Who are you supporting in the upcoming 2016 elections? Those being discussed include: Vice President Joseph Biden; talk-show host Herman Cain; Dr. Ben Carson; Gov. Chris Christie; former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley; Gov. Deval Patrick; or former Florida Rep. Allen West?
As the 2016 presidential election approaches media speculation, propaganda, and misinformation spikes. This presidential election will be the 58th quadrennial United States presidential election and is scheduled for Tuesday, November 8, 2016. Voters will select presidential electors, who in turn will elect the next president and the vice president. Incumbent President Barack Obama is ineligible to be elected to a third term due to term limits in the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Article II of the Constitution stipulates that for a person to be elected and serve as president, the individual must be a natural born citizen, at least 35 years old, and a resident for no less than 14 years. Candidates for the presidency often seek the nomination of one of the country’s various political parties, in which case each party devises a method (such as a primary election) to choose the candidate that party deems best suited to run. This is a year that voters elect state lawmakers who will redraw local and state political boundaries.
If Blacks don’t use their votes better, we’ll continue getting D-list treatment. Blacks will have to use their votes more strategically. Obama’s candidacies created processes that placated Blacks enough to get their votes without them seeking or receiving any level of reciprocity. Black politicians and activists inside the White House bubble play kingmakers. “Nobody can go to the White House unless they stop by our house,” boasts Obama-administration insider Rev. Al Sharpton. Growing numbers of Blacks are embracing victim status as cover for simple laziness and irresponsible lifestyles. People who promote “Big government” socialist agendas too often preach false, evil gospels of victimhood.
This season, as has been the case for many voting seasons, the president and most contenders, remain silent about race-oriented issues. Race is America’s eternal flashpoint issue and few politicians are willing to venture out far enough to say anything in regard to it. Mainstream candidates avoid race like the plague. Racial issues rarely enter into presidential debates. No president or presidential challenger will risk being labeled as pandering to minorities. It’s time Blacks faced the reality that shoving race to the back burner of presidential campaigns invariably produces presidents that ignore their legislative agenda.
For Republicans, who have struggled to win support among Black voters for more than 50 years, retired neurologist Ben Carson happens to be the contender capable enough to garner the Black vote and take the party to the Winner’s Circle in 2016. A conservative African American, Carson’s a respected and admired figure among Blacks. He’s able to clearly and calmly discuss conservative positions in a way average voters can understand. Carson can bond with all Americans and can speak definitely about party values. He rose to prominence after delivering a controversial speech at a January 2012 National Prayer Breakfast, where he lambasted Obama and his policies. A Republican and a true political outsider, Carson appears to be the one candidate capable of taking down Hillary Clinton.
The one actively seeking out African Americans’ support is Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. Paul broke ranks with “fence-sitters” when he penned an op-ed in Time magazine that “Anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice … is not paying close enough attention.” Paul has been showing up at traditional Blacks venues and staking out positions on issues that resonate among Blacks.
Polls among Americans show something close to parity between the Democratic and Republican parties. Among Blacks the Democrats win – 8 to 1. The current consensus shows Clinton winning Blacks’ ballots in 2016 without making much in the way of promises to get them.
William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via the BaileyGroup.org