Saturday, January 17, 2009

A funny thing happened on way to the Music City USA Inaugural Ball and who's buying tickets

Politics never ceases to amaze, so that's why I love writing about it.

My sense of wonderment is not out of politicians and their advocates changing; it is actually how their actions reaffirm their convictions and show how many betray them.

In helping to organize, publicize and sell tickets to the non-partisan Music City USA Presidential Ball, I again have discovered that it is Republicans, conservatives and evangelicals who in general are most devoted to this nation and its most binding principles. And it is the same way with African-Americans.

And it is Democrats, liberals, radicals and so-called progressives whose fixation is most on power and preserving it at any cost, including at the expense of the people who are supposed to be served. We saw that this week at the state Capitol with Jimmy Naifeh's power play and in how the Democrats laughed and their lackeys in the news media let is pass without much outrage.

And so it has now come as no surprise that most the tickets being sold for the Obama inaugural ball here are from African-Americans, a traditional but often betrayed Democratic Party constituency, and Republicans, conservatives, military families and evangelicals who are driven by some very critical core principles.

I would embrace Republicanism myself if not for the anti-immigrant rant. As Ronald Reagan once said, Hispanics are conservatives and Republicans; they just don't know it yet. The Gipper is right. And people who look like me could be easily swayed to the GOP for good if it dropped the hatred of immigrants and the love of blue-eyed European purity.

The major factor that unites these constituencies is faith, not a secular one, but a personal one in Jesus Christ. Democrats even nationally are uncomfortable with faith except in a black church. All these constituencies profess their faith very publicly. So it is most natural from them to unite politically and religiously as the Democrats squirm in their pews, er, I mean, secular seats.

So it will be interesting Tuesday night at the Millennium Maxwell House to have a traditional Democratic constituency celebrate the inauguration of the first black president with Tennessee's GOP, evangelical and conservative constituencies. The political partnership that emerges from this gathering will produce a direct assault upon the entrenchment of the Democratic Party in Tennessee (outside of Rep. Steve Cohen) and its stand-for-nothing-but-ourselves agenda.

Now I realize many Democrats locally are going to Washington for inaugural activities, a very big mistake if you've been watching news reports about long lines for public services and other things we taken for granted. But Nashville has hundreds of thousands of people in it, and is supposed to be a progressive city. Yes, these are economic hard times. But Tuesday is a first in this nation's history. We spend almost $100 a month on the cable bill.

A ticket to the Music City Ball brings $35 in food, dancing and top notch entertainment and a chance to thank our military and Gold Star families in person for our freedoms. But the military presence has always bothered Democrats. So its prominence at the Ball is probably a turn off, along with the strong showing of patriotism that will be featured.

Proceeds from the tickets also go to 21 local charities meeting social needs.

The English Only vote Thursday is actually no big deal and not something that permanently divides these constituencies. My grandparents survived an English Only world in America when they came here and so did my 11 uncles and my dad who fought for this nation in WWII. No lives were lost, by the grace of God.

The bigger issues are those that will follow, and upon which this new political alliance can agree and act.

Now I must emphasize that are some Tennessee Democrats who buck the trend I have discovered. And they are heroes of mine, because they stand out amid a field of such nauseating mediocrity.

But the Ball in general has reinforced a lesson I have learned in my time of covering politics here. So we're going to have a hell of time Tuesday night and many days afterward shaking up the political establishment in Nashville and Tennessee as these constituencies that often battle in fear come together in cheer.

Tickets are still a available. Contact me if you're interested at

When President Obama promised change, he meant it for his own political party, too, particularly here in Nashville and Tennessee.

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