Tuesday, November 6, 2012


                                                     w-ed-THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES

            In spite of North Carolina being the only battleground state not to vote for him this election, President Barack Obama ran the table Tuesday evening, and made history by becoming the only African-American in history to be re-elected president of the United States.
            That was good news.
            Democratic incumbents on the NC Council of State all won re-election.
            And right here in Wilmington, citizens voted “absolutely not” against the $37 million baseball stadium that the City Council had proposed.
            So based on those few triumphs, Election Day 2012 had its moments.
            But there were outrages.
            District 18 state House Rep. Suzi Hamilton, who represents parts of New Hanover and Pender counties, won re-election, and then immediately vowed to work for tax reform in the Republican-controlled NC General Assembly.
            “Tax reform” for whom, may we ask? Hamilton’s district has a significant poor and black population. This newspaper has been in this district for well over 80 years, and it is a certainly that we’ve never reported on the black community demanding tax reform.
            So where is Hamilton getting her marching orders from?
            Apparently from business interests who mean more to Rep. Hamilton than the majority of her constituencies.
            That means she isn’t serving, or advocating for the people who need her representation the most.
            And you wondered why The Journal wouldn’t endorse Hamilton for re-election.
            And then there’s the debacle that is the New Hanover County Board of Education.
            Thanks to Tuesday’s election returns, all seven seats on the NHC School Board will now be inhabited by seven Republicans. No Democrats, no African-Americans, and ultimately, no representation on a board that promises to continue to ignore the vital needs of our children.
            That means it is incumbent on our community to show up at school board meetings, and speak loudly, clearly and persistently about our issues, challenging this GOP school board to govern and deliberate in a fair and inclusive fashion. We must be ever vigilant about what policies are being discussed (cause Lord knows there will be no debate with these GOP’ers), and how they will ultimate affect our children.
            We have to be prepared to demand our rightful share of resources for the schools that our children are assigned to attend. Beyond that, we must demand the highest quality of teachers be assigned to those schools, and that stronger efforts be mounted to attract the best black teachers to come to work in the NHC Public School System.
            Keeping a sharp eye on the new, GOP-dominated school board will take a lot of work. We must be as knowledgeable of the critical issues facing our school system as board members are, and develop strategies to weigh-in when the time for public input is at hand.
            Until such time that we can once again elect members who directly represent us, we all must be fully engaged to challenge a NHC School Board that will be arguably working against our interests.
            In the tight Congressional District 7 race between Cong. Mike McIntyre and Republican challenger state Sen. David Rouzer, in which McIntyre is less than 600 votes ahead of Rouzer at press time Wednesday, we’re going to just have to wait to see if Rouzer asks for an official recount once all of the absentee and provisional ballots have been counted.
            Rep. McIntyre may be a blue dog Democrat, but overall he has served our community well, and we wouldn’t want to lose his leadership.
            In the Lt. Governor’s race between Democrat Linda Coleman and Tea Party Republican Dan Forrest, just over 11,000 votes separate the two with Forrest in the lead. He has already claimed victory, even though Coleman, an African-American, will not concede the race until all of the ballots are counted.
            If Coleman could somehow overcome those 11,000 votes, she would be a tremendous asset in representing our interests in the new Gov. Pat McCrory administration. Coleman’s voice would definitely be buttressed by the Democratic votes that obviously went to Republican McCrory, assuring his victory Tuesday night.
            Indeed, as of January 1, we will have a Republican governor and a Republican-controlled state Legislature. That means there will be laws passed that will further hurt education, cut funding to social services, and limit the basic right of voting.
            With the GOP-leaning redistricting maps assuring Republican dominance in the General Assembly for at least the next ten years, that means there will be a constant struggle by our community for what is right, and what is just.
            Are you ready, willing and able, community?

LINES OF PRIDE - African-American turnout across North Carolina, like heer at Chavis Community Center in Raleigh, was at least 60 percent this election. Contrary to earlier reports of poor black voter turnout, and in direct contradiction to conservative black pastors who told African-Americans to stay home, blacks proudly waited on long lines here and across the nation to re-elect President Obama, and display their disgust with voter suppression efforts against them. [Cash Michaels photo]



            In the state Senate races, Democratic incumbent Dan Blue ran unopposed in District 14. In state House races, Dist. 33 Democrat Rosa Gill and Dist. 38 Democratic newcomer Yvonne Lewis Holly were victorious. Embattled Wake School Board member Chris Malone, a Republican embroiled in an alleged sex scandal with fellow board member Debra Goldman, won his District 35 seat against Lori Milberg.
            Wake County Board of Commissioner James West won re-election unopposed, while incumbent Betty Lou Ward, a Democrat, defeated her opponent, Paul Fitts, 56-44 percent. Newcomer Caroline Sullivan also won a seat on the county commission board.
In the Wake Superior Court Dist. 10 E race, incumbent Judge Abraham Penn Jones was defeated by Bryan Collins, 52 percent to 48 percent. In Dist. 10B, Judge Mike Morgan ran unopposed.
Wake County voters overwhelmingly approved bonds for Wake Tech.

            The $37 million Wilmington baseball stadium referendum went down in flames as voters overwhelmingly voted against it.
            Voters returned Democrat Jonathan Barfield to the NHC Board of Commissioners
            State House District 18 Rep. Suzi Hamilton, a Democrat, was re-elected to a second term.
            State Senator Thom Goolsby, a Republican, was re-elected to his District 9 seat, defeating Democratic challenger Deb. Butler.
            On the NHC School Board, Democrats Karen Clay Beatty, Emma Saunders and Elizabeth Redenbaugh fell short of winning seats after being defeated by Republicans incumbent Jeannette Nichols, Tammy Covil and Lisa B. Estep.
            Arthur Brownell, 78, was elected to the New Hanover County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors.


By Cash Michaels

            While Republicans were licking their wounds across the nation after the re-election of Democratic President Barack Obama Tuesday, the GOP in North Carolina were celebrating history with the election of Gov.-elect Pat McCrory.
            McCrory, the former mayor of Charlotte, handily defeated Democrat Lt. Gov. Walton Dalton 54 to 43 percent in a race for governor where the outcome was never in doubt. McCrory is the first Republican in 20 years to win the NC Governor’s Office, the third in North Carolina history, and for the first time ever, will govern with a Republican-led NC General Assembly.
            That means North Carolinians can expect a Gov. McCrory to sign a new, restrictive photo voter ID law as soon as the GOP legislature passes it next session. Citizens can also expect major education reforms, policies favoring big business, and cuts to social programs for the poor.
            McCrory said he prided himself on winning office by only pushing a positive message of leadership. However, campaign advertising run on behalf of McCrory against Walter Dalton by outside 527 groups portrayed the Democrat as a tax-and-spend liberal.
            “Our goal was not just to become governor and get elected,” McCrory told well-wishers on Election Night in Charlotte Tuesday. “Our goal was to be governor, and lead.”
            What is also means is that for at least the next four years, Republicans will be completely in charge of North Carolina’s economy, advances in education and overall progress.  And thanks to GOP-drawn redistricting maps, the Republicans can rule the General Assembly for at least the next ten years, unless the courts strike the plan, which is currently in litigation, down.
            That’s one of the reasons why Republicans poured at least a million dollars into the state Supreme Court race backing incumbent GOP Associate Justice Paul Newby over state Appellate Court Judge Sam Ervin IV. Newby won that nonpartisan race Tuesday, thus maintaining the Republican majority on the NC High Court to protect the GOP maps.
            Current Gov. Beverly Perdue congratulated McCrory, promising him that her staff will cooperate to ensure a smooth transition by the time he is sworn in at the end of the year.
            One key element that remains unanswered at press time Wednesday is who will serve as the state’s new lieutenant governor. With 100 percent of precincts across the state reporting in, Republican businessman Dan Forest and Democrat Linda Coleman are knotted at 50 percent each. However, because Forrest holds an 11,000 vote lead, he has already claimed victory.
            The final count won’t be known until all outstanding provisional ballots are counted.
            If Forrest, a Tea Partier, ultimately wins the tight race, then a Gov. McCrory will be pushed from his right on policies.
            If Coleman somehow wins as lt. governor, then the Democrat is expected to urge McCrory to build bridges to legislative Democrats for the purpose of bipartisanship once in office.
            A breakdown of the final votes for McCrory and Dalton show that Dalton actually beat McCrory in the One Stop early and absentee votes by well over 80,000 votes. But on Election Day, Dalton was crushed by over 300,000 votes polling for McCrory.
            “We knew it was tough when we got into this race, and we did the best we could with limited resources,” Lt. Gov. Dalton told sad supporters Tuesday night during his concession speech. “We have not lost because we have been on the side of opportunity and progress for this state.”
            In other election night news, NC House Republicans gained a 77-43 member super-majority in the Legislature, while the state Senate also maintained its GOP majority 32-18.
            However the Democratic crossover vote that Pat McCrory enjoyed to win the gubernatorial race, did not translate to coattails for other Republican candidates running for the NC Council of State.
            All of the Democratic incumbents won re-election, including State Auditor Beth Wood over troubled Republican challenger Debra Goldman of the Wake County School Board; NC Supt. of Public Instruction June Atkinson defeating John Tedesco, also of the Wake County School Board; and NC Sec. of State Elaine Marshall winning over Republican Ed Goodwin.
            For Congress, Democratic Dist. 1 Congressman G. K. Butterfield; Republican Dist 2 Congresswoman Renee Ellmers; Republican Walter Jones in Dist. 3; Democrat David Price in Dist. 4; and Democratic Congressman Mel Watt in Dist. 12 were all winners.
            In District 8, incumbent Democratic Congressman Larry Kissell lost to Republican Richard Hudson after black Democrats, accusing Kissell of ignoring their issues, deserted him for a write-in Democrat candidate.
            And in District 7 the race between Democratic incumbent Congressman Mike McIntyre and Republican challenger state Sen. David Rouzer stands at 50 percent each, as McIntyre leads by just over 500 votes.
            In the nonpartisan Appellate Court judge races, judges Wanda Bryant and Linda McGee were easily re-elected, while incumbent Judge Cressie Thigpen fell to Chris Dillion, 53 to 47 percent.

Obama is Re-elected to Second Term
By George E. Curry
NNPA Editor-in-Chief

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – After riding to victory in Ohio on the strength of his successful auto bailout plan and a come-from-behind victory in Virginia and possibly Florida, President Barack Obama was re-elected Tuesday to a second term.
Obama was ahead of Republican challenger Mitt Romney Tuesday night by approximately 1 million votes in the general election, but is expected to win the Electoral College by a much larger margin when electors meet on Dec. 17 to officially determine who becomes the next president of the United States. Of the 538 electors, Obama needed only 270 to win. He is poised to collect approximately 322 votes in the Electoral College.
Although experts had predicted a long night before a victor would be declared, NBC News announced Obama as the projected winner at 11:12 p.m., EST immediately after declaring Ohio for the president. Virginia, Nevada and Colorado joined the Obama column, helping to swell his Electoral College victory over Mitt Romney 303 to 206 at press time Wednesday morning.
The only major battleground state that the president lost Election Day that he won in 2008 in North Carolina, where he came up short two percentage points.
Obama was swept to victory on the strength of a progressive coalition of blacks, Latinos, young people, single women, Jews, union members and gays. He won about 40 percent of the white vote, down about 3 percent from 2008, and 69 percent of Latinos.
Speaking to cheering supporters in Chicago, Obama said: “While our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up. We have fought our way back. And we know in our hearts that, for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.”
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden carried most of the swing states, including: Michigan, Romney’s birthplace; Massachusetts, where Romney served as governor; New Hampshire, where  Romney has a summer home; Wisconsin, the home state of Congressman Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee, as well as Pennsylvania
Obama was leading Romney in Florida by about 45,000 votes, or 0.53 percentage points, as of early Wednesday morning. At that time, 99 percent of the state’s 8.27 million votes had been counted.
In a brief speech in Boston, Romney said, “I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction. But the nation chose another leader. So Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation.”
Democrats maintained their majority in the Senate and Republicans kept their grip on the House. In closely watched races, two Republicans who had made controversial remarks about “legitimate rape” and abortion  – Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana – were defeated in their Senate contests. Elizabeth Warren, an outspoken liberal, defeated Republican incumbent Scott Brown in Massachusetts.  Rep. Tammy Baldwin will become the first known lesbian to serve in the U.S. Senate after defeating former Gov. Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin.
In a major surprise, black conservative Republican Congressman Allen West was trailing Democrat Patrick Murphy 159,959 to 157,578 with 99 percent of the vote counted as of Wednesday morning. West’s district was redrawn to include more Republican voters but apparently that may not be enough to save his seat.
Another Black conservative, Saratoga Springs, Utah Mayor Mia Love, lost her bid to unseat Rep. Jim Matheson, losing by less than 3,000 votes.
Obama’s re-election, and Democrats maintaining control of the US Senate, means that the Affordable Care Act, also known as" Obamacare," probably will not be repealed as Republicans had hoped.
The president, who made two Supreme Court appointments in his first term, will most likely get an opportunity to make another appointment to the court, possibly two. Depending on who retires from the court, Obama’s appointments could alter the direction of the court, which has been drifting to the right.
His first challenge will be a budget showdown with Republicans, who want to reduce the deficit solely through spending cuts. Obama, on the other hand, is insisting on a combination of cuts and increased revenue, including repeal of the Bush tax cuts that favor the wealthy.
Exit polls showed that the economy was the top issue on voters’ minds. The polls also showed that voters blamed George W. Bush more than Obama for the sluggish economy. In addition, voters also said they trust Obama more than Romney to protect the middle class.
Obama’s re-election victory set off a round of speculation about what Republicans need to do to remain competitive in national politics.
Republican strategist Alex Castellanos said on CNN, “This is not just going to be a loss for Mitt Romney…This is going to be a repudiation of the Republican Party. Democrats moved to the middle  – new Democrats – and they transformed their party. Republicans are still the party of ‘no.’ We’re not seen as having enough solutions.”
Another CNN analyst, David Gergen, said Obama needs to make some major concessions to Republicans, but James Carville disagreed, saying elections have consequences.
Since the election, everyone has been speculating on whether Tuesday’s outcome will increase the prospect of House Republicans working more closely with the White House. Although no one claimed to have the definitive answer to that question, there were signs than the rancor between the president and conservatives is not likely to evaporate soon.
Some conservatives started raising questions about the size of Obama’s victory, saying he should not interpret the results as a mandate. They didn’t raise similar questions in 2000 when George W. Bush was declared the winner after receiving 500,000 fewer popular votes than Al Gore, his Democratic challenger.
And Donald Trump was being, well, Donald Trump.
He tweeted about a dozen rants, including: “We can’t let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty. Our nation is totally divided!”
He said in another one, “The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.”
The Electoral College has its roots in the U.S. Constitution.
“Article II, Section I of the Constitution, as amended in 1904 by the 12th Amendment, sets forth the requirements for election of the President and Vice President,” said a Congressional Research Service report.  It said the Constitution “authorizes each state to appoint, by whatever means the legislature chooses, a number of electors equal to the combined total of its Senate and House of Representatives delegations, for a contemporary total of 538, including three electors for the District of Columbia.”
State electoral votes are reported to Congress, which usually meets in a joint session on Jan. 6 following a presidential election. However, because Jan. 6, 2013 falls on a Sunday, Congress will probably meet the following Monday or Tuesday.
Vice President Joseph Biden, as president of the Senate, will preside over the joint session. He will open the electoral vote certificates from each state in alphabetical order and pass the certificates to four vote counters or tellers, two appointed by the House and two appointed by the Senate. After the votes are counted, the results will be announced by the vice president.
The electoral outcome has matched the popular vote in 47 of the 51 presidential elections since ratification of the 12th Amendment in 1804. The exceptions were 1876, 1888 and 2000 when George W. Bush was declared president after losing the popular vote to Al Gore. No candidate won the majority of the Electoral College vote in 1824, leaving the election of the president to the House of Representatives.
As Trump’s comments show, the debate will continue over whether the Electoral College should be replaced by direct elections.
The Congressional Research Service report noted, “Proponents of direct popular election argue that it is simple, democratic, and foolproof: the candidates with the most popular votes would win under any conceivable circumstance. Opponents, and defenders of the electoral college, claim that the existing system is an integral and vital element in the U.S. federal system, that it contributes to a stable and ideologically diverse two party system, and that it has delivered the ‘people’s choice’ in 47 of 51 presidential elections since the 12th Amendment came into effect in 1804—what they characterize as an excellent track record.”
     Cash Michaels contributed to this report.


                    THE PRESIDENT IS REELECTED - Pres. Barack Obama, seen here Tuesday night with his daughters Sasha and Malia, and wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, celebrates his historic re-election. [file photo]



McCormick Place

Chicago, Illinois

  November 7, 2012 at 1:38 A.M. EST

     THE PRESIDENT:  Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward.  (Applause.) 

It moves forward because of you.  It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression; the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope -- the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family, and we rise or fall together, as one nation, and as one people.  (Applause.)   

Tonight, in this election, you, the American people,  reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.  (Applause.)   

I want to thank every American who participated in this election.  (Applause.)  Whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time -- (applause) -- by the way, we have to fix that.  (Applause.)  Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone -- (applause) -- whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard, and you made a difference.  (Applause.)   

I just spoke with Governor Romney, and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign.  (Applause.)  We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply, and we care so strongly about its future.  From George to Lenore to their son Mitt, the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service, and that is a legacy that we honor and applaud tonight.  (Applause.)   

In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.  (Applause.)   

I want to thank my friend and partner of the last four years, America’s happy warrior -- (applause) -- the best Vice President anybody could ever hope for -- Joe Biden.  (Applause.)

And I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago.  (Applause.)  Let me say this publicly -- Michelle, I have never loved you more.  I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you, too, as our nation’s First Lady.  (Applause.)  Sasha and Malia,  before our very eyes, you're growing up to become two strong, smart, beautiful young women, just like your mom.  (Applause.)    And I’m so proud of you guys.  But I will say that for now, one dog is probably enough.  (Laughter.)  

To the best campaign team and volunteers in the history of politics -- (applause) -- the best.  The best ever.  (Applause.) Some of you were new this time around, and some of you have been at my side since the very beginning.  But all of you are family.  No matter what you do or where you go from here, you will carry the memory of the history we made together, and you will have the lifelong appreciation of a grateful President.  Thank you for believing all the way, through every hill, through every valley. (Applause.)  You lifted me up the whole way.  And I will always be grateful for everything that you've done and all the incredible work that you put in.  (Applause.)     

I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly.  And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics who tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos, or the domain of special interests.  But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies, and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym, or saw folks working late at a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, you'll discover something else. 

You’ll hear the determination in the voice of a young field organizer who’s worked his way through college, and wants to make sure every child has that same opportunity.  (Applause.)  You’ll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer who’s going door to door because her brother was finally hired when the local auto plant added another shift.  (Applause.)  You’ll hear the deep patriotism in the voice of a military spouse who’s working the phones late at night to make sure that no one who fights for this country ever has to fight for a job, or a roof over their head when they come home.  (Applause.)    

That’s why we do this.  That’s what politics can be.  That’s why elections matter.  It's not small; it's big.  It's important.

Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated.  We have our own opinions.  Each of us has deeply held beliefs.  And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy.  That won’t change after tonight -- and it shouldn’t.  These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty, and we can never forget that as we speak, people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.  (Applause.) 

But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future.  We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers -- (applause) -- a country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation, with all the good jobs and new businesses that follow. 

We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt; that isn’t weakened by inequality; that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.  (Applause.)   

We want to pass on a country that’s safe and respected and admired around the world; a nation that is defended by the strongest military on Earth and the best troops this world has ever known -- (applause) -- but also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being. 

We believe in a generous America; in a compassionate America; in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag.  (Applause.)  To the young boy on the South Side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner.  (Applause.)  To the furniture worker’s child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a President.  That’s the future we hope for.  That’s the vision we share.  That’s where we need to go.  Forward.  (Applause.)  That's where we need to go.       

Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there.  As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts.  It's not always a straight line.  It's not always a smooth path.  By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock, or solve all our problems, or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus, and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward.  But that common bond is where we must begin.

Our economy is recovering.  A decade of war is ending.  A long campaign is now over.  (Applause.)  And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you.  I have learned from you.  And you've made me a better President.  With your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do, and the future that lies ahead.  (Applause.)   

Tonight, you voted for action, not politics as usual.  (Applause.)  You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours.  And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together:  reducing our deficit;  reforming our tax code; fixing our immigration system; freeing ourselves from foreign oil.  We've got more work to do.  (Applause.) 

But that doesn’t mean your work is done.  The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote.  America has never been about what can be done for us.  It’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government.  (Applause.)  That's the principle we were founded on.   

This country has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich.  We have the most powerful military in history, but that’s not what makes us strong.  Our university,  culture are the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores. 

What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on Earth -- the belief that our destiny is shared; that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another, and to future generations; that the freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for comes with responsibilities as well as rights, and among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism.  That's what makes America great.  (Applause.)      

I am hopeful tonight because I have seen this spirit at work in America.  I’ve seen it in the family business whose owners would rather cut their own pay than lay off their neighbors, and in the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see a friend lose a job. 

I’ve seen it in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb, and in those SEALs who charged up the stairs into darkness and danger because they knew there was a buddy behind them, watching their back.  (Applause.)   

I’ve seen it on the shores of New Jersey and New York, where leaders from every party and level of government have swept aside their differences to help a community rebuild from the wreckage of a terrible storm.  (Applause.)   

And I saw it just the other day in Mentor, Ohio, where a father told the story of his eight-year-old daughter, whose long battle with leukemia nearly cost their family everything, had it not been for health care reform passing just a few months before the insurance company was about to stop paying for her care.  (Applause.)  I had an opportunity to not just talk to the father, but meet this incredible daughter of his.  And when he spoke to the crowd, listening to that father’s story, every parent in that room had tears in their eyes, because we knew that little girl could be our own.  And I know that every American wants her future to be just as bright. 

That’s who we are.  That’s the country I'm so proud to lead as your President.  (Applause.)  And tonight, despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I've never been more hopeful about our future.  (Applause.)  I have never been more hopeful about America.  And I ask you to sustain that hope. 

I’m not talking about blind optimism -- the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path.  I’m not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight.  I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us, so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.  (Applause.)     

America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made, and continue to fight for new jobs, and new opportunity, and new security for the middle class.  I believe we can keep the promise of our founding -- the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, or where you love -- it doesn’t matter whether you're black or white, or Hispanic or Asian, or Native American, or young or old, or rich or poor, abled, disabled, gay or straight -- you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.  (Applause.)   

I believe we can seize this future together -- because we are not as divided as our politics suggest; we're not as cynical as the pundits believe; we are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions; and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states.  We are, and forever will be, the United States of America.  (Applause.)  And together, with your help, and God’s grace, we will continue our journey forward, and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on Earth.  (Applause.) 

Thank you, America.  God bless you.  God bless these United States. 


By Cash Michaels


            HISTORY HAS BEEN MADE AGAIN - Problem is I don’t know what it is because I’m writing this the day before the election. Needless to say it is the only time I will have to write my weekly column during this all-important week, cause Lord knows my hands will be too full Election Day Tuesday and the day after on Wednesday.

            But that doesn’t mean I can’t share some timely thoughts and some observations from this election season that will stay with me long after the voters have had their say.

            So my reaction to the historic elections next week in this space.

            Now of course, if you’d like to read or hear it sooner, there is my Facebook page online, and my radio program, “Make It Happen” on Power 750 WAUG-AM in Raleigh, and www.myWAUG.com online anywhere in the world.

            Bottomline is that one way or another, I will have plenty to say. It’s just weird having you read this after the fact.

            VERY PROUD - Regardless of how the presidential race turned out (assuming that it has been legally settled by now), I am immensely proud of the multitude of African-American voters -from Florida to North Carolina to Ohio and beyond - who, when told by Republicans that their right to vote would be limited because of some phony voter fraud argument, decided they weren’t going for it, and showed up at the polls in record numbers to exercise their civic franchise.

            The long, long, long lines of voters, willing to brave the long hours and chilly weather in order to make sure that their voice was heard loud and clear in this election, was impressive. And based on the numbers, a good portion of those lined up to vote was first timers. I met many of them at the polls at the Chavis Community Center last weekend on the last day of One Stop Early Voting.

            It gave me hope, and again, pride.

            So this election year, just like in 2008, the message is very clear. Give folks some sense of what is at stake, and what the issues are, and they’ll come a-running ready to weigh-in. Tell them that you are somehow seeking to take their right to vote from them - a precious right they know brave heroes like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. fought and died for - and you’ve made a big mistake.

            You see, black folks don’t like to be told “No,” especially when they see that you’re saying so just to feather your own nest just to take more rights from us.

            So I am beyond proud of my people for displaying in the face of Republican recalcitrance, what true freedom and courage really is about!

            Those who would oppose us have no example to equal that of which we saw by black voters. They were too busy trying to deny our citizenship.

            DISGRACE - If I had just returned from serving my country during time of war, and saw long, long lines of people in states like Ohio and Florida trying to vote in a timely fashion, or heard about the hundreds of cases here in North Carolina of voter intimidation, I would truly wonder if I came back to the right country.
            The fact that the Republican Party, in state after state after state, has worked so hard after the election of Barack Obama in 2008 to make sure that the nation’s first black president was not re-elected by changing election laws, is both diabolical and despicable. What I’ve just uttered isn’t partisan, but factual, and I would certainly say the dame thing if the Democrats did something so dumb and crass.
A DIVIDED NATION - Four years ago, the nation made the mistake of thinking that the election of our first black president meant the end of racism. Indeed the term “post-racial” was thrown around to signify that America had reached the final frontier of racial progress, and never again should we ever talk about black or white, or racial barriers to achievement.
Little did we know that a group of Republican lawmakers met the very night Pres. Obama took office, and plotted to make sure he failed no matter what he did. They saw his election as the ultimate failure of their party, and they vowed to rebuild the GOP brand on their singular effort to destroy a presidency.
Based on what we’ve witnessed in the four years hence, is there any hope that our nation can ever be one again (or as close to it as possible)?
One can always hope, but just like a ruptured marriage, there are simply some hurts you never get over.
Regardless of who the president is, we are, and will continue to be a divided nation. The insatiable hunger for power, coupled with the undeniable sickness of white supremacy as witnessed by the extraordinarily racist treatment of Pres. Barack Obama by the right-wing, have all but certified that we are, and will remain, rhetorically at each other’s throats.
That’s sad not only for all Americans, but also certainly for all of our children, who we are supposedly raising to be better human beings than we are, and to learn from our mistakes. Instead, the calculated animosity that has driven a wedge not only in our population, but our political system, will indeed haunt all of us, making it virtually impossible to move the nation in one direction for some time. That is sad, and it is going to cost all of us, and yes, our children too, dearly.
So if prayer is your cup of tea, better boil yourself a four year pot, because if we can’t learn to live and work together as citizens, then there will be hell to pay for all of us.
           THANK YOU, GOV. PERDUE - After seeing the absolute mess of voter ID in other states, I must thank Gov. Beverly Perdue for having the courage and wisdom of vetoing the voter ID law that the Republican-led NC General Assembly tried to force down our throats. Lord know with all of the reports of voter intimidation we heard during the early voting period, the last thing we needed was government-sponsored voter suppression. So thank you, governor. You will always be remembered for that, as well as for your advocacy for North Carolina's eugenics victims, and your signing of the NC Racial Justice Act.
I hope we can add granting pardons of innocence to the Wilmington Ten to that list.
VOICES - One of the things that has poured gasoline on the partisan fires is our news media. From right-wing Fox News to left-wing MSNBC, these 24-hour news and opinion outlets constantly stoke the flames of controversy, and serve as unmistakable mouthpieces for their ideological side.
Part of that is good. We have free speech in this nation, and deservedly so. And that freedom to express your ideals should be vigorous, yet respectful. There’s nothing wrong with loud voices during a debate, just as long as those loud voices seek a proven common good.
It is when those verbose noises are solely about partisan advantage, so much so that the ability to lie to millions of people is as easy as breathing, that we find ourselves in the media mess that we’re in.
And guess what? It’s not going to stop.
That means we, as citizens, are going to have to do our homework more. We’re going to have to read and research issues more. And in order to be reasonable in our opinion-making, we’re going to have to get out of our comfort zone of reaffirming our own dead set opinions, and try to understand the opposite point of view more.
Otherwise we are all doomed to wander in ignorance and division. The more we try to jam our individual beliefs down somebody else’s throats, instead of at least trying to understand the other side for the sake of finding common ground on which we can all work together across ideological divides, then we are all, again, indeed doomed.
So let’s put the “voices” in their proper place. Always look for informed debate, not partisan banter. And when you do hear partisan nonsense, know that that’s exactly what you’re hearing. Listen to how the facts are twisted, and to what is not being said or never explained.
I guess the simplest way to put this is use your brain more than your heart. Your head determines what makes senses. Your heart decides why.
WE DID IT - When the votes are finally counted, not just here in North Carolina, but all over the nation, i think we will all be proud of black voter turnout. More importantly, we didn't allow several two-bit negro preachers who were telling their congregations to stay home and not to vote guide our common sense. There were reports that some of these Judas goats were paid to betray their communities. I hope they are exposed after all of this for what they are - selfish sellouts!
THANK GOD - Our TV screens are finally free of those vial campaign commercials. No, not all of them were bad, bad. But they were annoying. I know I speak for all when I say no matter how the election turned out, having the volume turned down, way down, now that the election is finally over, is a blessing. It feels like the ending of a hostage crisis.
Make sure you tune in every Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. for my talk radio show, ''Make It Happen'' on Power 750 WAUG-AM, or online at www.myWAUG.com. And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my new blog, ‘The Cash Roc” (http://thecashroc.blogspot.com/2011/01/cash-roc-begins.html). I promise it will be interesting.
Cash in the Apple - honored as the Best Column Writing of 2006 by the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Columnist Cash Michaels was also honored by the NNPA for Best Feature Story Journalist of 2009, and was the recipient of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP’s President’s Award for Media Excellence in Sept. 2011.
Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian in your life. Bye, bye.


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