After two years of stump speeches and political slander, the 2016 presidential election is in its final days. Unless everyone in our country is suddenly struck with an urge for white privilege and aggressive narcissism, former Secretary of State and our Problematic White woman, Hillary Clinton, will probably defeat the stale bag of cheese known as Donald Trump in the presidential election. I am very confident that Secretary Clinton will be a great president, and I trust that she will govern with a progressive agenda. What I’m not so sure of, is what kind of prioritization African Americans will be given under a Clinton administration.
Let’s be honest, Secretary Clinton has a lot of work ahead of her, so far she has promised comprehensive immigration reform, the repeal of Citizens United, virtually free tuition for public colleges, Wall Street reform, and an increase in the federal minimum wage. All of this is supposed to happen under a Congress that is best known for its incompetence, and open hostility to people of color, women, and anyone from the LGBTQ community. She might get some of what she wants, but it will be with multiple caveats, and a lot of people are not going to be happy. So where does that leave us? After November 8th, 2016 There will only be two things that scare her: super predators and the possibility of being a one-term president, we must use this fear against her (the one term thing, not super predator.)
As voters, we must create the kind of atmosphere that puts fear into the hearts of our elected leaders. Secretary Clinton specifically, but all of our elected leaders need to know that we’re not with the
sh*ts nonsense. Our message must be crystal clear, “when we elect you into office, you either deliver on your policy and administrative promises or prepare to start updating your resume, because we’re sending you to the unemployment line.” If she falls short on her campaign promises, but made an honest effort to deliver on what she said, we can’t be mad. As our president, we will have to win and fail with her. However, if she never makes an effort, or completely ignores the demands from our communities, if she chooses to side with a historically racist establishment over us, we will be in a position to make her pay. With her job.
There are only a few things that politicians like Secretary Clinton truly care about. In no particular order, those are money, relationships and votes. As a frustrated community, we have the ability to impact all of these.
Money Isn’t the Root Of All Evil, It’s The Fuel
Money is, and this is the idealist in me, the second most powerful tool in politics. When you have money you can influence elections, pick your preferred candidate, fund campaigns, drive policy, and if all else fails without you getting your way, leave the country for somewhere nicer. The super rich have an unlimited pool of money, and they have used it to do all of the actions listed above. Their ability to change the political landscape can be discouraging, but it doesn’t have to be insurmountable. Individually, we may not be able to take on a millionaire, but put your dollars with mine and a million other supporters and the financial conversation changes. If Secretary Clinton, or any other candidate is cozy with wall street and not holding them accountable from fear of losing campaign funds then we should be funding her, so that she doesn’t need to toe their line. Money talks, and with the dollars invested comes accountability, because the minute she breaks from the program we are now the ones that hold the power. If she completely drops the ball, we have our dollars available to invest in someone who will get the job done.
Relationships Are Important. You Can’t Move People If They Don’t Bang With You
An elected with no friends is either unemployed or useless. At the base of all political influence is one simple thing. Relationships. When you have a vast network of friends and associates, it gives you the ability to work as a connector, influencer and deal maker. When those same people are also supporters and willing to have your back through tough times, you start to transform from an elected official to a savvy politician. But political friendships/relationships are about as stable as Damon Dash’s credit score. It might look firm, but with a slight nudge in the right direction, it will all come crumbling down.
Hillary has a long list of friends and allies in the political and private sector, if and when she lets us down, we need to go after her relationships. Undermine them by any means necessary. Threaten to strip funding from their allies projects, use your community funded machine to run someone in their district, leverage your financial influence to put an important relationship at stake and let them know why you’re doing it.
Build Coalitions Of Popping Ass Leaders
While all of this is happening always be looking for mutually beneficial partnerships and coalitions. An army of one may sound good in theory, but in practice, they lose almost every time. The opportunities for partnerships are ripe. We should be connecting with the LGBTQ community on campaigns, our voices should be heard in the debate around immigration reform. The people who are at risk of deportation look a lot like us, and they are struggling with the same things as us. Imagine if we connected with these groups, took on their issues, supported them as allies, and then went after the system? We would be unstoppable.
Power Comes In Many Forms, But It Can Only Be Channeled By Those who Can Identify It.
Power in politics is the ability to move someone or someones to action or control the conversation and direction of a process. Most politicians have some kind of power, very few of them are powerful. The most Powerful leaders have a combination of money, relationships, and office security. The most confident politician is the one with no fear of losing her elected seat. We may not be able to compete with our opponents dollar for dollar, but with numbers, we can leverage our voter potential for power. Relationships and money are useless for an elected official if they’re voted out. And if we want these people to finally start listening to us, we need to utilize our most powerful tool. The vote.