Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Votes Must Be Earned, And Not Expected.

Hillary doesn't deserve any votes; votes must be earned, and people must judge for themselves which candidate embodies their ideals, values, goals, and judgment. Michelle ... claims Hillary doesn't deserve the 'black vote' because her husband was hard on crime and incarcerated more people than any country on earth. While this, at face value, may hold a glimpse of truth, as with anything, there are nuanced explanations which don't necessarily justify everything Clinton did (or didn't do). Rather, at the time, they explain the crime and the victimization of the African American population during a faded phase of Jim Crow. I grant Michelle that mills, shops went overseas which created a vacuum wherein minorities suffered the most, however, this in and of itself, doesn't mean; therefore, Hillary Clinton is undeserving of the black vote. And, it certainly is not to say that the black voices of Hillary supporters will be silenced by the past transgressions of Mr. Clinton. The political climate in the country at the time was extremely conservative, and the war on drugs was in full swing. As we know, blacks and whites do drugs at the same rate, yet blacks are four times as likely to be jailed for the same crime. We must admit, the War on Drugs has not only been a failure but counterproductive. It has caused a cycle of fatherless black homes and a circle of crime, institutional incarceration, and a vast number of stereotypes.

No politician deserves a single vote; they must earn votes, and if we're going to use someone else's record as leverage against them, a woman who was not in a public office at the time of the championed policies, Jeb Bush kisses his chances goodbye. Donald Trump whose father was involved with nefarious characters to include the mob, and Trump's racial bias in which African Americans suffered extensively. Also, Trump complained veterans selling magazines outside or near his hotels was inappropriate.
 Moreover, Bill Clinton since apologized for his "tough on crime" stance, after seeing how the consequences affected predominantly poor African Americans. But, what better way to rectify the criminal justice system than with the said folks who enacted these laws? In other words, the Clintons know what it takes to reform the criminal judicial system after years of a dysfunctional system. The truth is every politician has dirt on them. That doesn't mean, we shouldn't support them if we so choose. No, it doesn't change the past, but the future is brighter with folks who have the ability and the wherewithal to implement sweeping reform to the criminal justice system.
I must admit, in 1992, I was not impressed with Bill playing the saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show, but I was impressed with his ability to connect with the people he was supposed to represent. But, we must not be so quick to associate the worst motives with people. Did Bill Clinton go overboard on his tough on crime policies? Absolutely, but that doesn't mean we, therefore,  punish Hillary for the sins of her husband. "It's a black thing; you wouldn't understand," Bill Clinton said. At the time, I don't think Bill Clinton knew the oppression of the black community, but I believe his intentions of encouraging moral crime reform was genuine and not a plot to incarcerate a particular group of people. Although when it became evident, that's what was happening, Bill should have changed course from prison to programs that would give skills to blacks and not jail cells. I agree with you there.
Furthermore, it's rather patronizing to expect a person to vote for anyone except the person they feel would do the best job. Clinton is a tested candidate whose survived vicious attacks against her and her family. I think she knows a thing or two about public trust and ensuring all Americans get a fair shot.
But, if we must use Bill's past transgressions against Hillary, we must also use his current position calling for reform in the criminal justice system. He acknowledges severe changes needs to be implemented in the criminal judicial system, and that the private prison industrial complex, judges, prosecutors must be held accountable for fairness under the law. Therefore, some criminal laws; again; must drastically be revised.  Everyone knows when the economy collapses the poor get hurt the most; therefore, we must hold the politicians feet to the fire; regulate Wall Street and speculative gambling. Also, we must once and for all enact campaign finance reform which cannot, thus, making Hillary or whomever the nominee is work for the people. But, as with anything, there are backdoor ways to influence elections it just won't be so obvious. Michelle is entitled to claim blacks shouldn't vote for Hillary; votes must be earned on the merits of the campaign and not the past transgressions of a husband. Bottom line, it's sexist, and it's naive to assume blacks are completely unaware of the Clinton's past.

1). Dan Merica. (15 July 2015). Bill Clinton says he made mass incarceration issue worse. CNN.

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