Tag Archive: joe biden


palps-empire

Where do I begin?

Consoling my mother who thought she would vote a woman into the Oval Office in her lifetime?

Trying to find something to say other than ‘I’m sorry’ to my friends who have children and have to try to explain to them (especially the girls) what happened and why?

Pretending I have a comeback for the Muslim women who are in fear of wearing hijab in public, when I’ve been looking at the map myself and saying ‘I like road trips, but I am NOT taking any chances of a car breaking down in me in rural America right now.’

I’m like everyone else right now (or I guess, half of you).  I’m angry.  I’m shocked.  Frankly, I’m depressed.  I’ve already dipped back into a couple of my old vices, and frankly, if you feel mentally shot (and of course you’re not hurting anybody), a sanity check is as understandable right now as it’s ever been.

The gallows humor has provided a little relief.  But it’s been very fleeting today.  I don’t have any ‘everything is going to be alright’ quotes for you right now.  The shock and the embarrassment (for those of us who think about how we’re perceived by the rest of the world) is too strong.  Among many questions that come to mind today…

How Sexist Are We Exactly?  Phrased another way, would Bernie have beat Trump? (Possibly but him being Jewish might have had a similar effect). Would Joe Biden, who’s definitely in the same ballpark as the President-elect in terms of being charismatic and passionate, and in the same ballpark as Hilary as coming from the working class and having spent a lifetime in public service, would Joe have won?

Would Hilary have beaten any of the ‘traditional’ Republican candidates, or is the Clinton fatigue that strong?  Maybe the most depressing hypothetical that ties to the original question…what type of woman will one day become President of the United States?  Black people know better than most how ‘perfect’ Obama had to be to win and thrive as President.  And the vibe many of us feel today, to paraphrase the great Paul Mooney, is that, ‘It was OK for us to have a little fun, but we had too much fun’ with a black First Family.  And there had to be repercussions.

What’s done is done for now.  For the near future, I think I’m done writing scripts.  One of many things this year as a whole has made me consider is, my true passion as a writer (and the full scope of my vocabulary) comes out in nonfiction.  And with a Republican President, a Republican Congress and a Republican Supreme Court, I don’t think I’ll have a shortage of topics or events that stoke my fire. When I speak as I’m speaking now, you’re clearly getting the voice of a Muslim, an African-American, a liberal.  When I’m doing skits and plays and movies, that’s me too, but that’s me as a performer bringing another person’s voice to life. I take a lot of pride in helping others bring their vision to life as well, so it’s not that the two things automatically contradict each other.   But right now I feel, maybe the time has come to be even stricter in terms of ‘artist/citizen’.  We’ll see how it plays out.

Like I said, I have no platitudes to try to make you feel better right now.  A lot of us feel we took an historic L yesterday.  We’re down but not out.

Never out.

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Most of you were correct in your assumption of where I stood this year, and I can’t imagine anyone who is politically aware being undecided one way or another at this point, so I’ll try to keep this short.

I’ll go ahead and say his name now.  Given several opportunities to walk back his insulting comments to the Muslim community as a whole, Trump keeps doubling down (and going after the Khan family he seems to be tripling down) on the Islamophobia.  I’m past anger or resentment; I’m not ignoring that he’s giving voice to what his base thinks and feels.  I have reached that fatigue point where I don’t need to see, hear or step foot in any building with his name on it ever again.  Who else gets away with insulting the parents of a soldier who died for this country?  The word that comes to mind that describes this whole charade is ‘privilege’.  Let’s leave it at that for now.

Cynical as I’ve become over the years, the Democratic Convention last week was an ‘event.’  It’s already been lost in the shuffle, but you have Kareem Abdul-Jabbar out here cracking jokes?!?  Am I taking crazy pills?!?

Seriously, going in most of us looked at that lineup of speakers and figured Hillary on her best day would still be third (behind the two former Presidents).  Depending on who you felt personally attached to, she might have been seventh (Khan, Biden, Bill, both Obamas, Bernie).  And saying that, I still think she gave the best and most presidential speech I’ve personally ever heard her give.

Whether your problems with Hillary are valid (DNC corruption, Clinton fatigue) or invalid (you’re uncomfortable with the idea of any woman being the leader of the free world), this election she’s the better choice.  For the third presidential election in a row, there is a historical precedent in play, but somewhat unbelievably, the gap that separates the better major party choice is infinitely wider this year than it was in 2008 and 2012.

#ImWithHer

 

While every Presidential election is hyped up as having the potential to ‘change the direction of the country’, 2012 represents a year where that could be the case regardless of who wins next week’s election.  President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney have established different viewpoints on several important issues, and have messages that cater to two completely different demographics. In this election, I’ll be voting for the re-election of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.  I’ll give you a few (but not all) of my reasons below:

1. Obama is the more progressive of the two candidates.

‘Socialist’ is too extreme (and we will be coming back to the ‘e’ word), but an argument could be made that President Obama is the most progressive Commander in Chief in a long time.  It certainly hasn’t been perfect, but a real attempt has/is being made on reforming health care in America.  You can be cynical and call it a political ploy, but the fact remains as a sitting President up for re-election, Obama came out in support of gay marriage.

Vice President Biden brought up an excellent point in the Vice Presidential debate: in the next four years, it seems very likely that 2 new Supreme Court Justices will be appointed.  The legality/legal repercussions of the issues we debate now (and issues we haven’t thought of yet) will be going in front of the highest court of the land.  My personal preference is that the man making nominations for these posts would be a man with an already proven track record as a forward thinker.  Which brings me to point 2:

2. Degree of Difficulty

For some of the reasons mentioned and a largely understood but unspoken reason (don’t worry, I’m getting there), the sitting President of the United States has had one of the higher degrees of difficulty for his term in office to be considered a ‘success’.  We’re looking at a long road ahead before ‘the average American’ most likely will look at his (and his family’s) state of affairs and call it ‘prosperous’, but there is a sense that things are ever so slowly turning.  Unemployment numbers are moving again in the right direction, the housing market appears to have bottomed out.  As Commander in Chief, there was a plan for Iraq, there was a plan for Osama bin Laden; for those reasons, I’m willing to give President Obama some leeway when it comes to foreign affairs.  In terms of the alternative…something’s left to be desired.  Beyond the economy and Obamacare, you could bring up Guantanamo, Syria…a number of things to challenge the Obama presidency.  It feels like it started to come out during the debates, but why does it feel that way.

Which brings us to number 3:

3. ‘There, but for the grace of God go I.”

Man, listen.  Politics is probably the dirtiest business there is.  Even if you’ve never run for political office, in the ‘real world’ you’ve probably seen more politics than you’ve ever wanted to (even if you’re not always aware of it).  From nearly his first day in office, President Obama has exposed a very, very ugly side of this country.  Something beyond “Bill Clinton is a womanizer,” or “George W. Bush is a frat boy legacy kid.”  This is Donald Trump demanding a birth certificate (most of us learn in middle school you have to be born in this country to run for President; even someone as cynical as I have enough faith in our National Security to trust they would notice something that glaring.)  This is Hank Williams and Ted Nugent telling their fans about our ‘Muslim President’.  Obama is not a Muslim I assure you, but if he was…what is the problem?  And yes, of course, this is the Tea Party.

Now I know my fair share of Republicans.  We come from different backgrounds and obviously have different ideas about how to handle society’s problems.  That’s America.  You have ideas, I have ideas, we find a middle ground in the give and take, and keep the peace without resorting to disrespect.  That’s how politics usually function.  Maybe he didn’t have a choice in the current climate, but Governor Romney has chosen to embrace the most extreme elements of the Republican Party.  In 2012, it was probably what he had to do to win the Republican nomination.  In 2012, it was also, simultaneously, a move that antagonized a significant number of moderate minded voters (I’ll spare you a pun about an exact percentage).  But having said that, it should keep the President, the Democratic Party and many others wide awake for the next two weeks that for some of the things that have been said, no one feels this will be a landslide re-election.

Regardless, my vote will be going for Obama-Biden 2012.  My last point is just that; vote.  I’ve heard some of my more militant brothers and sisters say they’ll abstain from voting.  They have their reasons.  But as I’ve often noted, I’m a direct descendant from the rural South.  Any ‘right’ that my ancestors have bled and died for will always be a right I take full advantage of until the day I die.

Lighter subject matter later this week (I promise).