Must Vote Total Ballot: Local, State and Federal

I am blown away by people who don’t vote.  My friends tell me to be nice but forget that.  You can sit in the cold to watch high school football but not vote.  You can play Call of Duty the video game but not vote for or against the guys who decide when, where and how long real troops serve.

Let me, oh let me mention Gore vs. Bush.  So, the Democrats on Capitol Hill helped President Bill Clinton put the nation in good shape but the working people Dems fight for fail to vote.  Al Gore falls to George Bush by a margin that could be one south Florida housing project.  Oh, the conservatives would say how dare you give short-term public assistance to poor people who refuse to pick these citrus crops and maybe they have a point but vote and let your concerns be heard.  Some say the farm workers’ wages are too low…then vote.  Hey, you can protest on the streets but voting and attending city council and school board meetings get stuff changed legally.

Why Vote:

Obama Legacy: If you appreciate the service of President Obama and how First Lady Michelle Obama carries herself, vote to stop Trump from moving into the White House and reversing everything on day one. As President Obama said recently, Hillary Clinton would be the most qualified person to enter the Oval but you know how it is for women in a man’s world. She will put her personal style of diplomacy on the office and that style is similar to Clinton and Obama.

Healthcare: Trump can’t wait to dismantle Obamacare on the federal level but don’t sleep on the governors like Deal in Georgia who won’t expand Medicaid for all. The insured use the emergency room as a doctor’s office and at that point the illness is costly. If everyone had a minimum level of healthcare coverage, early detection of health problems could save trillions but that would be too much like right. Prevention and wellness would be even better; the doctor tells you to get that weight down and if you don’t, you dug your own grave.  You can’t save people from themselves. Politicians get campaign donations from hospital, drug and insurance lobbyists so maybe it’s true that they want people to remain sick. Vote!

National Defense: Have mercy, are we going to let hothead Trump have the nuclear codes? Everyone has friends and family who joined the military to serve and because the uniform has job security. They see the world, stay paid and learn valuable leadership skills. We should watch who is in the White House and Congress because our best and brightest shouldn’t die because leaders want to act macho.  If the bombing starts, leaders are in that famous “undisclosed location” while my cousin is on the front line.  We must vote if we carry about the troops and their families.

We know big business makes billions when America goes to war; some people think corporate interest want war so they can supply the troops.  Big business does business in a nasty way around the world and when the people get weary of their leaders allowing this exploitation, Wall Street wants the Pentagon to get the situation back to normal.  Our interest in the Middle East is rooted in our thirst for oil.  The next president should have a comprehensive plan to make us energy smarter while being more respectful on the global stage….that John Wayne cowboy stuff doesn’t work anymore.

Jobs/Wages: My hourly wage from UPS in 1983 is still a desired wage today but the cost of everything has gone up. Trump-type CEOs are only interested in the bottom line profits. Mr. Trump rightfully says we don’t make anything in America anymore…and he should know because he is a major exporter of jobs.  Young people must keep their bills low as they train for high tech careers in the new global economy.  Today’s jobs require fewer people so we must elect leaders who create the proper climate for industrial attraction.  The future workers must be sober, focus and attentive because the developing world is enthusiastic about doing better and taking out our position on top.  America IS great today but we must work hard and smart to keep it that way.

Schools: We must elect local, state and federal officeholders who are committed to a good education for all kids. To be honest, the conservatives seem more interested in providing vouchers so their kids can get into private schools or homeschools…just get them away from poor folks. Georgia has a constitutional amendment on the ballot this year that seems to improve underperforming schools but the real purpose is to close or privatize those schools.  You see what they do when you don’t vote.

Better schools start with involved parents who speak proper English 24/7, require reading, reduce T.V. and video games, attend teacher conferences, check homework and vote.

The effort to privatize public schools is an attack on the teaching profession; teaching and the military has traditionally been an opportunity for families to move into the middle class.  The next generation of teachers will also serves as role models and cheerleaders for kids.  We should elect leaders who recognize this reality.

Crime/Freedom: The elected City Council selects a city manager who often selects the police chief who sets the police mentality. The police have always been my friends and if I am wrong, I am wrong.  But, I don’t need police who seem to be overseers of the public. President Bill Clinton got Congress to pass a Crime Bill that included an emphasis on community policing—get out of the car, get to know the people, connect with the youth, honor the seniors and people will appreciate enforcement when it happens.

My community is too busy playing Grand Theft Auto to vote; therefore, real GTA is happening on the streets.  Yes, friends quietly mention that we are killing each other more than the police are killing us.  We must vote for elected officials with compassion; leaders who rightfully encourage all citizens to be cool when dealing with the police and insist that the officers do the same.  Prison is like modern day slavery so all Americans should avoid those places.  State representatives and senators spent decades with that “lock ‘em and toss the key” mindset before realizing that corrections cost more than college.

While we were voting state officials created junk laws and policies like “stop and frisk” in New York and “stand your ground” in the South.  In high crime areas, the police frisk random people but you don’t need to frisk me in Harlem if a crime hasn’t been committed by someone who looks like me.

How, how, how did we let those fools pass Stand Your Ground.  Let me understand this mess: if I feel like I am in danger (not real danger, just I feel endanger) I can start shooting rather than walking away. It’s the cowboy mentality and mind you, I think all of those hip hop youth are dangerous thugs.  Stand Your Ground is open season on people who don’t look like you. i.e. college students in timberland boots, White guys with tattoos. Wow.


Six reasons to vote but check this: the last six times I voted early, it didn’t take 10 minutes.  A football halftime show last longer but this isn’t a game…the stakes are too high.  Washington and Atlanta officials whisper that poor people don’t vote and stats say they are right.  I say we all should vote in every election for every ballot item.

Finally, there is something to be said about association.  The conservatives who openly denounce the farce candidacy of Donald Trump should be commended.  The same can be said about the vast majority of Muslims who abhor terrorism and regular citizens who would never advocate gun attacks on the police. Reasonable people who are quietly standing around as the GOP is being hijacked by far right zealots should be ashamed.  It wasn’t the Klan doing all the nasty stuff during Jim Crow.  State, local and federal elected officials were doing the same things because we weren’t allowed to vote.  Vote or we are going back to the future.  In the spring, Trump said he was going to “act” presidential after the primary.  After winning the White House, I think he would act like himself…like a dangerous tyrant.

Squeaky Wheel Ad spot

You Tube Video/Radio Spot Draft

The squeaky wheel gets the grease.  In politics and policy, our community has been too quiet too long.  We watch every game that comes on T.V. on Sunday but we need to watch the game being play every day.

Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.  The other side is very vocal and can be nasty but they vote.  One voter might carry more weight than 100 non-voters.  Non voters are basically invisible.   Governmental decisions are often vital in the lives of those non voters.  It seems rough to say but people getting any form of temporary public assistance should be the first ones in line to vote.  Real talk.  Folks fight a fight that helps you while you are at home.  Really?

Some on the other side say “I want my country back.”  Who exactly took your country?  On the real, “this land is your land..this land is my land….this land was made for you and me.” Like the old reggae song said “we can’t sink while others float…because we are all in the same big boat.”

A seat at the table for everyone—a seat secure by voting and providing constant input.  We can use smartphones and social media for something important rather than mess.

What is on the decision-making table?

  1. Imagine some presidential candidates with access to nuclear weapons; someone without a diplomatic bone in his body. Vote if you don’t want the success of the Obama White House reversed on day one.
  2. We all have family in the military (some there because there were no job opportunities at home.) It’s our duty to question where they are sent, why they are going, and what is the exit strategy for bringing them home. Home folks need to be mission-ready.
  3. Getting manufacturing jobs back from overseas—we don’t make anything here anymore. Jobless people can be problems waiting to happen.
  4. Is school choice really the resegregation of schools? Can good kids have the opportunity to learn in a drama-free environment? Can we train young people for real world careers?
  5. Drug abuse and its’ associated crimes lead to costly prison sentences and makes good people afraid in their on neighborhoods. That money could be better spent on college and vocational training.
  6. Our community needs an honest discussion about the limited role of government. Uncle Sam isn’t daddy.
  7. How can my personal improvement start with me and mine… “Ask not what this country can do for you…”

Best Interests Initiative: Why and What

Background: The Democrats in Georgia have a well-earned reputation of overlooking or mismanaging rural voters.  They see the population of metro Atlanta and five other urban areas as priority one.  However, a decent showing from rural Democrats is still vital for electoral success – stay close in rural areas and win the state in the cities.

The rural effort for Democrats centers on bringing back White voters and the traditional Democrat Party will continue that work.  The far Right section of the conservative movement has pulled them so deep into their ranks; they are gone for the near future.  However, this vacuum creates the opportunity for Democrats to increase their moderate to conservative section for those put-off by the current GOP’s angry mentality.  We think infrequent Blacks and young voters can replace the former Dixiecrats for now.

Problem: Georgia Democrats’ effort in non-Atlanta normally involves using pastors and civil rights leaders.  However, these efforts are “preaching to the choir” because regular church members tend to vote with little encouragement.

Question: How do we effectively turnout those rural voters who supported the election of President Obama twice?

Answer: We need a well-planned effort to push a Get Out The Vote message that is aggressive and too direct for any official campaigns, official party or traditional Democrat-supporting organizations.  In short, we need an outside force – a positive version of the Tea Party – that hits hard regarding voting and participation.

Substance: As bloggers, we have crafted the message for years.  We know what the people in this region need to hear and how they would like to provide their input.  We need to build a brand that emphasizes:

  1. How the other side ignores us – no seat at the table.
  2. How southerners are by nature less bitter; how we sincerely want a better nation and state.
  3. How solutions must be sought; solutions that generate better-informed citizens.
  4. Goals/Objectives/Measurable Results. i.e. Target certain areas with desired numbers.

How: Social media and radio ads drive traffic and followers to webpages/facebook groups. That network is used in Fall 2016 to populate rallies, draw media coverage and drive turnout.

Two groups of principal supporters:

  1. Traditional Eyes and Ears: Listed hosts who represent segments of the professional community as well as experienced Democrat leaders who acknowledge that a different approach should be explored. T.E.E. would ensure that this effort doesn’t cross the line.
  2. Trendsetters: In every targeted area, Trendsetters would be those who literally “move the crowd” with their personalities, social media savvy and event sponsoring skills. If you have 10 trendsetters following this effort, you have 100 people who trust and follow them and the ripple effect reaches thousands.

Party with a Purpose:  As with a family reunion or old school function, clean music and good friends will pack a hall.  We just need 10 minute breaks at the top of the hour to push our points and to request “blasting” on social media.

Funding: We need an initial amount of funding to organize legally and fund test areas now.  If that seed money cultivates measurable success (social media numbers), the operation goes wide during the election season in the fall.

Targeted Areas: Of course, we would prefer being the base of rural GOTV for the entire South but let’s start by targeting the area of south Georgia not served by a Democrat congressman—the 8th congressional district and the non-Savannah section of the 1st congressional district.  Our efforts would actually still radiate into the 2nd congressional district and other congressional districts slightly north of the heart of Georgia.

Resourcefulness: The Best Interest Initiative could serve as the foundation for an ongoing dialog on voter education/role of government.  Another associated blogger has one of the best networks/databases in the state.

Proving Grounds: It’s no secret that the farm system for Democrat leaders is weak.  From city hall to the state house to Capitol Hill, the next generation of leaders might cut their teeth with us.

Target Areas

Phase 1 (8th and part. 2nd Congressional Dists.)

  1. Thomasville, Valdosta, Bainbridge
  2. Tifton, Moultrie
  3. Warner Robins/Perry, Fort Valley, Milledgeville


Phase 2

  1. Waycross, Brunswick, St. Marys
  2. Hinesville, Statesboro, Vidalia
  3. Albany, Americus, Cordele
  4. La Grange, Griffin, Newnan

Target Areas are based primary on areas where President Obama received over 4,000 votes in 2012 and often areas with limited Democrat elected leadership.  Areas were then grouped based on geography and natural region.  College towns frequently made the list because engaged students’ social media influence radiates back to their home towns.