Signifying Politics

In the Black community, a popular past time is the art of signifying. This is a verbal word game where you poke fun at a person or a family member of that person with ridicule.

It is a creative exaggeration of a minute point that is exploited, as in - "Your mama's cooking is so bad, the dog won't eat it." Then the next person comes back to top what their opponent said.

Signifying has turned into the state of our politics today. And Donald Trump is the master of the game, just as he is the master of the media. His words punch, tear, ridicule. He is a jokester as he jabs his opponents.

This is absolutely the strategy he used to force Jeb Bush out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Trump took a politically pedigreed guy and reduced him to being childish and in a fight that he was so behind in that he had to get mommy and big brother on the campaign trail to try to garner support.

Pundits Miss the Trump Point. . .
The pundits and the experts have missed Mr. Trump. They are playing politics while he is playing leadership. I am convinced he will be the campaign trail nominee; how it works out in the Electoral College for the actual nomination is another story and a challenge to the traditional Republicans.

Trump will embarrass the Republican Party as he absolutely turns it on its head. The thinking is that Trump could never be the "nominee" because he is not a "real conservative." They desperately miss the point. He is reality. He is now. Damn conservatism. Who cares?

Donald Trump is speaking the language of the common man who is worried about making ends meet and wonders what has happened to his country. He is speaking to those who are fearful of foreigners taking their jobs.

He is speaking to the workingman worried about his pension. He is speaking to the small businessperson worried if he can stay in business. He is speaking beer/bar language that the guys talk about for real. He says what you say when you talk back to the television. And he leads the discussion, whether he is on the set or not.

Everyone is reacting to Trump. People are tired of the facts, figures, policies, and the promises that make for good speeches, but are well forgotten when that promising candidate is actually elected to office.

Nobody wants to hear the Senate floor speeches or about the congressional bill as we try to meet payment the first of the month on real bills. This is Trump's business, this is Trump's real speech, and this is his real conversation.

It is not necessarily polite or diplomatic, but it is where people live. That's why people are filling up stadiums to hear him. He addresses the heckler, not with a pat answer, but with what you really want to say - put him out.

His style has brought forth genuineness. He is having an authentic conversation with the American public that says, "I am a proven leader and I will roll up my sleeves to get the job done for real." He is believable.

The Democrats - Liberal or Radical???

On the other hand, we have the Democrats, whose presidential nomination is up for grabs. Bernie Sanders is calling for a revolution, calling for youth to rebel and fight the power structure for their causes.

He has appealed to the millennials, but his candidacy depends on large numbers going to the polls. This generation relies much on social media and has produced a hashtag movement, but there are still basics in politics that are essential, like knocking on doors, shaking hands, and going to the polls to cast your ballot.

Can you imagine Dr. King calling for The March on Washington via social media and not utilizing local community organizers to say sign up here and tell us when the buses and trains leave?

On the other hand, Hillary Clinton is using basic traditional politics, appealing to those who vote. Her model is the precinct captain and she is calling in the chips from a community she and her husband have made friends with over the years.

The traditional Civil Rights Baby Boomer generation is her core vote. They and/or their parents fought for the right to vote. This is the generation that takes voting so seriously that a politic and a movement were formed around it.

This is the group that held sit-ins, marches and whatever else they had to do for the right to go to the polls. This is the generation that said we will die and go to our graves before we are slaves, meaning that we will die for the right to vote. And many did.

Mississippi Country
Every time I hear a Black person say they will not vote, I want to cry. I have never ever not voted, thinking of what some went through for us to have the right. For this Civil Rights Baby Boomer, voting is serious.

It means something to this generation that Hillary Clinton can be the first woman to rule the United States, but here is the concern: At this point, I think Trump will be the Republican nominee and Hillary will be the Democratic nominee.

What will the debate look like between the two of them? We will see old guard politics versus new, non-traditional politics.

Hillary will have to be very careful with her public image to always come off as a lady, but at the same time, demonstrate that she can take care of herself in a tough situation. Trump will take pot shots at her and won't care whether he is considered a gentleman or not.

The American public, young and old, Black and White, suburban and urban, will have to decide which one will make the better leader. I hope we the people survive, as we usher in this new politic with wild wild west rules.