On The Godfather of Soul's birthday, many of us funkateers, soul brothas and soul sistas like to entertain the phrase "James Brown for President" and play his 1974 hit "Funky President."
Now we actually have a Funky President, and I think Obama is doing a better Job than President Brown might have done. I stopped to think what realisitcally would be James Brown's policy positions?
First of all, Brown endorsed Richard Nixon and supported Nixon's "Black Capitalism" campaign, which was frought with contradictions. He would likely support the major corporations ideas of de-regulation and small government. He would probably not support Affirmative Action,as he was adamant about self help and community self determination without intervention.
Brown took his band to Vietnam in 1968 at the height of the anti war protest movement, defending it through his proclamations of patriotism for America. All this did however was put him on the government's watch list. But President Brown would probably be as pro Iraq war as Bush, or at least as most of the Republicans have been. dang.
Remember Watergate? Brown wrote the song "You Can Have Watergate, Just Gimme Some Bucks and I'll be Straight" which, while it empathized with the bro on the street, it also supported the notion that government snenanigans should not be investigated. I think Brown would be an obstructionist and secretive administrator.
Imagine all the white girl interns running around the white house.
Having said all of that, James Brown would definitely be Soul Brother Number One in the White House, and be King of the World, let's be real about that one. He would stand up to any petty dictator on the planet and roll with legit world leaders like...like Obama has done.
Not sure about Brown's stance on women's rights. He believes "It's A Man's World" after all. Not many women appoointed to the Supreme Court from President Brown. But he would definitely be a strong leader, making "Soul Power" a party platform.
Regardless of all of his contradictions, James Brown allowed us to imagine our own greatness as Black and Proud people for the first time, and he has a singular legacy across the entirety of the black community in that respect.