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Trump, Clinton, Sanders & Cruz score on Super - Tuesday

Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. | 3/2/2016, 8:32 p.m.
Four persons scored well on Super Tuesday in the 2016 presidential race – two Republicans, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz ...

Four persons scored well on Super Tuesday in the 2016 presidential race – two Republicans, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and two Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Initial numbers show the same pattern as the first elections, high turnout among Republican voters and a much lower turnout by Democratic voters - a result that should concern the Democratic Party.

Democrats like both of their candidates think they are addressing significant issues in a respectful manner in their debates.

Republicans have conducted a circus during their debates, attacking each other with personal insults. Ted Cruz is the candidate Republicans in Congress don’t like. Donald Trump is the candidate that Republicans in Congress don’t want.

Super Tuesday, for both parties, was designed for the conservative white South in order to control the outcome of the presidential nominating process and to project a conservative agenda. My campaigns in 1984 and 1988 disrupted that plan and offered a different vision and opportunity for progressive change. African American voters in particular and minority voters in general, in coalition with progress whites, Hispanics and Asians can turn the poorest and most conservative region of the county into a progressive political force.

South Carolina took down the Confederate Flag, but left up the Confederate agenda. The Republican South remains obsessed with denying voting rights to minorities, women, young people, seniors, workers and the disabled. The Republican South continues to divide us along racial and class lines.

The Republican South threatens the existence of historically black colleges and universities. The Republican South is intent on filling up private jails with African American, Hispanic and poor inmates, with government and private industry exploiting them as cheap or slave labor. The Republican South denies millions of low-income Americans health care insurance by not implementing the Medicaid part of the Affordable Care Act. The one thing all the Republican candidates agree on is destroying the Affordable Care Act.

We keep losing races in the South by the margin of African Americans, Hispanics and other minorities who aren’t registering and voting. For example in Alabama there are 902,500 African Americans of voting age, but only 626,335 are registered. In 2008, then Senator Barack Obama lost Alabama by 453,067 votes. Running for reelection in 2012, President Obama again lost Alabama, this time by 459,751 votes. Both years, had all African Americans eligible to vote been registered and cast a ballot for Obama, a red state could be blue. The story is much the same across the old Confederate South. You can’t expect to get a hit if you don’t show up at the plate.

In 1980 Ronald Reagan played footsies with the KKK by launching his campaign at the Neshoba County Fair near Philadelphia, Mississippi, where voting rights workers Cheney, Goodman and Schwerner were murdered. Now Donald Trump is playing footsies with David Duke and the KKK.

This has been one of the ugliest campaigns in American history; while protecting the right to vote, affirmative action, closing the poverty gap and providing health care to those most in need are all under attack.