To Be or Not To Be…A Democrat?

To Be or Not To Be…A Democrat?
Hardy L. Brown. Photo by Benoit Malphettes

Hardy L. Brown. Photo by Benoit Malphettes

For the first time in my life as a lifelong registered Democrat I am contemplating changing my political affiliation after this election. To what, I am not sure. But it’s a thought that has been lingering in my mind for several weeks. I could choose Decline to State, the fastest growing designation in the state, I’m just not sure I’m ready to not be part of a political party. 

Donald Trump is now head of the National Republican Party and with his divisive rhetoric and extreme cabinet nominations, I cannot go there. However when I consider views of many of the local Republicans who represent us in the state legislature, and whose views on business and job creation and sustainability are like those of moderate Democrats, I would at least give it a second look, although I just don’t think that would be enough to earn my registration. When I consider the recent racially charged “Them verses Us” campaign we endured with progressives attacking moderate Democrats, using race as a wedge, I believe we have to come together and develop a new strategy to combat this ideology before it consumes all of us in a bitter racial war. 

So, in my opinion, we have racism against Blacks from some of the most ultra conservative segments in the Republican Party and racism against Blacks from the ultra progressive segments in the Democratic Party. In my opinion, my only choice seems to be between two extreme groups that have taken over our two major political parties. I now refer to them as the Alt-Right and the Alt-Left. And as an African-American concerned about social justice issues – including economic justice — I consider both to be hostile territory.


In my mind African-Americans must regroup and remember what Former Congressman William L. Clay, Sr. said at the Founding of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1971: "Black people have no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, just permanent interests." 

Much of the work is being done through candidate advocacy organizations masquerading as voter registration organizations heavily funded by Billionaire Tom Steyer the progressive elite and certain labor groups. They have been described in one article by Steve Phillips as A New Apartheid: "The reason that the strategy and spending is so misguided and wasteful stems from the third structural flaw: the almost apartheid-like structure of the Democratic Party and progressive movement. The monochromatic composition of those who control most of the money in progressive politics more closely resembles old South Africa and not the rainbow coalition of voters who elected Obama and Clinton. The leaders and top staff of the Democratic Party and the progressive movement do not reflect the racial diversity of the party’s base. These managers, in turn, do not possess the cultural competence to run effective campaigns in a racially polarized electorate."

He continues: “Of the more than $1 billion spent in this election, hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on television ads targeting swing voters. On the independent side, when plans for the first $100 million of outside spending were announced in the spring, no money was allocated for mobilization of Black voters who made up 23 percent of all registered Democratic voters in 2012. Eventually, $20 million was moved to efforts to turn out Black voters, but that was still less than 10 percent of the more than $200 million spent by the outside groups”. Phillips went on to say that that the people at the top hold the big purse strings to move the puppets below. 

So I’m left in limbo. Why should I as an African-American, registered Democrat fight a racial war within my own party with those who believe and act like Donald Trump’s Alt-Right supporters. 

Next week: Progressive Politics in the Inland Empire

About The Author

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