Saturday, November 17, 2012

Michael Hathman Explains Texas Going Blue

Is it really the news of the new news that Texas is "changing" - Really?

Texas may be seeing their State become a little more Blue in 2014, 2016 and 2020 elections.  Why?  It's called changing demographics and an ever increasing "minority" that will soon become the "majority" of the nation's racial makeup.

The United States has always been a "melting pot" of all people from all nationalities from around the planet.  As Americans, at least the majority, we see our diversity as a powerful benefit and strength that lends to our marvelous heritage and pluralistic society.

Some State, like Texas - such as California and Florida - have growing Hispanic populations and these people tend to vote - in the majority - as Democrats and Moderates.  That's bad news for the Republican party.  Or is it?  Well, that depends on how much the Republicans want to win elections.  In order to win elections, a party must try to win more votes from more voters than any other opposition party or candidate.

As of late, the voter suppression techniques have apparently backfired against Republicans who are over confident that this could help win the election.  Apparently, the electorate got wind of these suppression campaigns and it angered AND mobilized a far greater opposition element which put President Obama back into office with a whole slew of other Democratic candidates who were outspoken and verbally boisterous about these undertakings.  In fact, MSNBC News regularly reported on the matter to the public and these methods ended up costing the Republican Party a lot of votes and rallied those voters that were being "targeted" for these voter disenfranchisement campaigns.  Most of these voter disenfranchisement campaigns have been targeted specifically in terms of minority make up which includes minorities and young voters.

Texas accounts for 34 votes of the Electoral College.  This is one of the biggest "prize" States that count for the Presidency of the United States.

According to the Hoover Organization:

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 results, the nation’s share of the non-Hispanic white population declined from 69.1 percent in 2000 to a present 63.7 percent in 2010, with America’s minority population rising from 30.9 percent in 2000 to 36.3 percent in 2010.  Twelve of the nation’s 50 states have a minority population exceeding 40 percent—triple the number of such states in 2000. Four states—California, Texas, New Mexico and Hawaii—now claim “majority-minority” status.

The reason for this population shift is Latino-Americans, who now are one-sixth (50.5 million) of the national population, compared to one-eighth (35.3 million) a decade ago.

This political and demographic phenomenon is not limited to America’s border states, with their pre-existing Latino populations. Latinos represented a majority of the population growth in 18 states. They accounted for at least 40 percent of the population growth in seven other states, and at least 30 percent of the population growth in another five states.

- End Source -

The rising tide of Hispanic voters seems to becoming to fruition.  However, if the Hispanic voters could be even more mobilized, the Democratic Party could see a huge domination for years, if not decades to come.  While Democrats knew years ago that the minority would eventually become the majority, hanging onto this voter block is a key strategy to winning elections - not just the White House but also in the Congress and Supreme Court.

If the Republicans care about winning elections, strategy will need to change.  Philosophical ideas that are unchangeable and unmovable do not win elections - and neither does belittling others who happen to disagree with Republican ideas.  Relationships (including these at the Federal and State level) are based on give-and-take and compromise.  If parties aren't willing to compromise, they may end up looking unfavorable to an electorate that is already angry about work not getting done and putting the economy on a better faster track to full recovery.  Conciliatory gestures and a more friendly and willing ability to "wheel-and-deal" is what it is going to take to win voters and get things done with other Congressional members.

Regardless of the politics, the minority numbers will continue to grow at a strong and steady rate for years to come.  If any party wants to win elections, the needs of the majority is going to have to be accepted and respected.

Reporting for News Now,
Michael Hathman

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Michael Hathman Explains Looming Congressional Gridlock

The American system of politics is made of bicameral legislatures, a judiciary and an executive office - on both the national and State basis.  Municipalities even have mayors, councilmen and local judges who take care of city-level matters.  Or can they?

Political gridlock usually happens on ideological lines.  This is where one party (or both parties) cannot seem to come to a common agreement about how the government should be run and what programs and budgets should be implemented and what should stay and what should go.

More notably, when political gridlock happens, the government simply "ceases to operate" and when budgets aren't passed, government workers and soldiers are the first to feel the suffering.  If budgets cannot be passed, as it looks like will happen during this political season, the government can and will literally "shut down" and cease to operate.  When this happens, the military can no longer receive the money it needs to run an effective national defense or, much less, feed its soldiers the food it buys from markets.

The deep ideological divide is as deep and as nasty as it has ever been in United States history and only rivals the time period of domestic upheaval felt prior to the Civil War and the Vietnam War era.  Although the divide is not serious enough to lead citizens to armed insurrection, the divide is serious enough to shut down government (not just on a national level - but on a Statewide level as well).

If the bicameral legislatures cannot decide and come to some common concessions about what needs to happen and get government working for the best interest of the people, then the issues may, at the worst, need to be put to popular vote to get issues decided on a simple majority.  Grass root campaigning may be the only answer to getting government working again.  It will need to literally come down to citizenry voting on issues that are proposed by signature and petition drives to make government work.

In fact, if it comes straight down to it, the President may need, from time-to-time issue Executive Orders to address emergency issues.  However, these orders could theoretically be challenged in the courts by hard line opposition politicians and battles could rage in the courts as well.

Currently, the United States Constitution does not allow for a "No Confidence" provision to recall certain political office holders.  There has been a trend to "Recall" certain political office holders on the Statewide level.  Since the US Constitution allows, as part of the Bill of Rights, the citizens to redress the government with their grievances, theoretically, such a petition could be used to "recall" a member of the House, the Senate or even the President of the United States.  The Recall Initiative has gathered steam in recent years leading to re-elections.  In fact, the most famous of cases was in California that led to the ouster of California Governor Gray Davis and the installation of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003.  More recently, the recall of Governor Scott Walker in Minnesota failed but the election was very close after union busting efforts of several Republicans upset the Democratic minority and the Recall War was waged.

If Congressional gridlock continues, the American People may need to seek candidates who are more willing to work and compromise to move our country toward continued recovery and to greater prosperity.  In the end, this effort to come to a sensible compromise between more compromising and less ideological politicians may be the only answer to end the looming Congressional gridlock and divided government.

Reporting for Political News,
Michael Hathman