Some people will look at the above, make assumptions, and fail to understand the per-party history of racism in the US. As a captive in the Confederacy, the above slave named Gordon was the wholly-owned property of people who saw blacks as sub-human and inferior, and those people went to war against their own nation in an attempt to perpetuate a race-based culture that denied millions of the most basic of human rights. Slaves, especially those in the South, were largely owned by such people, most of whom were of one political affiliation: They were Democrats.
Yes, Democrats, the very same party whose members were at the forefront in the war against America. Yes, Democrats, most of whom were willing to fight and die in a protracted war against the Republican-led North in order to support their racist philosophies. Yes, Democrats, some of whom later instituted the KKK as a terrorist organization as a means of subjugating blacks after the end of the Civil War. Yes, Democrats, the same party that today purportedly supports Black Lives Matter and securing the rights of the disenfranchised through government action even as today’s Republicans commonly support the reduction of social safety nets and less government intervention in the lives of Americans.
Southern Democrats largely clung to supremacist beliefs well into the Civil Rights era, with Klan membership leaning heavily Democratic. However, since the middle-to-late 1960s and the switch in party positions, KKK membership became composed of both Republicans and Democrats as exemplified by George Wallace, David Duke, Strom Thurmond, Robert Byrd, and others. Accordingly, neither party is wholly angelic nor wholly demonic as both have pasts filled with moments of shame and moments of glory, so the evaluation of candidates should be based on the individual, not the individual as a representative of a given party. This is why Election Day is a vitally important event as it is our day to wrest control from established bases of power.
Every Election Day sees us resume our role as employers performing evaluations of the elected officials who supposedly work for us. It’s our time to continue their employment if they are worthy, and it’s our time to fire them if they are found wanting. Election Day is the time for We the People to wield our Constitutional power to change our government as we see fit. Moreover, it is our duty as Americans to find qualified candidates who represent the interests of the people as a whole and not just those of any particular race, ethnicity, religion, social class, region, or sexual orientation. It is our duty to place the needs of our country above the pettiness and partisan ideals that are crippling our society. It is our duty to place the best in elected office, and it is our duty to hold them accountable when they work against our common interests.
Our nation must part ways with voting in accordance with established norms, and that means not voting for a given Democrat or Republican simply because the candidate is a member of either party. It is time to shake off the yoke of established voting patterns and express our hard-won right to vote in defiance of tradition. In this age of “fake news,” we need to use truly informative sites—not sites for punditry or outright propaganda—to learn who wants your vote, who is backing them, how accurate their claims are, and how strongly their stated beliefs align with American values. If we do that, then we’ll likely find many surprises in the current crop of candidates.
Our nation is at a crossroads. We must ensure the course we set is the right one.
All the best,
No-Plagiarism Note: Some portions of the above were taken from an earlier blog entry of mine titled, Slaves to the Norm.