, one stone.

At the risk of sounding idealistic, a president can't duck important questions like this. It's undemocratic and un-American. Those 4 candidates said all you need to know about them right there. I mean, have some guts and the courage of your convictions.

--The crazy part is that if just one of the four had shown up, it would have been a huge story and a huge political victory, and it would have been a bigger story than anything that was said there. But instead the story is about Republicans looking like bigots. So it was a crap move politically as well, but that's neither here nor there.--

In the end, it's not about Democrat or Republican, Giuliani or Hillary, or black or white. In the end it's about a system that has gotten so F'd up that it encourages leading candidates to take a pass, and skip out on the American people and the free exchange of ideas.


Sharique said...

Was just passing by,
I think this flaw, is an embeded flaw within the democracy. Majoirty rules, decides, and legislates. In effect, miniorities can be marginalized at any time, at the will of majority.

C. P. Coleta said...

Exactly how much time and money does Alan Keys have?

Chris Meehan said...

those who believe abortion should be illegal are in the minority, but are far from marginalized.

and this isn't about an interest group or faction. these are the american people being ignored.

Kris said...

Admittedly the message sent is pretty nasty, but you have to admit that it's clear and honest. I'd rather politicians send clear messages about who they do not care about than pretend to care about everyone. Looks like minorities may leave the Republican party in droves...

C. P. Coleta said...

Hey Kris, perhaps you'd prefer David Duke, or a more old-school pol like John C. Calhoun. They were pretty clear and honest.

Meehan's right, in that it's about depriving folks of a fenuine option. Rudy governed, directly, the most number of Blacks; it's asinine he'd not attend. Instead, the folks were left to some pre-WW2 senile rants from Ron Paul and the ultimate anti-immigrant, Tom Tancredo. Thank God Huckabee and Brownback were there, else it would've been a full-blown, backwater event for prospective aldermans.

Douglas E. Flynn said...

Its too risky for a Republican candidate to enter into this debate at this stage of the race. It could significantly damage the support from their base. Besides, they wouldn't be speaking to many register Republicans who are going to vote in the Republican primary anyway. If this type of debate was held after the primaries, Republicans would be more inclined engage in such a debate in an effort to appeal to a wider array of people. Whether it is right or wrong is one thing, but it is an essential move to avoid the debate and retain the support of the Republican base, which all the Republican candidates are concentrating on. It is less about Republicans not caring and more about fear of driving away conservative voters.

Douglas E. Flynn said...

But for the record, I think its shameful.