Monday, January 26, 2004

Okay, I'm rolling up my sleeves, Dean-style

Howard Dean--he may not be the Democrats' nominee, but he's sure as hell their conscience--is absolutely right when he says that the only way to beat Bush is to empower (that is to say, to deliver--by "any means necessary"--to the polls in November) the enormous numbers of new voters who are--cutting through the bs here--of darker skin tones than we whitie liberals. We have the message, for God's sake.

Here's what's happening to jobs among young black males. Startling, eh? You'd think there'd be riots in the streets. But no. What there is is apathy. The black vote, overwhelmingly Democratic, will be once again overwhelmingly silent unless we--that's you and me and the candidate and his energies---can grab them by their necks, by their souls, by their instinct for self-preservation and self-fulfillment, and get them to vote!

Same thing with the brown vote. I've talked about the Nascar Dads. They're a hopelessly ignorant bunch, whose idea of "the news" is Hannity, Limbaugh and Faux News. No way to change their minds between now and November. Maybe never. They may be the residual blight of the failed capitalist system.

But their brown counterparts, whom I call the "Oakland Raider Dads," the Latino males with backward-worn ballcaps and big trucks. What about them? They're no better off under Bush (they're worse off, actually, under his new "let them eat cake" immigration policy, which allows the labor market in the border states to be swamped by low-paid foreigners). In fact, Latino males, many of whom react favorably to Bush's "macho-don't fuck with me, dude" attitude toward foreign policy are the hardest hit by his economic slant. He cuts programs in education, health care, transportation, daycare, insurance--all of which mean less income to the lower-paid segment of our culture, i.e., the newer arrivals, the browner skinned Americans.

Here's the deal: If we're going to Beat Bush it will only be by swamping the polls with new voters: blacks, browns, youths, who've not voted in earnest before. Otherwise, my fellow citizens, it's Four More Years.

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