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  • Writer's picturePhilippe Henold Buteau

The Democrats are a team getting out of rebuild mode

From sea to shining sea the Democratic Party took losses that had their supporters feeling like they are one of those teams. Whether it’s Miami, New Orleans, North Carolina, Kansas City, St. Louis or Oakland, the party whose social and economic principles are supposed to be the most reflective of the poorest on up still have people wondering whether they get it.

Democrats are doing a good job diversifying and picking up the responsibility, but they dropped a ball internationally.

Each of the cities above and their football and basketball teams had their moments in the dumps and have risen to the championship games, as have the Democrats. The party of the workers had the House, the Senate and the Presidency. They lost the House in the November 2010 elections, lost the Senate in 2014 but held onto the Presidency in 2012.

When things seemed their bleakest in 2017 - after the Republicans had the House, Senate and Presidency with the election of Donald J. Trump - African-American women propelled Doug Jones to victory in Alabama for one of its Senate seats. The good times kept rolling when Phil Murphy won the governor’s race in New Jersey, as did Ralph Northam in Virginia, Tony Evers in Wisconsin and State Legislative victories seats across the country during a blowout in which the Democrats took back the people’s House.

But where we go from here depends on how much consider what previous administrations did their responsibility to fix. Or in team sport parlance, New Orleans, St. Louis, Kansas City and Oakland can be perennial contenders, with constant championship aspirations, games using good ol’ fashioned team building tactics but Miami needs to get back to the drawing board.

This is bigger than Trump. Trumpism is a disease that needs long-term treatment, it’s more than a scab that will go away on its own.

Although House Speaker Nancy Pelosi admirably held the line against Trump and his arm-folding crying for a wall, it’s sad Democratic leaders do not call out Republicans for their own hypocrisy. They love Ronald Reagan but, because of their words, apparently hate disagreeing with his and their party’s actions.

They need not be Democrats but at least vote independently.

Immigrants from Central America leave their countries for better opportunities (that exist in the “shining city on a hill”) because home is destabilized partly through US foreign policy. Though the US does not force our current political leaders to be corrupt, a history of changing our interests to suit yours requires dedicated rebuilding. Recruit us, ask us what our countries need, for the sake of our countries and the return on investment will be the stability - border security - Republicans seek.

Nancy said not even $1 dollar for Trump’s wall, rightly so. Trump wanted $5.6 billion, Nancy offered $1.3 billion for border security. Depending on your viewpoint and agenda this leaves a potential $4.3 billion to “secure the border,” by assisting in the securing of Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and even Mexico. Those countries have homicide rates of 37, 81, 27, 59 and 16 (per 100,000 people per year), respectively. Just doing simple math of $4.3 billion divided by five countries gives $860 million for each country to restore order: seek out corrupt cops, politicians and gangs in their strongholds. If you poo poo $860 million you might think other countries are toilets.

The amount should be gifts, not loans a part of a long-term plan to stabilize the region which would continue to reduce immigration from Central America. That’s most important - actions speak louder than words - but neither Nancy nor Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have pointed out to Republicans what they say they want is what we really want.

The corruption is there also because of the US decisions that can be fairly described as abdicating the responsibility of being the “leader of the free world.” Violent gang members should not be deported to poorer countries; MS-13 was founded in Los Angeles, California. Non-violent drug offenders should not be incarcerated, such a thinking put into action with policy would provide more space in US prisons for the violent offenders. When they are deported to Central American countries they become a part of overcrowded prisons, countries with underfunded police departments and if, usually when released, they resume criminal activity which leads to the corrupting of law enforcement and politicians. And the vicious cycle continues.

Help, like water, is good. But don’t force water down someone’s throat and claim you’re helping. In Haiti, a country popular with the African Diaspora, the people are survivors of imperialism we hope will be behind us.

For Haiti’s sake, the US and France should consider a three-team business deal meant to undo both of those countries taking the country hostage. The US occupied Haiti for 20 years in the early 20th century, about 80 years after France demanded we pay them for our own freedom.

Up to $21 billion, that’s right, and no less than $8 billion from the $10 billion from the earthquake relief donations. Based on news reports, $600 million went to the Haitian government and $600 million went to the Red Cross leaving $8.8 billion still without receipts.

That amount includes the $200-$400 million the United Nations has committed to eradicating the cholera epidemic.

When a grown man cries about the situation in his country, remember women tend to stay silent and we still have to be there for them.

All that is just one point with sub-points in the outplay-Trump agenda, to negotiate with a party who accepted a president - with raucous applause in every state - who made discriminatory and violent immigration policy his number one point, but deal making is supposed to be his forte. On a national level there is no one else to blame for separating immigrant families than Trump. However, locally, do we truly believe we are stronger together?

If a mother leaves her children at a food court during a job interview, or home when she goes to her second job, at night, will she be helped or arrested? Does it not seem backwards to arrest a mother for not being with her children?

I agree, a house with cigarette smoke, or rampant heroin use is not ideal for a child. However, if the woman in that house made a commitment to be a mother, is she considered a criminal that doesn’t deserve her children? A criminal like any MS-13 member?

I understand there’s a process in which the woman must prove to us as a society she is worthy of being considered a mother. But is it beneficial to the mental health of the child to be placed in a state-funded facility or a stranger’s house?

Do we give the woman a chance to be a mother with the help of a state-funded caregiver?

The University of Miami's Public Health Student Association Co-President Kate McManus said the forced separation from their parents can cause depression in children.

When citizens and immigrants cry about the same policy, how strong is it making us?

The Democrats are supposed to know us like a coach should know the team, like a quarterback should know his receivers. They should be willing to protect us and take the hits like an offensive line for the quarterback, like a defense after the ball for the fans cheers.


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