BY THE FLORIDA COURIER EDITORIAL STAFF
Donald Trump’s message of taking a figurative brick through the plate glass window of the political status quo in Washington, D.C. is something that should have energized Black America, which lags in so many quality-of-life indicators when compared to our White fellow citizens.
Trump’s “change” mantra is not much different from Barack Obama’s call for change in 2008 – though many of us are still waiting for the change to come as the Obama administration comes to an end.
However, for many reasons, Obama was a more credible messenger. And perhaps Trump’s message would be more credible and potent if it came from someone else.
But Donald Trump is who he is. And for our editorial staff, it was the “Access Hollywood” TV show’s “hot mic” recording that told us what he is like behind closed doors.
So while many women subsequently saw him as a misogynistic sexual predator, we believe he revealed himself as the whiny, thin-skinned, paranoid personification of White male privilege that has dominated the United States of America politically, financially, and culturally since America’s founding fathers crowed loudly about human rights that they and their descendants denied to women and people of color for some 200 years.
If you know what’s important to Trump, look where he spends his money.
Trump has ignored the Black press after claiming that he would compete hard for the Black vote.
He has spent little or nothing on serious investments in media or consistent outreach to the Black community, not even to diehard Black Republicans. He is trying to carve off a handful of Black votes “on the cheap” – one of the few strategies he has in common with his Democratic Party counterparts.
Still, we evaluated, listened, watched, and analyzed Trump’s positions on the issues as well as his reactions to daily events while he is in the pressurized environment in which a major party candidate for president exists.
We are comfortable with the general conclusion that he is unfit to be president.
If not Trump, then whom?
If Trump is the personification of White male privilege, Clinton is the personification of 50 years of the Democratic Party’s belief in its unearned political entitlement to Black votes and unquestioning Black support.
As such, deciding whether to even make a recommendation in one of the strangest presidential campaigns in recent history, our editorial staff fell into one of a number of camps.
There are those who believe that Donald Trump is an existential threat to Black America, and thus, are not willing to “waste a vote” on a third-party candidate. This contingent sees a vote for anyone other than Hillary Clinton as a vote for Donald Trump. And they enthusiastically believe she will make a great president.
The second group sees Clinton as the “lesser of the evils.” They believe Black people may do better under Clinton, but they are not enthusiastic about her candidacy. They question her judgment and performance as secretary of state in the Obama administration, her lack of transparency, and her ties to Wall Street, among many other concerns.
Still a third group shares the concerns about Clinton, but views this election through the long lens of political history. They see Clinton and Trump as different sides of the same political coin, and evaluate a vote for a third-party candidate as an opportunity to vote against the duopoly of America’s current two-party system that is awash in money from large private businesses, multinational corporations, and rich individuals.
We see this largely as a choice between voting for Hillary Clinton, or voting for one of the two third-party candidates, with the understanding that our editorial staff’s hesitancy and reticence, to large extent, reflects the lack of enthusiasm and the mistrust of the American voting population for both the GOP and the Democratic Party in general.
OUR RECOMMENDATION: ANYONE BUT DONALD TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT
We have NO RECOMMENDATION for the U.S. Senate race. Our general editorial policy is to ignore people who ignore us. And Black voters have generally been ignored by both candidates as well as by the Republican Party of Florida and the Florida Democratic Party.