The Centrist Way in 2024? 'No Labels' Spurs National Discussion
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – A political organization called "No Labels" is intent on shaking up the 2024 presidential race. There's talk of creating a third-party unity ticket if the field of voters faces a choice of Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump once again.
The national co-chair of the group talked with CBN News about the way forward. Civil rights leader, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, an ordained minister and former CEO of the NAACP, is navigating political waters to support this centrist effort.
"The reason why I'm moving to the center with No Labels is because I want to see further change," Chavis said. I want to see our nation do better. I want to see our nation, open up more opportunities for all of God's people."
Dr. Chavis added, "We promote and support bipartisan solutions, bipartisan common sense solutions to our nation's problems."
No Labels has been a Capitol Hill presence for years, supporting the "House Problem-Solvers Caucus." It's helped lead to bipartisan achievements such as the recent infrastructure bill.
As 2024 approaches, members believe Americans want a moderate, common-sense alternative, and point to polling that shows nearly 60 percent of citizens would support a centrist presidential candidate.
Critics push back on those numbers.
We asked Chavis about the claim by the political group 538 and some others, who have said the middle ground in the electorate is not that large, and that among the polarized electorate – both left and right – many people have already chosen their candidate.
He responded, "The middle is growing. The middle is expanding, and it's intergenerational: Millennials, Generation Z, but also elders, middle-aged people."
No matter how big or small the middle is, No Labels believes these voters really don't want to see a Trump/Biden rematch.
I asked Chavis, "What is it about that rematch that has No Labels concerned, exactly?"
He replied, "I would like to see President Biden moved more to the center, not to the left. And I would even like to see former President Trump move more to the center, away from the extreme."
Chavis continued, "So let's see what will happen. What I predict is, we're going to stir a national discussion about these issues, political discussion, faith discussion, economic discussion, cultural discussion."
And they've got tens of millions of dollars to do just that. Right now, the priority is getting on the ballot in all 50 states. They're on in 5 states so far, with more to come. Next spring, they will announce final plans at their convention in Dallas.
"So, between March and April, we're going to discern whether or not a unity ticket that has a Republican and a Democrat, or a Democrat and Republican, – (whether) that ticket has a pathway to win the majority of the electoral college votes," Chavis explained.
While they won't name names on that ticket, Monday in New Hampshire, centrist candidate Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) headlines a kickoff event announcing their new Common Sense Policy Book for America.
With Republican former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan also a "No Labels" guy, the group is triggering both political parties.
When Chavis was told he was getting fire from all sides, he answered, "Right! Right now, probably more fire from the Democrats because they are nervous that somehow we would tip the balance over to Trump, in favor of former President Trump."
He added, "But the truth of the matter is, a democracy, David, is at its greatest strength when we have more people participating. You know, I think one of the strengths of our democracy is that, yes, we're diverse. But it's how we work together, not how we work, different. Togetherness, unity is so so important."
Dr. Chavis' resume dates back to the 1960s as part of Dr. Martin Luther King's civil rights movement.
"One of the greatest experiences I had, in terms of faith," he recalled," was watching and listening to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. When he made his, 'I Have a Dream' speech, it was undergirded by his faith in Jesus Christ, as coming to heal, restore, and resurrection-mended from self-destruction. And I think that we need that today, more than ever before."
I asked Dr. Chavis, "Do you think (Dr. King) would be a No Labels guy?" He replied, "Oh, absolutely."
Dr. Chavis also is convinced that in today's political atmosphere, we need to hate less and love more.
He believes, "We may disagree on something political, but you're not my enemy because we disagree on something political, right?"
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