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CHARLANE OLIVER: “IF YOUR VOTE DIDN’T MATTER THEY WOULDN’T BE TRYING SO HARD TO STOP YOU”

 

I know most of y’all won’t read this long post but nerds like me be tryna put y’all up on game for the Free 99 and some of y’all still be yelling “my vote doesn’t matter” but don’t understand that it actually does.

The Alabama abortion ban – and other restrictive laws in recent months – have been 10 years in the making by Republicans. It’s no coincidence that many states with the worst voting, education, healthcare, and incarceration rates are also the states with the most regressive laws, and mostly in the South.

When we say “local elections matter” or “elections have consequences” or “this is voter suppression” or “please go vote” this is the shorthand version of what we mean… Let’s revisit a series of unfortunate events shall we…

2008-2009: America elects the first black president, Barack Obama.

Early 2010: SCOTUS rules in ‘Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (FEC)’ that political spending is a form of free speech protected under the First Amendment. The controversial 5-4 decision effectively opened the door for corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money to support their chosen political candidates.

Hate that your politicians are bought and sold by corporations? Blame this.

Late 2010: Ahead of the midterms, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell vows to make President Obama a “one-term president” and Republicans declare a nationwide takeover of state legislatures.

2010 Midterms: Thanks to the Citizens United case, Republicans flood the airwaves with political advertising to influence down-ballot elections. Republicans pick up 675 state legislative seats; swept several governorships, including Tennessee; and Republican control increased from 14 states to 26 state legislatures.

They also take control of the U.S. House of Representatives, winning 58 seats.

2011: Now that Republicans effectively have the states on lock, states begin to enact strict voter ID laws, including Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, and… wait for it…… Tennessee.

2012: President Obama is re-elected. All is well with the world because we now have Obamacare and our president is still Black. Meanwhile…

2013: SCOTUS guts the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in the ‘Shelby County v. Holder’ case. As in, Shelby County, ALABAMA versus Attorney General Eric Holder. Yeah as in, the same Voting Rights Act championed by civil rights activists like Dr. Martin Luther King and Congressman John Lewis who marched in Selma, ALABAMA.

The ruling basically said, nope racism doesn’t exist anymore so Southern states no longer need permission (i.e. “pre-clearance”) from the federal government to change their voting laws. The decision allowed 846 jurisdictions to close, move or change the availability of local polling places (mostly in predominantly African American counties) without federal oversight. There were also cuts to early voting and purges of voter rolls.

Virtually all restrictions on voting after the ruling were by Republicans.

2014: Here’s where it gets bad. Republicans continue their congressional takeover during the 2014 midterms. Democrats are asleep at the wheel and stayed home on Election Day…. because all is well in the world – my president is Black.

Meanwhile… Republicans gained control of U.S. Senate and picked up more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. This is the year that TENNESSEE RANKED 50th IN VOTER TURNOUT.

Only 28% of eligible voters voted in this election.

Early 2016: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia dies. Which means a replacement is nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate (both are elected by the voters, btw). President Obama names Merrick Garland as his nominee, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocks the nomination, claiming it’s too close to a presidential election so the next president should pick.

Late 2016: Donald Trump is elected president. Now Republicans are in control of the legislative branch and executive branch. Time to take over the judicial branch.

2017: Trump begins stacking the Courts by nominating conservative judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. (Remember, elections have consequences and in 2014, just 36.4% of eligible voters nationwide turned out in 2014 – the lowest since World War II— and Republicans gained control of the Senate, who confirms all federal judges.)

2018: By now, 34 states have some form of voter ID laws. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announces his retirement. Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh as his replacement. Senate confirms Kavanaugh in October, shortly before the midterms, solidifying the bench as a reliably conservative 5-4 majority.

2019: Republicans control the state legislature in 31 states. Congress is divided – Democrats take back the House, and Republicans still control the Senate, Presidency, and Supreme Court.

What we’re seeing play out today is a deliberate playbook, run by ALEC and their model bills, to challenge everything in the courts. The bills introduced by legislative branches across the country are so egregious and blatantly unconstitutional in an attempt to move the battle to friendly territory – the courts.

Muslim travel ban. The courts.

Separation of migrant families at the border. The courts.

School vouchers. The courts.

Partisan gerrymandering. The courts.

Census citizenship question. The courts.

Voter registration criminalization laws. The courts.

Abortion bans to overturn Roe v. Wade. The courts.

All of this is run by people who are elected by the People.

If they can make it a felony to…. say, have an abortion…. or register voters…. or build a wall to keep immigrants out….. and felons and immigrants can’t vote, then you limit the voting power of minorities.

Thus keeping the white male power structure in control over an increasing Majority-Minority America.

There’s an election happening in your city or state somewhere every year. You must pay attention, keep up with the news and current events, and VOTE in every election, every year.

But y’all don’t hear me tho….

Charlane Oliver is a candidate for state senate in District 19 (Nashville)

Why There Are 49 Vice Presidents and 46 Presidents

By Brett Chumley, Editor of Harrogate Holler @brettskinchief @harrogateholler 

1/20/21

In 1984, the nation’s 42nd Vice President, and Democratic Presidential Nominee Walter Mondale selected New York Representative Geraldine Ferraro as his Vice Presidential Nominee. She was the first woman to ever have a real shot at winning on a presidential ticket. It was not meant to be. President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H. W. Bush won re-election in a massive landslide. That was 37 years ago. In 2008, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin became the second woman to land on the Presidential ticket, as Senator John McCain’s running mate. It was not meant to be. Barack Obama and Joe Biden won handily. In 2016, Hillary Rodham Clinton became the first woman to head the Presidential ticket. She won, but it was not meant to be. Donald Trump and Mike Pence lost the popular vote but won the electoral college.

It’s been a long journey to power for American Women and it isn’t over. The glass ceiling isn’t gone yet, but after the 2020 election, it is in shambles and nearing collapse. So while you’re drinking your bubbly, let’s study some vice-presidential history to celebrate this magnificent and overdue moment in American history. 

Today, January 20, 2021, over 100 years after American women gained the right to vote, the nation swore in its first female vice president, Kamala Devi Harris. She is the 49th person to hold the title, while President Joe Biden is the 46th to hold his. Why is that?

Simply put, it’s because two 20th century presidents have had multiple vice presidents. It had fluctuated and evened out before then, and below you can find a quick history lesson on how Kamala Harris became the 49th Vice President of the United States (VPOTUS.) 

If you want to skip the full lesson, scroll to the • to see their names. 

Before we start, here are a few tidbits of vice-presidential history to impress your friends with: President of the United States (or POTUS) Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, but they each count as separate administrations, so he was the 22nd and 24th POTUS. Two vice presidents (VPs) have served in two terms in two different administrations, but each did so consecutively, and therefore only count as one VP each. Only two VPs have resigned from office- John C. Calhoun and Spiro T. Agnew. 

Eight presidents have had more than one vice president. Franklin Roosevelt had three, while Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, William McKinley, and Richard Nixon all had two.

Four presidents- John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, and Chester A. Arthur- never had a vice president serve alongside them in office.

Now onto the 49th thing… 

Things first got out of wack when Vice President George Clinton (not the groovy one from Parliament, the 4th Vice President of the United States) replaced Aaron Burr to become President Thomas Jefferson’s second VP. He then served as VP for President Madison, before being replaced by Elbridge Gerry. 

By 1813, there had been 4 presidents and 5 vice presidents. 

John C. Calhoun would later serve as vice president for two presidents as well- John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. He served as the second VP in the Quincy Adams administration, and the first vp to President Jackson, being replaced by Martin Van Buren, who would ultimately succeed President Jackson to serve a single term in office, with Richard Johnson as VP. 

This brings us to 8 presidents and 9 vice presidents by 1837. 

When the 9th President William Henry Harrison died just a month into his term, he was succeeded by the 10th President John Tyler, the first president to never select a VP. When Tyler dropped his re-election bid after annexing Texas, James K. Polk and George Dallas became the 11th president and vice president respectively. 

So in 1845, the number of presidents and vice presidents had evened out at 11. 

It didn’t stay even for long, though. When the 12th Vice President Millard Fillmore became the 13th POTUS, he too chose no vice president. That seems unthinkable today, right? 

We are now at 13 POTUS and 12  VPOTUS in 1850. 

Abraham Lincoln was the next President to have two VPs, a political calculation made because Tennessee Senator Andrew Johnson had more appeal to Southerners. This evened the number out at 16.

Again, it didn’t stay even for long. President Johnson ascended to the Presidency following the assassination of President Lincoln in 1865, and never chose a vice president. 

Johnson’s successor President Ulysses S. Grant evened it out with his second vice president in 1873.

In 1881, President James Garfield was assassinated, and Vice President Chester A. Arthur ascended to the Presidency. He never chose a VP.

25th President William McKinley evened it out in 1901 when Theodore Roosevelt became his second VP. When President McKinley was assassinated that same year (a sad theme in this story) President Roosevelt finished the term without a VP but chose Charles Fairbanks to serve in his first full term. This brings us to 26 each. 

Fast forward to 1933, and enter Franklin Delano Roosevelt- the 32nd President. He was elected to serve four terms, and had three vice presidents- both records! In 1945, he died in office just months after winning his fourth election, Vice President Truman (who initially disliked the idea of being President) completed the late Roosevelt’s 4th term. The 33rd POTUS didn’t choose a VP until he sought his only full term in office, defeating Thomas Dewey. 

A side note on the 1948 election: it was kind of like 2016, but instead of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin as pivotal swing states, the races hinged on Illinois, California, and Ohio. Dewey was long considered the front runner, Truman’s hopes at a full-term dead on arrival. The Chicago Daily Tribune published the now-famous headline “Dewey Defeats Truman,” because they were so convinced he would win in a landslide. Truman’s win left his opponents shell shocked. And since we’re comparing 1948 to 2016, we also can’t ignore the TRU- in both his and Former President Trump’s name. Spooky, huh? 

Back to business – it’s 1945 and we are up to 35 vice presidents and 33 presidents. (+2 total.) 

In 1973, the 39th Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned in a non-Watergate scandal from Richard Nixon’s administration. He was replaced with Gerald R. Ford, who became President Ford a year later when President Nixon resigned facing conviction in a Senate impeachment trial for the Watergate Scandal. 

Unlike others in his situation, Ford appointed Nelson Rockefeller as vice president to serve with him after a short vacancy (+3 total.) He lost his bid for a full term in 1976 to the 39th President Jimmy Carter. Walter Mondale became the 42nd vice president.

• Since then, there have been 3 more Vice Presidents than Presidents, and at this moment it’s because of Vice Presidents Henry A. Wallace and Harry S. Truman (Pres. Roosevelt) and Spiro T. Agnew (Pres. Nixon.)

Kamala Harris is not only the first woman to be VP, but she is the first Black Vice President and Indian American Vice President. Black women didn’t gain the right to vote until 1965, 45 years after the 19th amendment was ratified, giving white women the right to vote. Although our country would’ve been better off with a woman in the White House in 2016 than a sad orange clown, it is kind of poetic that a Black woman delivered the first shattering blow to that “highest, hardest glass ceiling.” 

As of today, there are 6 living former vice presidents- President Biden, Mike Pence, Dick Cheney, Al Gore, Dan Quayle, and Walter Mondale. President Joe Biden is the 15th Vice President to go on to serve as President. Will Kamala Harris be the 16th? Will Al Gore make a comeback? Dick Cheney? Dan Quayle ‘24? Mondale/Klobuchar 2028? Klobuchar/Mondale, perhaps? Or a new face yet to be on the national scene?

Only time will tell the future of the Vice Presidency, but for the sake of safety and stability, let’s just hope that the POTUS – VPOTUS ratio stays even from now on. With the size and scope of the US Executive Branch growing by the year, it is important now more than ever to have a strong, hard-working, and caring vice president- and that’s what we’ll be enjoying for the next four years of Madame Vice President Harris. 

Thanks for reading, please follow us on Twitter and Facebook @HarrogateHoller! Email us comments, questions, and tips to HarrogateHoller@Gmail.com.

VIDEO: Students to Gov. Lee – “Remove KKK Grand Wizard Bust From Capital!”

Yesterday a group of students gathered at the capital to ask Governor Lee to remove the statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a confederate general who also has the distinction of being the first ever KKK Grand Wizard.

Watch and Share the Video Here:

“We come in peace and love… we’re tired of being tired.” – Jeneisha Harris, TSU

The bust is featured prominently in the lobby outside the state legislature. The students are not the first to protest it, and they won’t be the last.

The young Tennesseans came from all over the state to make their voices heard, leaving letters expressing their feelings on the floor outside the Governor’s office and stopping to pray in front of the state troopers who stood guard outside the governor’s office

As Justin Jones of Vanderbilt Divinity School says, history isn’t just something we read about in history books, history is going on every day. If you agree with these brave kids and what they’re doing, HOLLER at Governor Lee HERE.

And please watch and share the video above, footage courtesy of WZTV.