This week, the Democratic Party will hold its first presidential debates, a two-day affair Wednesday and Thursday at the Adrienne Arsht Center presenting 20 candidates. And not a single one has shown they can energize voters the same way Donald Trump gasses up his racist base to go to the polls.
The Democratic field is mostly composed of career politicians who can't relate to the average American because they don't have the backbone to say what they really feel and believe in. And their records show they don't stand up and fight for every American.
Let's start with the frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden. He's hoping voters remember him only as the cool old white dude who had Barack Obama's back. Yet during his years in Congress, Biden supported measures that hurt African-Americans, such as the 1994 crime bill that has contributed to the rising U.S. prison population of the past four decades.
Recently, Biden reminded everyone he was a member of the good ol' boy network in Washington. At a New York fundraiser, he boasted that Congress ran much more smoothly in the '70s when he was able to get along with two well-known segregationists, James Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia. Facing an avalanche of criticism, Biden defended his comments about his willingness to work with avowed racists.
Yet he's got uppity black political hack Symone Sanders (who had a problem with my calling out Sen. Kamala Harris) sticking up for him and doing damage control with black voters. When Sanders attacked me, she was attacking black men. Biden didn't do his due diligence, because a lot of black men and women on Twitter were appalled by her comments.
Regarding Harris, she built her career as a San Francisco prosecutor and California attorney general by increasing the state's prison population and putting as many black people in jail as she could. She began her ambitious political career by dating former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, one of the nation's best-known black politicians. When she finally reached the top, she married a rich white guy.
Recently, Harris was one of 18 Democratic senators to vote against appointing local judge Rodney Smith to a lifetime federal judgeship simply because Trump nominated him. Though Smith is a member of the conservative Federalist Society, he has never forgotten his roots. The Liberty City native and Miami Northwestern High alum graduated from Florida A&M University, the largest historically black college in the state. Florida's black voters won't forget Harris picking her party's interests over a qualified black man.
The other prominent black candidate is Sen. Cory Booker. In the hood, people expected Booker to be more street than Obama because the senator is from Newark, New Jersey, considered the blackest city in America. Booker could have been the real hip-hop candidate. Instead, he wants to give people history lessons about what Martin Luther King Jr. did. No one wants to hear that shit.
Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, two of the other top Democratic contenders, are promising free college tuition and student-loan debt relief for everybody, plus a national minimum-wage increase to $15 an hour. It's unrealistic to propose higher education will be free. That's political bullshit, because there's no way they can make that happen.
Sanders and Warren are not offering any new ideas to give minorities more opportunities to own businesses and create their own financial success. The two senators should be proposing banking regulations that afford African-Americans the same opportunity as white applicants to qualify for loans to open their own companies in their communities.
Then you have Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, a city with a population of 100,000 and a budget of $368 million, who has become a media darling because he's the gay presidential candidate from Middle America.
Meanwhile, presidential candidate Wayne Messam, Miramar's mayor, oversees a predominantly black city where the median annual income is $64,000. His city, with its nearly $300 million annual budget, is one of the richest African-American communities in the nation. But he can't get an invitation to even the second-tier stage because of the Democratic Party's stupid rule that candidates must raise a certain amount of money to join the debates.
No one should be surprised when Trump wins reelection in 2020. There's not a single Democratic candidate who can connect with the people.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.