Believe It or So What: Mama Told Me There Would Be Elections Like This
As children we all said it. We did not do the obvious. “I did not break that lamp,” you might have said. “The dog did it. The cat did it. The goldfish jumped out of its bowl and slapped my sister.” Twice.
You would look askance. Your head would be bowed, and you stretched credibility to its core. But the deed was done. Your parents looked at your shame and possibly called a Catholic priest for the phone number to an exorcist even if your family was Baptist.
It happened to me. I had done something weird and foolishly incorrect based on horribly bad judgement. I resisted the truth for as long as I could. It did not work because I said I could not have done it. I retreated to hiding in the family bomb shelter. Of course, we did not have a bomb shelter - just an old tin sheet lying against the backyard fence.
It was really shelter for rodents, spiders, and snails, who waited patiently for stupid children to enter their small domain. I could see them laugh and sneer. “Ain’t that the stupid kid that was here last week,” the spider would say, while they would be shooting dice or playing other unsavory games. “It would take us a week to eat that kid and he don’t look too appetizing to me,” the rodent would snarl. “How did he avoid bathing for a week? Perhaps he was being raised by the wolves on 12th Street.” But the neighborhood wolves would always deny parentage and blame it on the neighborhood raccoons.
But I digress. Politicians always deny responsibility for their verbal gaffes, heinous actions, and bad lapses in political and personal judgements.
“I was possessed by Satan. No, it was aliens from outer space. No, it was my in-laws. No, it was that old shoeshine guy over on Beacon Street. You know the one with the glass eye.”
Deny. Deny. Deny. It was never credible, just expedient. And sadly, there is always a core of folks, mostly nonvoters, who believe them. “You can’t get me to vote because all of them are liars or crooks. The system is corrupt and it can’t be changed. Remember. I voted thirty years ago, and nothing changed.”
The 2024 national elections are approaching rapidly. No perfect candidates have thrown their hats in the ring. Even if the Second Coming emerged as a political party, some skeptics would deny His existence because the changing of water to wine would deflate the California wine industry and others would question the spread of fish and loaves as being questionable fare for vegans.
The question of lesser of two evils have haunted many voters, particularly African American males who have previously voted for Democratic Party candidates. Their votes have faded increasingly while many Republican candidates have demonstrated support for even stronger anti-democratic and anti-constitutional bills across the nation.
Their candidates take pride on reversing voting rights; gerrymandering local districts to stifle the election of African American candidates; meandering regarding water and health and safety issues in poor and working-class communities; criminalizing giving water to citizens waiting to vote in long lines and slashing a woman’s right to make decisions regarding their bodies and more. In the recent Mississippi gubernatorial election of 2023, voters in some communities waited for hours because many election precincts never received sufficient ballots. The Republican governor easily won reelection.
And the leading Republican presidential candidate has queried out loud in the past, why black people are not smart enough to vote for him. Recently he said if reelected that he would only be a dictator on “…the first day only.”
In the past three national elections African American women overwhelmingly voted for candidates who have demonstrated the need to protect established rights and privileges they believed are integral to them and their families.
Is it really a question of lesser of two evils or perhaps African American women have a sixth sense regarding the pernicious threats to their communities and eventually to the nation. It does not have to be entirely logical to men, but take another look at your life, perhaps your mother was right more often than you are ready to admit.
By G.L Tyler