The black community is the backbone of the Democratic Party and we must listen.
By: Nicole Lashomb*/Editor-in-Chief
The Super Tuesday presidential primary election results where 14 states had their say in which Democratic candidates would move forward in the contest for the White House, where shocking to say the least.
Former Vice President Joe Biden demolished Sanders, Warren and Bloomberg in nearly every state, including Massachusetts. However, Sanders did manage to pick up a few states—his home state of Vermont, Colorado and Utah.
I found myself glued to the news into the early hours of the morning, waiting anxiously as I do during every major election, for the numbers to start rolling in.
One week ago, or even one day ago for that matter, no one would’ve predicted a widespread win across the nation for Biden.
Massachusetts was expected to hand the win to Sanders or Warren. Warren, a popular Mass. Senator and neighboring Vt. Senator, Bernie Sanders, both bode well in the commonwealth according to many political analysts prior to Super Tuesday. Previous polls had placed the New England senators in a neck-to-neck contest—yet both lost to Joe Biden. I think for many of us, that was the utmost unpredictable win of the night and maybe for some, the biggest gut punch of the political season.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren consistently underperformed throughout the night, even in Massachusetts, earning her a third-place finish. As the numbers rolled in, I was stunned to see how few people supported this amazing candidate, especially in a state, my state, where she is a popular senator. March is Women’s History Month and as history has taught us, misogyny wins again this time. I found myself wracking my brain trying to come up with another reasonable justification for her loss. Perhaps Mass. isn’t as liberal as I thought. However, that can’t be because Sanders, who some would argue is even left of Warren politically, did much better than she did in the commonwealth. That hypothesis doesn’t hold up. Regardless, with two older, white, cisgender men at the top of the Democratic presidential bid, I realized that this country hasn’t changed much at all. It wiped out the candidates of color quickly early on, and then the women, until Biden and Sanders were left standing.
Objectively, I get the Biden win. People are fed up with Trump and the dismantlement of our democracy. Biden is well-known and was a direct part of the solution for the 8 years that President Obama was in office. People are now anxious, unsettled and worried about the ongoing catastrophic future of the nation should Trump win again in 2020. Biden helps to calm those nerves. He knows the ropes and what needs to be done to get us back to where we were before this circus began in 2016.
For me personally, it brings me comfort to know that Biden served with Pres. Obama and created what I consider to be the most inclusive administration in our history. Perhaps, that is also why the black vote turned out in exorbitant numbers for Biden. After all U.S. Congressman John Lewis in his remarks from the Selma, Ala. Edmund Pettus bridge on the 55th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday, urged marchers to “vote like they’ve never voted before.” And, that is just what the black community did on Super Tuesday. After all, they’re the backbone of the Democratic Party and this country was built on their shoulders.
“We cannot give up now, we cannot give in. We must keep the faith; keep our eyes on the prize,” said Congressman Lewis to the crowd, even as he fights his own battle of Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. “Speak out, get in the way, get in good trouble and help redeem the soul of America in each and every one of you. … We must use the vote as a non-violent instrument of tools to redeem the soul of America.
“We have to make America better for all people so no one is left out or left behind because of their race, their color, because of where they grew up or where they were born. We are one people, we’re one family. We all live in the same house, and that’s the American house.”
On the importance of voting, the Congressman said, “We have the power to change things. The vote is the most powerful, non-violent instrument of tool we have in a democratic society and we must use it. If we fail to use it, we will lose it.”
Warren’s role in Biden’s win
Leading up to the contest, Warren eviscerated presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg on the debate stage for two matchups in a row. Bloomberg was predicted as the candidate who would take away votes from more moderate voters that would likely fall into the Biden camp. Yet, it wasn’t Sanders or Biden who took him on—it was Warren who battled with him head to head and won. Biden owes her a debt of gratitude for Bloomberg’s poor performance on Super Tuesday. Her relentless attacks on Bloomberg clearly worked, benefiting the former Vice President. Just one day after the primary, Bloomberg suspended his campaign and endorsed Biden. Shortly after Super Tuesday, Sen. Warren suspended her campaign as well.
Likewise, in states that Sanders was expected to win decisively, especially those he won by large margins in 2016, he lost or barely held on to them on the March 3 Biden blowout. Clearly the momentum was not in his favor.
Exit polls on Super Tuesday found that more voters were concerned with defeating Donald Trump than they were with voting for the person that most closely represented their views. Along with several other factors leading up to the contest, that argument is compelling and a likely reason for Biden’s surge.
Just a couple of weeks ago, most pundits counted Biden out, as reported by CNN on Super Tuesday. If I had to bet on it, he will be the nominee to take on and ultimately oust Trump in 2020.
It appears that the campaigns of Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobouchar prepared for an inevitable defeat to become the Democratic nominee, both suspending their campaigns just days prior to the Super Tuesday contests. Both hopefuls came out in support and endorsement of Joe Biden leading up to the primary, which also helped according to reports quoting Biden on it. Even more importantly, former presidential candidate and Senator, Kamala Harris announced her endorsement of Biden as well, sending a powerful message to women and the black community.
As other candidates continue to suspend their campaigns, they should come together to create a leadership firewall by vocally supporting the nominee and their enthusiasts should follow suit. If most supporters of all candidates rally together to uphold the Democratic nominee, regardless of whom it is, we will take back Congress and the White House in 2020.
During these tumultuous political times, there is not any issue more important than getting Trump out of the White House. From separating families, putting children in cages, repealing critical laws that protect us all as Americans, including those that protect the air we breathe and the water we drink, by fueling hate in the hearts of many, by stripping away protections from elders, racial and ethnic marginalized communities, women, the LGBTQ+ community, the poor and those in need while lining his golden threaded pockets with his business negotiations around the world on our taxpayer dime runs amuck with fascism. From lying about nearly everything, including the Coronavirus “hoax” to Russian interference in our elections to his abuse of power and obstruction of justice as detailed extensively in the Mueller report, the list is endless. Dictatorships, authoritarian governments or fascist regimes do not govern this country, contrary to the matrix in which we are currently living.
Regardless of whom you voted for on March 3, the months ahead are what will define the Democratic Party and how its members operate and mobilize for a 2020 win. I was proud to vote for the Democrat I believe will restore our democracy, reputation around the world and the soul of America again. Come November 2020, I will vote blue, no matter who is the nominee. That is the only way forward. I hope you’ll join me.