It’s become increasingly clear since last week’s U.S. Presidential election (though it was pretty clear even before that) that there are a fair number of people who are in crisis. People who are now going off the rails. Wives running over their husbands, people committing suicide, relationships in tatters, and so on—so much of it related to post-election angst.
It sure doesn’t help that the fella who had the not-so-good fortune of losing seems to be the leader in this parade of “just can’t let go of the dream.” Mitt Romney on a conference call to supporters reportedly told them that Obama had a bigger turnout because of the freebies he promised his core constituents. His core constituents of course being the Blacks, Browns, and whoever else—mind you, I just paraphrased but it gets to the heart of what Romney stated. For starters why is Romney still having so-called private discussions? Dude after that 47% incident maybe you need to watch what you say in so-called private discussions. This is 2012; nothing is private.
I am less concerned though with what Romney said and more concerned about Romney’s sense of personal responsibility. Look, Romney is part of a group that believes heavily in personal responsibility and it seems to me that personal responsibility is a two-way street. That means a willingness to acknowledge one’s shortcomings and take responsibility for them. The truth is Romney and his clan had a weaker strategy and more importantly they greatly discounted how much the changing racial and cultural demographics would mean in this election. Funny thing is both on my blog and in columns I have talked extensively about America’s browning and what that will mean to America. Guess Romney and the folks he employed don’t read my work or the work of any of the other folks out there who have discussed these issues. Sorry, Mitt. Let it go.
Closer to home in Maine, in the continuing saga of GOP folks losing their minds, we have outgoing Republican GOP Chair Charlie Webster. “In some parts of the state, there were dozens of black people who came in to vote,” Charlie Webster said in an interview. “Nobody in town knew them.” When I first saw this report, I was flabbergasted. Egads! Whole dozens of Black folks showed up in towns just to vote and no one knew them. Of course Mr. Webster didn’t name any towns, so the accuracy and veracity of his claims is suspect already, but the implication for those of us who are Black and who make Maine our home is that we don’t belong.
Choosing to live in Maine as a person of color is already an arduous task. For starters, Mainers aren’t always the most overtly warm and friendly bunch and in places like this it takes time to build connections. I have a Black associate who lives in the same town as me and has probably been here almost as long as I have, yet we rarely see each other even in a city of only 16,000. Now one might think surely we should see each other often, after all there aren’t that many Black folks here, but the reality is we are out living out living our lives.
There is also the fact that Webster’s assumptions play into the outdated notion that Blacks aren’t in Maine. Yes, Maine is a pretty homogenous state but Blacks have a deep history here in this state and to imply otherwise continues to show just how outdated and out of touch from reality the GOP has become.
If there were some voting hijinks going on, I hardly think anyone was sitting around and making a plan that included an idea to bus some Black folks into Maine. Maine has 4 electoral votes; sure, every one of those votes counted but not nearly enough to plan for the type of deception that Webster’s words seem to imply.
The bottom line is that the GOP needs to take a little responsibility for their loss and their inability to connect with the current electorate and not the one they dreamed of in their heads. Let go of these dangerous and harmful fantasies, guys.