Somehow, some way, those of us who care need to find a way to breathe new life into potential voters in the upcoming mid-term elections.
Two years ago, as we approached the November 2008 election, you couldn’t go a day without being inundated with information on the importance of registering and voting. In fact, if you weren’t registered, and we found out about it, you were called out, we and publicly embarrassed you. (Sorry, Joe).
But this year, there’s no buzz, no energy, no hype, and that’s pretty sad. There are so many people who stand to win or lose, and either way, it will make a huge difference in our country and each state, county, city and neighborhood.
But instead of worrying about voting and registering people to vote, for the past couple of weeks, our attention has been on Bishop Eddie Long.
In a staff meeting yesterday, we determined that our website had more than a million more hits this year than the same time last year, due mainly to the Bishop Eddie Long story.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I appreciate that black America turns to BlackAmericaWeb.com and the TJMS to hopefully get fair, balanced and yes, funny perspectives on issues black America is interested in. We do our share of bringing you the serious with seriously ignorant stories, and I don’t apologize for it. But I don’t want us to get so bogged down with sensational, sexual and silly stuff that we lose sight of what’s important … like voting.
This may be paranoid view – and you know how much I love a conspiracy theory – but a few of our texters have suggested that every time a big election comes around, there’s some big mess in the media that causes us to turn away from the business at hand. It could be a stretch because, let’s face it, mess never really takes a vacation. The key is for us to be able to recognize that when distractions do come around, how to put and keep them in perspective.
For the accusers in the Eddie Long case and their families, for Bishop Eddie Long and his family and his congregation, the allegations that have been made are certainly the most important thing before them. But for the rest of us, for now, there’s not much more to be said or done about it.
What we can do is remind everyone we know that President Obama, the man most of us voted for in 2008, is in the fight of his life, and even though he is not on the ballot this November, a huge turnout from us will send the sort of message he needs to take the wind of the sails of his adversaries. They’re trying to suck the life out of him and the Democratic Party, and we can stop it from happening. Why should we do it, even though the Democratic Party seems once again to be taking our votes for granted? Why should we do it when unemployment in our community is higher than ever? Why should we do it when some of us don’t feel as though the administration has really addressed our needs? We should do it because the alternative will be much, much worse.
The economy is sick, the public school system is sick, and the wars being fought in Afghanistan and Iraq are sick too. President Obama may not have the cure, but if we don’t support him, there will be much sicker times for all of us ahead.
Let’s work together find out what candidates and what issues we need to get behind in November and go out in show our support with the same enthusiasm as we did in 2008. We prove that when we work together, we could make history and change the world. If we ignore the people who desperately need our support in November, we’ll appear to be a short-sighted, apathetic, fickle community.
Last week, a report showed that Mrs. Obama has been asked to campaign in some areas because she has better approval ratings in the polls than the president. Let’s not him go out like that. If you bought an Obama t-shirt or hat that you no longer wear, put it on today and wear it as proudly as you did on the day after he was elected.
Our communities need a rebirth of the pride and unity it had just two short years ago. Support the man you put into office as though now were then. Let’s hype up this November election like our lives depend on it. The president’s political life just might.