Black Angelenos not ready for Hillary
LOS ANGELES, June 6, 2016 — Former Secretary of State Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for president. The Democratic establishment will not allow a 74-year-old socialist to drag them down into McGovern-Mondale territory in November. The grassroots are in full rebellion. They are screaming that they do not like or trust Hillary Rodham Clinton. She is an incrementalist, and they want a full-scale revolution.
Hillary plays for keeps, and with help from a complicit media she is determined to push the narrative that the Democratic primary is over. Rather than trust the voters, she wrangled enough superdelegates into her column to giver her the required 2,383 delegates necessary for the nomination. Announcing this turn of events through the Associated Press the day before the California primary was likely done to invalidate the results in case of a Clinton loss.
Hillary’s hardball may look like a brilliant power play, but it is more a sign of desperation. Hillary is desperate to be president. Whenever the Clintons get desperate, they turn to blacks.
When President Bill Clinton was facing impeachment, black Americans saved him. Singer Toni Morrison labeled Bill Clinton America’s first black president long before Barack Obama entered the national political scene. Blacks have given 90 percent of their votes to Democrats. In 2008, blacks propelled Obama to an upset presidential primary victory over Hillary Clinton. In 2016, blacks are the only reason Hillary Clinton has the slightest of pledged delegates leads over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The message to any Democrat running for national office is simple: When you lose blacks, you lose the election. When they stay home, that is not an embrace of Republicans. It is a rejection of Democrats. The same blacks who walked through fire for Obama are cool toward Clinton.
The numbers are what they are. Hillary Clinton’s Los Angeles rally in downtown Los Angeles was specifically meant to rally blacks. She came to their neighborhood. It was the right thing to do, and Republicans would be wise to stop ignoring these neighborhoods. Unfortunately for Hillary, blacks are not stupid. They know she shows up only when she needs something.
One day after a Sanders rally in Los Angeles drew 10,000 people, Hillary failed to muster 1,000. Two days after Hillary zipped threw a 12-minute speech in Los Angeles, this time she mustered 16 minutes. Sanders spoke for over an hour at his event. His crowd wanted more. So did Clinton’s crowd, but both sides offered the bare minimum.
While waiting in line, a fair number of blacks lamented the low turnout. They astutely noted that politicians cannot be blamed for absences when they show up and the neighborhood does not. Blacks have every right to be frustrated by one party that ignores them and another party that destroys their lives through broken promises of hope and change. Where blacks go wrong is giving up and not showing up.
To be fair, most people do not like being bored. Obama and Bill Clinton are many things, but when they are at the top of their game they are anything but boring. Clinton knows how to give a speech, and Obama does when it matters most. Hillary Clinton lacks the talent of these two men. She will still get the lion’s share of the black vote, but she is losing plenty of those votes to those who choose none of the above.
Hillary will have to run a scorched earth general election campaign. Through campaign surrogates, she will accuse Donald Trump of everything from killing Martin Luther King Jr. and Muhammad Ali to burning crosses at Selma. Trump will most likely help her along due to his lack of discipline.
What Hillary will not do is convince the Democratic Party’s most loyal supporters that she can improve their lives in any way. They had a black president for eight years, and their lives have not gotten better beyond the symbolism of his election.
Hillary survives by being against things and people. She needs enemies to survive. She may outlast Sanders and his lily-white constituency. She may even survive a Republican Party that still has not made inroads in black America. She is at best the default option, the least worst option. Even the most loyal Democrats cannot motivate themselves to listen to her grating insincere voice.
That is why America’s second largest city, with over 402,000 blacks, saw more than 401,000 of them decide against hearing Hillary speak. She came to their neighborhood. They did not care. They have heard it all before.