Nobody asked, but I’ve become a speech writer:
Thank you, thank you. I accept the nomination as your presidential candidate.
Traumatic times are transformative times. The pandemic and protests have changed us, now and forever.
These crises have exposed deep, systemic inequities within our economy, healthcare, education, criminal justice and race relations that will take decades, not years, to fix.
But our tradition of electing a new president every four years doesn’t lend itself to long-range institutional change. It lends itself to changing presidents, not systems.
A different kind of country requires a different kind of presidency.
Lincoln had his Team of Rivals. Our new cabinet would be a Team of Equals working together instead of competing against each other.
We need a presidency that uses the cabinet as on-the-job training for future presidents. Under this kind of presidency, cabinet members would change positions, gaining experience that would prepare them to carry on the transformation this nation needs.
Many corporations train future executives by moving them around so they can experience the different aspects of the organization. They groom leaders from within. The same should apply to our presidency.
Changing cabinet positions is nothing new. But what we need is a rotating cabinet, not a revolving-door cabinet.
Lincoln had his Team of Rivals. Our new cabinet would be a Team of Equals working together instead of competing against each other. During each job swap, cabinet members would work in tandem, advising and mentoring each other in their new positions.
The Secretary of Health and Human Services, charged with overseeing a system of healthcare for all, would job-swap with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, whose mission will be reforming our shameful health care of veterans.
The secretaries of Health, Veterans Affairs, and Housing and Urban Development would also switch positions to address the mental health and affordable-housing crises that plague this nation with homelessness.
The secretaries of Commerce and Labor would change positions to create an economy that addresses income inequality with livable wages and job growth for all Americans.
The Secretary of the Interior would become the Secretary of Energy to focus on renewable energy and climate change.
The Secretary of Education would revive our public education system and address the burden of college tuition before changing places with the Secretary of Commerce. We can’t preach that education is the pathway to success if we don’t create job opportunities for high school and college graduates.
Defense and Homeland Security secretaries would switch jobs to fortify our nation against terrorism. Defense would focus of foreign threats, while Homeland Security protects us from the domestic terrorism of mass shootings. Both will work to eliminate the cyberattacks and misinformation that undermine our democracy.
The Attorney General would lead a Justice Department that reforms the criminal justice system while enforcing laws against discrimination based on age, race, gender and sexual orientation. The Attorney General would change places with the Secretary of State, who will export our renewed commitment to democracy to a world suffering under authoritarian oppression.
Those who distinguish themselves in these different cabinet positions would switch places with the vice president. No presidential job training would be complete without an internship as vice president.
This too is not unprecedented. We’ve changed vice presidents before, but not in a systematic way of training future presidents.
By the end of the end of the president’s administration, there will always be a stable of experienced, knowledgeable presidents-in-waiting capable of completing the nation’s transition from trauma to transformation.
This new kind of presidency would require a new kind of president: Someone focused on a future beyond the next election. It must be someone with the confidence and self-assurance not to be threatened by the intelligence, ideas and ideologies of other men and women.
But it also requires a different criteria for cabinet members: smart but flexible, ambitious but not egotistical, dedicated but not dogmatic, leaders but also teammates. If there are members of the opposition party who fit that description, they should have a place in the administration.
This new form of presidency could create the national consensus that brings us together instead of partisan politics pulling us apart.
Every four years, we decide on the direction we want the nation to take. But these traumatic times require transformation that doesn’t come in four-year increments. It takes decades.
What we need is a form of presidency that cultivates leadership beyond the four-year terms of individual presidents.
A more just and equitable America requires change that lasts generations.
I am honored to be your candidate for president. Follow me into the future.
Thank you all and God bless America.