A Democratic resurgence
The black vote in America has matured in the present Democratic Party primaries for 2020. That does not mean that the black vote results will always have to be uniform. That is an issue for another time when the Republican Party may have recovered from the demise of its reputation for failing to meet its obligations in the impeachment of Donald Trump. Right now, as American Democrats select their nominee for the November election, blacks have been playing a major role in the democratic process.
For most blacks the primary objective has been to replace Trump with a president who is willing to comply with the Constitution and maintain the power of all three branches of government: the executive, the legislative and the judiciary. Until recently, with so many Democratic candidates, it has been difficult for the average citizen to differentiate the advantages or difficulties of each political philosophy proposed.
Joe Biden is the candidate whose charisma seemed to be the most appealing to blacks, but he was not succeeding in early primaries and there was some concern that black voters would look elsewhere if they thought he might not be able to defeat Trump.
But something extraordinary happened before the pivotal vote on Saturday, Feb. 29 in South Carolina. On Wednesday before the vote, Rep. Jim Clyburn, who is the highest ranking African American in Congress, decided to endorse Joe Biden. Before his formal endorsement, Clyburn tweeted, “In South Carolina, we choose presidents. I’m calling on you to stand with @JoeBiden.”
At the endorsement press conference Clyburn spoke of his acquaintance with Biden when both were in Congress. Clyburn affirmed, “I know Joe. We know Joe. But most importantly. Joe knows us.” Clyburn continued, “I know where this country is: We are at an inflection point. I am fearful for the future of this country. I’m fearful for my daughters and their future, and their children and their children’s future.”
Clyburn was able to articulate what was on the minds of many people. With his solid reputation of wisdom and probity developed over decades of public service, Clyburn was able to influence the outcome of the black vote throughout the Deep South. With victories in 10 of the 14 states voting on Super Tuesday, Biden whizzed past Bernie Sanders to take the lead in the Democratic primary.
The sudden emergence of Joe Biden after the South Carolina and Super Tuesday votes induced other Democratic Party competitors to drop out of the race, including Mike Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Tom Steyer and Amy Klobuchar. Now the competition is between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.
African Americans are generally aware of the power of their vote in the Democratic Party. Blacks left the Republicans en masse in 1964 when the leaders of that party opposed passage of the Civil Rights Act. Since then, blacks have campaigned for the freedom, justice and equality that is promised for all citizens by the nation’s creed. Over the years, Republicans have been less than enthusiastic about that goal.
Blacks are aware that charisma alone will not implement their primary objective to remove Donald Trump from office in the 2020 election. The most effective way to accomplish this is to have a massive turnout of Democrats on Election Day, joined by independents and conservatives who now oppose Trump’s erratic and unconstitutional style of government.
It is clear to many blacks that Biden is the candidate most likely to achieve this objective. Sanders has been unable to inspire the massive numbers he predicted to vote for him in the primary elections. Also, there is no indication that many from Trump’s base will cross over to vote for Sanders.
Many African Americans are aware that the continuation of Trump in office is hazardous to the welfare of blacks and others. Support for Joe Biden is now considered by many Americans to be the wisest course of action.