How will we know the right one to vote for?
By Harry C. Alford, NNPA Columnist
During the last seven years we’ve seen our nation go from an economically challenged state of affairs to one of confusion, division, hate and hopelessness. It isn’t what President Obama promised but he did say he was going to fundamentally change America. He has done that and we are in a worse position since the 1970s.
Our rivals (Iran, China, Russia, etc.) no longer fear us. They, in fact, regard us as “chumps” and they may be right. Our friends such as Israel, England, France, etc. see us as undependable and afraid of standing up for what is right. We are not acting like the greatest and richest nation on earth and that is a threat to our future.
We hunger for strong leadership and are looking to the next election cycle to bring positive and strong change. We want to go back to the days of undeniable strength. We are looking for someone who will make our military strong again. Someone who will rejuvenate our economy and jumpstart more jobs and development. Dear Lord, send us a great leader!
Who will that be? How will we know the right one to vote for?
The current primary race for 2016 has started and it appears to be extremely active in hopefuls seeking the nomination. The Republican side has an unheard of 16 candidates, at last count. They come from all walks of life: governors, senators, business tycoons, medical doctors, ministers, etc. It isn’t terribly diverse in gender or race: one Black, two Hispanics and one woman. The Democrats have four candidates: a governor and three senators. The current polls are exciting as the leadership in the rankings is changing and becoming unpredictable. The debates are coming soon and this should expose the true “colors” of the candidates.
On the Republican side, the governors look quite impressive. Gov. Scott Walker has a great track record in turning Wisconsin around and his numbers are impressive for such a short period. I just heard him speak before a group of Republican state representatives today and he had the 2,000 attendees on their feet throughout his motivational speech. Gov. John Kasich has a great track record for fiscal responsibility in his state of Ohio. His problem is he waited too long to get into the race. Gov. Walker is rolling over him and is catching the front leader – Donald Trump.
Donald Trump, the successful entrepreneur, has shaken up the race. He is financing his own campaign and that makes him his own boss without having to consider any criticism. In fact, he is attacking anyone who says anything negative about him. The voters seem to love his confidence and his “telling it like it is” style. He is leading in the polls (but Walker is gaining ground) and is creating all the attention. The television shows and newscasters are obsessed in covering his daily actions and comments.
This is causing a great problem for the Republican National Committee. They have a person leading in the race who has no true loyalty to them. Trump is actually an Independent, but is running in the Republican primary. This could be dangerous for the RNC. Ross Perot did that bin 1992 and pulled out of the RNC and ran as an Independent. He took 19 percent of the overall votes. He certainly didn’t win but he caused President George H.W. Bush to lose to Bill Clinton. Clinton won with just 42 percent of the vote. Thanks to Perot that was enough. Could Trump do the same if he decides to pull out of the Republican side and run as an Independent? This would surely benefit the Democratic Party.
On the Democratic side there is Hillary Clinton who believes she is the “anointed one.” Maryland Gov. O’Malley, Senator Jim Webb and Independent Senator Bernie Sanders are her competition. It seems lopsided in Hillary’s favor but she has one big problem. Her shady past keeps getting in her way as she moves for “traction” in the race. Hillary has a problem with her image. More and more people are regarding her as “dishonest.” There are a lot of scandals over the past 30 years that would support this. To the surprise of many, Sanders is starting to gain significant support. If this becomes a growing trend, Hillary may face a new opponent. Vice President Joe Biden is standing on the sidelines. People may turn to him and draft him to run and this could very well happen if the current downward trend against Hillary continues.
Dr. Ben Carson is holding steady on the Republican side, which may make him a handsome vice presidential selection. Other than that there isn’t much direct Black input. The Congressional Black Caucus will have no “juice” in this matter and that is too bad.
This campaign is so strange and time will only tell.