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Response to bravenak (Reply #441)

Mon Aug 3, 2015, 11:04 PM

453. So, basically, a lot of Black voters are happy with Obama and liBer

idea that Hillary will probably continue Obama's policies.

Is that what you are saying?

Bernie supporters are coming from the ranks of people who have not made economic or social progress during the Obama administration, people who lost their jobs around 2008 or their homes or have had to accept income cuts or who want to have a bank policy that puts government in charge of the banks as well as ardent opponents to Citizens United who like Bernie because he doesn't take money from the billionaires.

Very interesting. How do we bring these people together?

A friend of mine (a white woman in her 50s) sent me a very pro-Bernie e-mail today. She was a teacher, lost her job, felt she was unfairly treated (she was) and is unable to get back on her feet. A lot of young people graduated from college only to find that they can't get decent jobs. The son of one of my friends did well in college and now earns only enough for his girlfriend and he to sleep in a van at night.

A lot of people have lost out and have suffered really seriously from it in the past few years. Look at Detroit. Almost nothing was done to prevent serious deterioration in that city.

And of course this is not all Obama's fault. Although certainly the programs he proposed and headed to deal with the broken economy in 2008 did not address the issue of professional people and skilled workers in a lot of fields other than construction who were jobless and unable to get good jobs.

The economic picture is just so bleak for so many people. That is why Bernie is appealing. Could it be that it has been bleak for Black people for so long that they don't notice the contrast, the decline quite as much? If you have any opinion on that, let me know.

How do we unite this party when the perceptions about the past eight years and the direction and prioritization of social values versus economic policy are tearing us apart at a very deep, foundational level?

I don't think that the emphasis on economic issues is making people less supportive of the social, especially race and immigration issues. But rather the emphasis on economic issues helps bring people to the polls and also to a heightened awareness of the intransigence of the race issues.

I think that the existence of these horrible videos is making it more acceptable and even mandatory for white people with consciences to speak out. It is very hard to deny evidence like the video of Sandra Bland's arrest. The meanness in that video is just offensive to any person. And then when you see the videos of Sandra Bland speaking on race issues, you have to ask whether an internet search was made of her name during the five minutes that the officer spent in the car between the initial stop and then the officer's return to the car and his goading of her.

These videos are heightening white awareness of the race issues in the country. That is bringing Democrats more strongly together on race issues. It is a shame that it takes something like horrible videos to do that, but at least it is working.

But I wonder how Black people can be brought to understand the fears and anxiety and suffering of white people who have, as Bill Clinton used to say, "played by the rules" and been cheated by trade agreements and tax policy and the Bush and Obama administrations' leniency with the financial sector.

Another big problem with Obama for a lot of white liberals is is education policy. I don't think it has helped to unite the country, and a lot of students and teacher have been hurt by it. Of course, some of that hurt is due as in most cases today to congressional policies.

And that brings me to the most important question of 2016. How do we get more Democrats into local government and into Congress? That is the big challenge we face.

Considering how successful the Obama administration has been in many respects (no huge scandals that were real for instance), why was the 2014 election result a Republican Congress?

If people were really happy with Obama, wouldn't they be out voting for Democrats? Wouldn't they have gone to the polls to give him a Congress he could work with?

On edit, there is so much vituperative discussion on DU, I want you to know that I am really interested in your take on this. Thanks.

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