Monday, February 02, 2004

Advice to Democrats selecting a Vice President...

More people watched the Super Bowl yesterday than will vote in November. This is, sadly, always the case. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Vincent Jones at About US Liberals has some advice on how to - at least - potentially get out the black vote in large numbers.

...Why is the field of potential veeps so narrow? More importantly, why is it so devoid of color? Why not have a Black running mate?
Race has been the proverbial elephant in the room throughout the primary season. Howard Dean ruffled some feathers by conjuring the image of the Confederate flag to highlight the Republican’s continued use of Nixon’s Southern Strategy. The good doctor from Vermont was also chided for not having any Black people in his cabinet when he served as Governor. John Edwards’ whole campaign is rooted in the idea of two Americas, separate and unequal. While the North Carolina Senator does not cite race as the only factor responsible for two Americas, he does acknowledge it is a major cause.
With the focus on race and diversity this year, why don’t the Democrats use it to their advantage? Besides, Black people are the Democrats most loyal supporters come election time.
As it stands the potential Democratic tickets bantered around face an uphill battle in sparking the interest of those who can have the greatest impact on their chances of victory.

That would all change the second the eventual Democratic nominee for President chose a Black person to help him defeat President Bush and set America on a new course. African-Americans reared in the Civil Rights era and those of the Hip Hop generation alike would see that ticket as an opportunity to vote for someone rather than merely vote against someone else, as many Black people feel when voting for a Democrat.

Yes, this strategy would be playing the race card. But is it any worse than Democrats only tipping their hats to the black community every four years? This would certainly go a long way toward concretizing their ideas to many black voters and giving them something that would speak directly to a community that seems to be used for convenience by whomever is running the country.