Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Now What?

So, Election Day has come and gone. The political landscape in Illinois and in most of the country has changed. We heard how the President has turned a deaf ear on the American people, and this is why many Democrats were defeated. In fact, some Democrats did not want their respective campaigns associated with President Obama, due to his disapproval rating. Some folks (who will remain nameless) took to the airwaves and some pulpits claiming how a party change (not Jesus) is the only hope for Black folks, as Republicans replaced Democrats in both federal and state offices. (I hope they get to the bank before the checks bounce.) I think we still need to ask the question, “Where does that leave ‘us’?” When it is all said and done, what will change for the “least of these”?

On the eve of the midterm elections in 2010, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) made the infamous remark during an interview with the National Journal, The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”  Now that Congress is controlled by the GOP, it will be said this election was a mandate on the economy, Affordable Health Care Act, immigration reform, “big government”, Ebola, etc., and that the Obama administration showed incompetence in dealing with “bread and butter” issues. Now that Sen. McConnell will become the Senate Majority Leader, I can safely assume his priorities have shifted (obviously) from President Obama being a one-term president, to being the leader of an obstructionist movement to make the President a “lame duck” before the 2016 elections. Guaranteed, the rich are salivating. Meanwhile, the Democrats believe they have lost touch with their base…the middle class. What about us….the faithful… going to the polls that vote “blue” regardless of whether it is in our best interests or not? Neither party talked about helping the working class and the working poor during the campaign. Remember, welfare reform, which sent millions below the poverty line, was under the Clinton administration, and he was not a Republican.

I think we still need to ask the question, “Where does that leave ‘us’?” When it is all said and done, what will change for the “least of these”?

What does the change in Congress and state houses mean for unemployment and underemployment, affordable health care, affordable housing, and so many of the issues that have plagued Black folks? To some, all the problems are a result of Democrats in control, almost as if institutional racism and neo-Jim Crow policies, police misconduct, crime, lack of opportunities, and an apartheid-style education system were the Democratic platform.  In reality these are, and will continue to be problems, regardless of which party is in office, as long as the rich are in control.

I can hardly wait to hear “Plan B” that will resolve ALL of the woes and failures not resolved under President Obama and state Democratic administrations.  And of course, if unemployment reaches double digits, health care costs skyrocket, public education receives less funding, and the economy begins to tank even more, somehow the Democrats will be blamed, even though they are no longer in charge of Congress. It really doesn’t matter which party is in Congress or the White House….many of us are still in the “outhouse.”  Until the political landscape changes in favor of the majority of Americans, and when people, and not profits, are on the top of the list of any party platform, the question still stands, “What will change for the ‘“least of these’?”

What do you think?

Kevin Tyson
Trinity UCC Justice Watch Team

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