To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Who Will Win The All-Important North Carolina Homeless Felon Murderer Vote?

The Washington Post has a story today about how North Carolina, a state once solidly Republican, is in play this election. The story argues that the economic downturn is causing North Carolina residents to rethink their allegiance to the GOP. Okay, that sounds about right.

But, umm, who does the Post pick to typify this changing trend towards the Democrats? One Warren Kent Vaughn. Now Warren is an odd person to pick in the first place since he is a black dude and they vote for Democrats over the GOP about 9-1. But this "typical" voter's story is even more interesting than that:
Warren Kent Vaughn and Brenda Williams were living in an empty 18-wheeler semitrailer not long ago, in love but homeless, their drug histories a drag on their dreams. Then they found salvation in Room 77 of the Queen City, Vaughn working as a live-in handyman, Williams as a maid. They worked seven days a week for chump change, plus room and board.

"It's been a struggle, but I ain't gave up, bro," said Vaughn, who was honorably discharged from the Army, got sucked into the dope racket, killed a man in a street scrap, served 14 years in prison, and on this recent day was tugging on his scraggly beard, work gloves in his back pocket.

***

The gale forces of the economy are blowing people in different directions, driving them to their presidential choices with an intensity that this state has not seen in some time. Many North Carolinians are either running toward a candidate or running away from one, the candidates now surrogates for folks' fears and aspirations. Even with his consuming worries, Vaughn found himself drawn to Barack Obama's quest as a symbol of the change Vaughn envisioned for his own life.

He even volunteered to register the ex-hustlers on the streets he once ran. And when they shooed him away, he kept insisting. "There are no limitations," he'd tell them. "Stop saying, 'I can't.' Just try, instead of saying, 'I can't.' " After all, Vaughn had found a job and shelter that wasn't under a bridge. His prospects were on the upswing -- just like Obama's in North Carolina, he figured.
Maybe I'm being overly cynical but I'm thinking that the "gale forces of the economy" had little to do with the fact that an ex-drug dealer and murderer who served 14 years in prison was having a hard time. In fact I'm willing to bet that he wasn't doing that well when the economy was on the upswing either.

On the other hand it is nice to learn that Obama is so magical that just believing in him can save you from poverty and destitution. I mean, imagine what he can do when he is actually elected president! It'll be Cheetos and handjobs for everyone!

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