Voting is the pillar of our American Democracy in 2014
By Roger Caldwell
As you are reading this article, the results of the mid-term election will be finalized in most of the states in the United States. There will be surprises and there will be devastating defeats for many incumbents. But the voting process will be fair, impartial and the majority of Americans will accept the results.
I wish that I had a crystal ball and I could predict the winners in certain races, but the count of votes will determine the victors. The pundits and political strategies’ will explain why certain candidates won, and many will say the winners spent 100 million dollars on their campaigns. Others will say, their ground game was better organized, and others will say the money the candidate spent on the media was the determining factor.
But in the final analysis, there will be a loser and a winner, and in the majority of the races it will be a Republican or a Democrat. The race can be dirty, nasty, and filled with fabrications, but each vote is your voice, and Americans has lost their trust in the system and process.
Traditionally, African Americans do not vote in the mid-term elections, but we have the ability to change the outcome of many elections in many states with our vote. More than 100 Black candidates will be on the ballots in statewide elections, and many political experts argue that this is a byproduct of Barack Obama’s historic presidency. Black political representation in American Democracy is not going away, and more African Americans are more engaged in the political process, than ever before.
In 2012, Blacks surpassed the white turnout in terms of percentage voting for the first time, according to the Census Bureau. This is a phenomenal achievement considering 50 years ago; Blacks were fighting for an opportunity to vote. There were 66 percent of Blacks who voted, and 64 percent of whites who voted in the 2012 election.
The court is still out in 2014, but civil rights groups, nonprofit social agencies, and Black churches are coordinating “Get Out the Vote” events for early voting around the country. I live in Florida, and the churches, Black politicians, and civil organizations are working around the clock to get the “Souls to the Polls.” It is possible that the 2014 election could change voting for minorities in the mid-term, because positive coalitions have worked together to make a difference.
NAACP Cincinnati chapter presidential candidate Rob Richardson said, “Voting isn’t just a right, voting is a responsibility. It’s a responsibility to your community and your families. Voting is saying thank you to all those who have fought for civil rights in the past and continuing that fight into the future, because it never ends.”
Voting is fundamental and it is time for Blacks to speak with their vote, so they will stop being ignored. The majority of Blacks are Democrats, but the Democratic Party refuses to spend money with the Black media until the last four weeks of the election. There is a need for Blacks to be elected in leadership positions in the Democratic Party, to ensure the party spends money throughout the entire campaign, as opposed to the last four weeks with the Black media to be successful.
The National and State Democratic Parties must get the Black community engaged in the 2016 election in 2015. Many Black candidates around the country received no funding from the Democratic Party, but their White counterpart received hundreds of thousands of dollars and in some cases millions.
As the 2014 election is almost completed, now the Democratic leadership is courting the Black vote. Some think, it is too late to spend money with the Black media, and this should have been done at the beginning of the election.