• Lincoln, Martin Luther King, And The Not For Sale African American Vote

    January 7, 2024
    Civil Rights leaders pose in the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Washington DC, August 28, 1963, Public Domain.

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    Neo-Progressive leftists in the United States are bewildered.

    How is it possible that former President Donald Trump, the campaign footstool of Democrat opponents, is gaining in reliable polls after a bevy of prosecutors has thrown everything but the kitchen sink at him?

    A few weeks ago, they hurled the kitchen sink at Trump. Several states pulled Trump’s name from their ballots, citing dubious Constitutional authority. Their reasoning was as follows: 1) The January 6, 2021 protest run wild at the state Capitol in Washington DC was an insurrection; 2) Trump participated in the insurrection, more or less by word of mouth, when he encouraged protestors to march “peacefully” on the Capitol in which electors were casting ballots for president; 3) therefore, Trump had engaged in a conspiracy that amounted to an insurrection.

    All of these propositions have been challenged, none of them in court, by people that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton once called, in the heat of her presidential campaign, “a basket full of deplorables.” That basket was large enough, some campaign scholars asserted following Trump’s victorious presidential campaign, to deny Hillary the presidency.

    Why hasn’t the assertion that Trump had engaged in an insurrection been tested in court? The concise and correct answer is: None of the multitudinous Trump prosecutors have charged in any of their formal citations that Trump himself had engaged in an insurrection, very likely because they know such a charge could not be defended before any judge who had a nodding acquaintance with the Constitutional provision they cite as supporting their untried claim.

    African Americans -- who know a few things from personal experience about judicial imperfections – appear to be drifting towards Trump, much beset by a judicial establishment used recently to decide political and sociological questions by judicial fiat, a bad habit that corrupts both the judicial and legislative process.

    In early November 2023, The New York Times published a worrisome story, As Black Voters Drift to Trump, Biden’s Allies Say They Have Work to Do.

    According to the one-year-old Times Story: “Black voters are more disconnected from the Democratic Party than they have been in decades, frustrated with what many see as inaction on their political priorities and unhappy with President Biden, a candidate they helped lift to the White House just three years ago.

    “New polls by The New York Times and Siena College found that 22 percent of Black voters in six of the most important battleground states said they would support former President Donald J. Trump in next year’s election, and 71 percent would back Mr. Biden.

    “The drift in support is striking, given that Mr. Trump won just 8 percent of Black voters nationally in 2020 and 6 percent in 2016, according to the Pew Research Center. A Republican presidential candidate has not won more than 12 percent of the Black vote in nearly half a century.

    “Mr. Biden has a year to shore up his standing, but if numbers like these held up across the country in November 2024, they would amount to a historic shift: No Democratic presidential candidate since the civil rights era has earned less than 80 percent of the Black vote.”

    And the news in the Times story touching on Democrat strategists may be even more nerve wracking: “A number of Democratic strategists acknowledged that the downbeat numbers in battleground states extended beyond Black voters to the party’s core constituencies, warning that the Biden campaign had to take steps to improve its standing, particularly with Black, Latino and younger voters. The Times/Siena polls surveyed registered voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.”

    When Democrat strategists raise such doubts, it may be time to begin looking for a hole in the hull of the Democrat Party.

    Martin Luther King told us that African Americans wanted to be included in the American experiment in freedom and liberty. They did not want to be patronized by those who could not properly appreciate King’s important distinction between the content of one’s character and the color of one’s skin. King’s message, delivered from the Lincoln Memorial, was Lincoln’s message.

    “The Almighty has His own purposes. ‘Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.’ If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’”

    These words, graven on the North Wall of the Lincoln Memorial, were burned into the brain and marrow of King and other notable black leaders such as Fredrick Douglas. They fittingly served as a backdrop for King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.

    Lincoln and King are the north stars of American freedom and liberty. We wander far from them at our own peril. Nothing is more fearful than to be on the sea without compass or hope of return to a safe landing.

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    Author

    Don Pesci

    Don Pesci is a political columnist of long standing, about 40 years, who has written for various state newspapers, among them The Journal Inquirer, the Waterbury Republican American, the New London Day, the Litchfield County Times, the Torrington Register Citizen and other Register Citizen papers. He maintains a blog, among the oldest of its kind in Connecticut, which serves as a repository and archive, for his columns; there are approximately 3,000 entrees in Connecticut Commentary: Red Notes From A Blue State, virtually all of them political columns stretching back to 2004. He also appears once a week Wednesdays on 1080 WTIC Newstalk radio with Will Marotti.
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