January 02, 2014

By Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.

NNPA Columnist

 

The 2016 national elections are not that far away. It is timely and important that we not wait until then to begin having constructive discussions about who should be given the opportunity and responsibility to  succeed President Barack Obama. The questions of the future of politics, economics and equal justice should never be avoided.  Especially given all the voter suppression enactments in many states over the last two years, we should be more vigilant about being politically conscious and civically active.  My motive, therefore, is to stimulate a proactive dialogue now about the possibilities for viable candidates for the next national elections.

Even with three more years in office, I believe that President Obama will be judged by history as one of the most effective presidents ever. He will be credited for leading the recovery and revival of the U.S. economy by encouraging the passage of the $787 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, with Wall Street reaching its highest investment level, ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, getting the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress, rebooting the U.S auto industry, signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act ensuring equal pay for women,  signing into law the Fair Sentencing Act that significantly reduced the sentencing disparities in drug laws that have been devastating for African Americans and Latino Americans, and appointing the first African Americans as Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security.

Therefore, any realistic speculation about who could be successful in following President Obama and Vice President Biden to the White House in 2016 should first be made in context of establishing continuity with the Obama administration’s progress in economic revival, ending poverty, and providing leadership in implementing a more inclusive national agenda for the empowerment of all people who strive for a better quality of life in the United States.

It is long overdue for a qualified and experienced women to be elected president and vice president of the United States. Here’s a way to do both at one time: I propose and endorse the election of Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton as the next president of the United States and Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama as the next vice president of the United States in 2016.

Think about how millions and millions of voters would readily desire with great enthusiasm to have the historic opportunity to vote for two former first ladies of the U.S. to be president and vice president. Today, Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama are the most popular and well respected women in the nation.  But this is not to be reduced to a mere popularity contest.  The truth is both Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama are very qualified, experienced and capable of leading the United States.

Hillary Clinton, a Yale law graduate, former U.S. Secretary of State and U.S. Senator is an expert on both domestic and foreign policy.  The Democratic Party will be victorious in 2016 if Hillary Clinton is nominated for president.  Of course, the vice presidential candidate in 2016 will be chosen by the nominee of the Democratic Party.  As I have traveled recently around the country, I am pleased to report that there is a growing support for Michelle Obama to run for public office and being vice president would be a perfect fit.  Michelle Obama is a Harvard Law graduate and a seasoned expert on community development and health care issues with a particular commitment to ending poverty for all people.

Let’s be clear: they should not be elected because they are women; they should be elected because they are qualified to lead our nation. And those who profess to have a problem with electing two women didn’t complain when we’ve elected two men throughout the history of this nation.

We all remember the tremendous surge in voter turnout in 2008 and again in 2012.  And we know what created that enthusiasm. There are real repressive forces, however, that are now at work to increase systematic efforts to suppress voting rights and voter turnout for both the mid-term 2014 and 2016 national elections.  We cannot afford to go backwards.  We need to need to keep the forward thrust of the progress of the Obama-Biden administration into a Clinton-Obama administration in 2016.  The future of America and the world will once again be at stake.

The political and public discourse will need a new stimulus in order to arouse a massive turnout of voters who will be committed to a progressive agenda and further socioeconomic transformation of our society and nation into a better place.  What’s your view?  Who will you support?  Who will you vote for?  Let the debate begin.

“Forward ever, backward never!”  This is not a time for cynicism or pessimism.  We must envision the future for tomorrow out of how we see the present today.  I see the Hillary Clinton-Michell Obama ticket as a winning ticket for 2016.

Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. is Presi­dent of Education Online Services Corporation and the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network and can be reached at http://drbenjaminfchavisjr.wix.com/drbfc

Category: Opinion

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