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You can’t straddle fence when it comes to politics

A Microvote Infinity voting machineDuring the presidential election of 2000 and because of the bad voting record on minority issues of Joe Lieberman, running mate of then U.S. presidential candidate Al Gore, I decided to cast my vote for an independent candidate for president, Ralph Nader. From then on I considered myself a proud independent, sort of in the middle. You know what I mean?

It was not until I attended a race relations summit, and I heard Tennessee Rep. and black caucus member Johnny Shaw speak these words that my political lifestyle would be forever changed. He stated:

When it comes to politics you are either on one side or the other, people who straddle the fence are just afraid to make a stand on anything.

So recently when I sat down with family members for our weekly family dinner, I once again reiterated this story to them. I told them why we should, as a family, vote and support the following candidates for office based on the common interest they all represent.

Charles Smith for mayor of Clarksville; Joe Pitts for state House 67th District; Harold Ford Jr. for U.S. senator; Bruce Gibbs for state House 78th District;  Keith Svadba for City Council Ward 3; Tim Barnes for state House 68th District; Bill Morrison for 7th U.S. House District and let’s keep Phil Bredesen for Governor & John Tanner for 8th U.S. House District

It is time to stop straddling the fence and recognize that we need change across the board. Now that I have chosen a side, it completes me and the above-mentioned candidates will help Clarksville to grow, heal, and to become complete by recognizing the true strength of its diverse population and how to use it to its advantage.

On Oct. 23, Family Vote Day, my family and I will vote for change. I hope you and your family will too. God Bless!



  1. The Tennessee Democratic Party has done nothing to address the city of Clarksville refusal to comply with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is well known throughout the minority community that no local politician Democrat or Republican will publicly discuss the city’s refusal to comply with one of the most important civil rights legislation enacted by Congress in 1964. Many of the candidates running for office in this town, county and state have discounted the minority community’s voting power for one reason or another and have not seriously sought out their support.

    These old time southern politicians are relying upon the tried and true method of seeking out the support of local black ministers, pastors, civil rights and community leaders to rally the troops to vote for them in the upcoming election. Newsflash to all of them that dog won’t hunt this year!

    This is because of the availability of the Internet here in Clarksville and Montgomery County. Check out the following websites listed below and you will see an underground movement is well underway regarding this upcoming election. From the privacy of their homes the minority community can now read see and hear different points of views which are dramatically different from the information being put out there by local and state candidates running for public office.

    Case in point Jimmy Garland, a former member of the Clarksville Montgomery County School Board and the President of the Clarksville NAACP recently lost his bid for reelection to the school board by well over 300 votes to a previously unknown candidate. Many of the voters who cast their votes in the election had read and viewed details of Mr. Garland’s refusal to defend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on several different websites and had decided by their vote that he should not be reelected.

    This action stunned the local Democratic Party and opened the eyes of many local politicians that the so-called leaders of the minority community could not deliver enough votes to even get themselves elected or reelected. Wanda McMoore, the wife of Terry McMoore another local NAACP official also suffered defeat in her bid to be elected as a Montgomery County Commissioner. Clarksville City Councilwoman Barbara Johnson, may suffer the same fate on election night.

    With the election being less-than two weeks away this unseen factor of the usage of the Internet by the minority community has put the Tennessee Democratic Party on notice that their once dependable votes from the minority community might not show up for local candidates on election night. If this event should happen the Tennessee Democratic Party only have themselves to blame for playing racial politics.

    Their refusal to defend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has cast doubt in the minority community about who they really are voting for in this upcoming election, Democrats or Dixiecrats? Common sense dictates that if these local Democratic state candidates such as Joe Pitts, Bruce Gibbs and Tim Barnes refuse to tackle this civil rights problem regarding the city of Clarksville refusal to comply with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 then what good are they?

    Tennessee Democrats have even had local civil rights leaders such as Terry McMoore support and defend their actions with their so-called big picture scenario which goes like this: Hey black folks we have to retake control of the Tennessee General Assembly and State Senate get Governor Bredesen reelected and Rep. Harold Ford elected to the U.S. Senate and finally retake control of the U.S. Congress, the Senate and the White House. Then we can get around to your civil rights! My brothers and sisters we have to look at the big picture, because this election is about more than our civil rights.

    In other words we have to put our hard fought for civil rights on the back burner and wish, hope and pray that these Democrats will follow through on their words with defending our civil rights! Well, most black folks with good sense know fully well that once these candidates get our votes and are elected their interests will not be our well being and the status quo will remain the same with the exception of them hiring the few Negroes who spreaded their false messages.

    Remember Vote Title VI In 2006!

    For more information check out the following websites.




    Enoch Hagans

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