Why Worrying About Election Day Gave Me Insomnia

Why Worrying About Election Day Gave Me Insomnia
Replaying history and the consequences of this election was just too much. (Unaccredited Photo)

I could not sleep last night.

I could not get out of my mind all of the advances made in our great country to level the playing field for minorities, women, LGBTs, and other Americans.

Every major issue faced by Americans was addressed by President Obama. It is as simple as that.

Believe what you want to believe, but this election is about the progress of people in this country who once did not have a voice.

People have bled, sweat, and died for the not only the right to vote, but the right to have quality education, get jobs, have successful small businesses, and raise families where they choose.

When Barack Hussein Obama was elected President of the United States of America on November 4, 2008, he not only signaled a change in Washington politics, he became a symbol to young boys and girls of every American background they can aspire to be whoever they dreamed to be.

Unfortunately this dream became a nightmare to those who may directly, or indirectly who saw the rise of this transformative man of mixed race as the decline of their country and losing white privilege.

The interesting part of this dilemma for those most concerned with losing the white privilege was that it may have been the only thing they actually owned. They may have had a home foreclosed on during the financial crisis, faced a mountain of credit card debt, had a collapsed 401k, worried about affording college education for one or more children, or may have been uninsured or underinsured in the health care of their families. Meanwhile, they worried about national security because Osama bin Laden remained at large as well as other al Qaeda leadership.

Every major issue faced by Americans was addressed by President Obama. It is as simple as that.

From the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 which helped address the housing and credit crisis and helped millions to avoid foreclosure from their homes as well as the nation’s largest nation building of infrastructure since the Dwight Eisenhower administration, to the Credit Card Act to prevent the abuses of the credit card industry, to the Affordable Care Act stop many from using the emergency room as a doctor and skyrocketing costs to all, to doubling Pell Grants for college students, streamlining the college loan process, as well as providing debt loan forgiveness for teachers, nurses, and servicemen, the Lilly Ledbetter act to provide equal pay for equal work for women, to ending the war in Iraq and killing Osama bin Laden, the President accomplished the broadest sweep of changes to help average Americans in 50 years. In addition to that, the stock market doubled, the GDP consistently grew, and 40+ months of private sector job growth added to the increasing Consumer Price Index.

While the President was swept into office with his mantra of hope and change, which tapped into the best spirit of what it is to be an American, millions of others still voted against him and wished him failure from day one.

When Barack Hussein Obama was elected President of the United States of America on November 4, 2008, he not only signaled a change in Washington politics, he became a symbol to young boys and girls of every American background they can aspire to be whoever they dreamed to be.

Why? Traditionally the wealthy vote Republican. Mostly they do because they oppose government restraining their ability to focus on the purest forms of capitalism – the bottom line. The bottom line for corporations often times run afoul of the best interests, safety or well-being of their customers or clients, and sometimes the public as a whole. Electing competent public servants are the only way to prevent such abuses. It is not only legislature. Our civil court tort system also serves as a checks and balances system of corporate abuse (unfortunately shipping jobs overseas was the biggest abuse we were powerless to stop).

The wild card in legislation is there are human beings occupying office. In order for them to win office, they need money to advertise, hire staff, and run effective operations. Lobbying firms which represent large corporate interests get involved in far more legislation and selection of judges that we can ever imagine.

This all circles back to those who claim they want “their country” back. Divide and conquer is a very effective strategy by the rich and powerful. When Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights act of 1965, traditional white Southern Democratic voters jumped ship to the Republican party. Meanwhile many whites were already leaving inner cities all across the country.

Leaving the former inner cities and going to the GOP had ZERO to do with economics. It had everything to do with race and maintaining a certain homogeny in all facets of life. Whether it was their neighborhood or their ballot, many communities which did not have large interactions with African Americans (the South, the Plains, working blue collar areas in cities/suburbs) saw their actions as the best way to protect their way of life.

Once this phenomenon was figured out by wealthier class Republicans especially those connected to large corporations, the goal became to exploit the differences among the population to ensure they could limit government (deregulation and tort reform being major initiatives) and get judges on benches to get pro corporate rulings.

So the term Liberal became a bad word, so much so Liberals now refer to themselves as Progressives. Why? Because whites who worked alongside minorities and social initiatives were painted as almost un-American.

Ultimately rich Republicans could care less about poor and working class Republicans. They care about about winning and ensuring the fat cats who are their friends maintain their power and help the rich get richer (SideNote: getting rich is desirable for me, extremely desirable actually).

I do not really believe rich people are inherently racist. I actually think race is beneath rich people. They mostly care about money. They are willing to maintain their power to continue to make more money by any means necessary, including using advertising to tamp into the ugliest parts of certain populations. Those certain populations are the ones who hold on to American ideals which seem to apply only specifically to their group. It's the reason this election is also about definitely saying you cannot sell this divisive crap to people and have it work.

Like Bill Clinton said during his DNC speech, it’s all about arithmetic. Over the last 30 years income inequality between blacks and whites has actually stagnated. However, the top 1% of this country’s wealth have increased 275% percent while the middle class has seen a 40% growth. Recently this number has actually seen a slight decline.

It all comes down to this: If you are a minority, a woman, LGBT, a young person, or a white male with a family making less than $250,000 a year, there really is no reason for you not to vote for President Obama.

The progress of the 99% of all are depending on it. Why would you want to keep your privilege and lose your shirt anyway?

Exavier B. Pope, Esq. is an entertainment and sports attorney, media personality, syndicated writer, Fortune 500 speaker and peak performance strategist, author, philanthropist, and sports business and law blogger for ChicagoNow. All opinions expressed are those solely of Mr. Pope.

(c) 2012, Exavier Pope

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ARTICLE EPILOGUE: I was scared to death to write this article. I'm a guy who went to one of the most diverse high schools in the country, was the only black in my Economics courses in college, belongs to one of the oldest fraternities in the country (being the only black in my chapter and one of only a handful nationwide), nickname was Mr. International in college,  and was elected two consecutive years as a school body representative in law school being only one of two blacks in my entire law school class. I love the heck out of all people. I desperately despise  we live in a world where race is even an issue. I take every person for face value and have dated women of all races. I have friends and business associates of friends of all races. Some of the biggest idiots I've ever known have occupied the skins of all races (heck, because I'm black, I've probably seen more of them actually be black, but I digress from this digression). I want this article to be seen through the lens of me understanding it's a big bleeping deal to the advancement of all people and the consciousness of the nation President Barack Obama is elected. 

I didn't want to get pegged as some militant black, some race card playing guy, or I'm against "whitey" or any foolishness like that. I also didn't want anyone not to do business with me, a news organization not bring me on air, or some corporation think I'm against them making a profit because I wrote this article. I am generally not against anyone. That's why I was afraid. Sucks I'm afraid to use my right to free speech, but I felt as honest as this article was, I wanted to be equally honest why I almost didn't publish it. 

Jay Cutler said something yesterday which made me think. He said he voted for Mitt Romney because "I'm from Tennessee". Basically he voted that way because people in the South vote Republican? Well that wasn't always the case. "Because that's how we've always done it" has been used as a reason to vote against the best financial interests of a population.

Ultimately I wrote this article because I was scared to death and couldn't sleep and didn't fully trust people to vote for the right guy for the right reasons. Hopefully this fear is all rendered mute by the end of this election.


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  • This guy in the picture looks like me if I gained 60 pounds. Yikes.

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    In reply to Exavier Pope:

    Sadly, I agree with you!

  • Politics aside, it took a MAN to put this out there. I respect the living daylights out of you for having the "intestinal fortitude" to keep it this real and own it. And I appreciate the closing notes as well. You're a man of more substance than words on a screen can ever give you credit for, and taking a stand this bold could be taken out of context too easily.

    Much respect, Exavier.

  • In reply to Tab Bamford:


    Your words mean a great deal man. It really did. My stomach is still in knots I actually wrote this and put it out. I think the closing notes to my article are just as important as the article itself. It was the taking out of context I was afraid of. Tab, how you handled the Ohio State situation has always been an inspiration to me whether you believe it or not and keeping my voice honest.

    Much respect Tab and I'll see you tomorrow night!

  • In reply to Exavier Pope:

    See ya soon!

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    I totally admire your convictions and journalistic fortitude to adhere to truth and freedom of speech! I am fortunate to come across your article. There is no better argument than facts!

  • In reply to Altoine Barker:


    I greatly appreciate your feedback. This post scared and still scares the living daylights out of me. That being said it had to be written.

  • I'm glad you were brave enough to post this.

  • In reply to Kim Z Dale:


    Thank you for your feedback. I greatly appreciate your kind words. I'm still shaking in my boots! That being said, I pray my words are taken to heart so that we can focus on what unites us, not what divides us.

  • good read. This is what most men are thinking but are afraid to say. I'm going to post this.

  • In reply to Evan Moore:


    Thanks for reading and your feedback. Amazing we are afraid to say what is needed to be said to make things change for the better.

  • And even if you *are* a white man making more than $250k, it still makes sense to vote for Obama. Why? Because plenty of people you care about aren't.

  • @Jenna:

    You know I love you right?

  • In reply to Exavier Pope:

    Haha, ditto. Thanks for writing, Pope!

  • What an amazing post! Thank you so much for having the courage to write all of this. I hope you are felling better today!!

  • In reply to Erin:


    Thank you so much for reading. I am glad I wrote this. The victory restored my faith in the consciousness of our great nation. I feel awesome!

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