In Case You’re Wondering, This Republican Is With…

My friends, this election is going to be great! Believe me awesome, the greatest we’ve ever seen!

We will see the highest turnout in the modern day era.  Believe me, it’s going to be great seeing so many people, of all walks of life, rural and urban come vote!   It reminds me of the images of South Africans once disenfranchised, standing in line for hours to vote for Nelson Mandela in 1994.  We and the world may we see that this year in America. A lot of people who usually stay home, will come out to vote!  That doesn’t mean we will all agree on who to vote for.  Our nation is split right down the middle.  Nevertheless, we all need to vote!

No one can stand on the sidelines for this one.  No one should.  Why, because this election is going to be great and all votes will matter.  I promise you, they will really matter. Remember the 2000 voter debacle in Florida?  If you think there were issues then, wait til you get a load out of November 2016.  There will be voter issues, so know your rights!

On one side we have Donald Trump who has energized his base.  A reality television celebrity, he’s got a solid base. On the other, we have Hillary Clinton.  A woman in the public eye over forty years running an historic campaign as the first woman of a major political party to win her Party’s nomination.

Trump has fired a wall of division into the air.  That’s made some friends on the Republican side nervous and they haven’t embraced him.  They also find it hard to back Clinton.   Then there are my friends who despite his wall of division are embracing Trump. These are not just White, uneducated voters as some on the other side seem to think.  These friends are of all races and very educated.  And they’ve taught me a lot.  One is to accept their choice. Know what, they’re right!  I’m okay with it. I love them even if I disagree with them.  That’s what makes America great!  We can agree to disagree.

That’s why, my friends who don’t like politics, I’m not asking you to change and like politics.  I am asking you to be engaged.  If you don’t stay engaged, if you don’t vote, a narcissistic, pompous bigot is going to occupy the White House and destroy years of progress.  After years of gridlock in politics, maybe that’s what America deserves! I don’t believe that, but if people don’t vote, that is what we are going to get.

Believe me, I promise you, it’s going to get nastier when the debates begin.  My fear is Hillary will not do well in those debates.  Not against Trump.  This man believes any lie he makes up.  How do you combat that? One person can’t, but many can.

This election is about American values. How do we ensure everyone has equal access to education, healthcare and jobs. I’ve been on this soapbox for years. When we don’t vote, we get politicians who take us into an economic recession, fiscal cliff and government shutdowns!

Heard the saying, We get the politicians we deserve. That’s why Congress is mired in gridlock and state legislatures battle over ObamaCare and education funding. We get what we deserve when we don’t vote.

We get them when the Kardashians, Honey Boo Boo and sports programming takes our attention away from the real reality television show – politics, where politicians decision impact each and every one of us.

Do we deserve Trump? If we don’t vote and stay informed, unfortunately, yes we do. We’ve seen what happens when we can’t  vote.  Isn’t that what we saw in slavery when Blacks and women were not allowed to vote?  And through segregation, when Blacks died for the right to vote?

I know, its not easy, but I promise you, believe me, the alternative, not staying engaged and voting  is a lot worse. If we all vote, those for and against Trump, it will be great for America.  A Clash of Titans!

Who will win? I don’t know. I believe, the diversity of our nation, the merging of our cultures, the fabric of our values are intact.  For that, I have hope that Hillary Clinton will win.

As a descendant of slaves and slave masters, I am inextricably linked to the origins of our nation once mired in slavery.  That origin evolved into segregation and from there other issues emerged like immigration, women’s right to choose, sexual orientation and identity.   More of us are on the side that recognizes #BlackLivesMatter.  And we know that #BlueLivesMatter because by extension we all believe #AllLivesMatter.  But right now, we need a leader that understands why this is important today.

I’m with her because, for whatever mistakes she made or decisions she made in the past, she’s consistently chosen to be on the side of the majority in good and bad times. There are more of us together on these issues than ever before.  And we need a leader who has the courage to address and change when the times call for it, because she listens to the people.

For that, I believe if we stick together on both sides, what will emerge is a referendum on our past, and a signal to all of us that CHANGE happened in 2008. And when it’s all said and done, she’s the best leader for all.  Despite the gridlock in Congress and our state legislatures, as a nation we are moving FORWARD in the right direction. That’s why it’s up to all of us to VOTE!

And it’s why I’m with Her!  Whether you are with her or not, will you please, Vote?


Hillary, Pick Bernie!

clinton sanders
Photo credit: Newsday Thomas A. Ferrara


Hillary Clinton is the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Standing in her the way, the past few weeks, Bernie Sanders picked up momentum too late.  Over that time, he made it interesting and painted in my mind three things Hillary can do to unify the Dems and win big in November.

First, put Bernie on the ticket.  What, you’re asking?  I know conventional wisdom says, pick a young, charismatic person from a swing state for Vice President and to make it more appealing a Latino right?  Not this year.

Everything about this campaign season is different.  Donald Trump the presumptive Republican nominee is an outsider pushing the buttons of racial and religious divide.  How can that be successful in 2016?  I don’t know everything.  I mean how does a guy who has poked at women, demeaned Mexicans and attack Muslim judges gain points in the polls?  Everything is different.

Conventional wisdom doesn’t work.  Not this year.  Instead of intellectually explaining your message, you have to dumb it down.  The message is clear, do the opposite of whatever seems normal.

Pick Sanders as your VP.  He’s old, not young.  Jewish not Christian.  A known commodity and household name, doing something most politicians are afraid to do, tell the truth.  And his campaign is a movement, not unlike Obama’s eight years ago!

Another reason to pick him? Hillary won’t be able to hang with Trump.  And she shouldn’t have to.  He’s out of her league.  She’s won a Senate campaign and lost a Presidential.  Guess where she’s been most successful?  Staying out of the fray and allowing Bill to be out front.  Now she’s the lead horse and has to stay out of the fray because it is where she is best.  The challenge is, she has to lead the conversation not be guided by it.

If she’s going to win, she needs to bring excitement to the campaign.  She doesn’t have the luxury of introducing someone new to the American people.  She needs someone the voters know.  Someone who can bang with Trump, while she remains above the fray and does two things.  #FeelTheBern

Take off the pants suit sometime on the campaign trail and let us know your story.   Some  friends, who are still undecided, ask why does she wear those suits?  It’s her armor.  Meeting her for the first time last year in Iowa, I was taken by how short she is.  Everything from her handshake, smile and eyes tell you, she’s not short.  She’s confident and fearless.  And she’s human.  All the mudslinging she’s been exposed to the past forty years would make many men retreat from the public eye, but she’s not shying away.  She’s right there front and center where you want your President to be.

Another question I hear is, if not Hillary, what type of woman will it take to get elected?  What is a woman supposed to look and act like to get elected?  I believe they should look like themselves.  A woman should not have to conform.  The public made this Hillary appear resilient, because she is.  But what is the road she traveled to get here?  Let’s take a glimpse before the pants suit at who she has been.

PART II tomorrow Hillary, Shattering The Glass Ceiling!

About the author:

IMG_6592  Atiba Madyun is President of The Madyun Group (TMG), a Public Affairs firm in Washington, DC and creator of Cognitive Relevance (CR), founder of Party Politics US and Associate Producer on The Framing of OJ Simpson.  Follow him on Twitter @atibamadyun or Atiba Madyun on Facebook.