Career military man Horace Taylor is knee-deep in a bid – his own – for the presidency of the United States. Nope, he’s never run for public office. Yes, he’s all the way serious and official.
“I read every thing I could get my hands on for months,” said Taylor, who became an official presidential candidate in September. “I received my candidate ID when I went to Federal Elections Commission training in late August. The other people were aides to elected officials. I was the only candidate there.”
At the top of the training priority list was something Taylor said he already knew.
“(T)he most important thing … is campaign contributions are not your money,” said Taylor. “You should be able to account for every cent.”
Taylor lived in Memphis up until 1980, when he graduated high school. A year later, he joined the military, retiring after more than 30 years in 2012. He then moved from Colorado Springs, Colo,, back to Memphis and landed a job at the Millington Naval Base.
Taylor’s candidacy and its timing begs the question: “Why?”
“I decided to run because of the national, political discourse,” Taylor said. “After the last presidential election and the level of discourse in American politics, I decided to get into this race. We can do better. America can do better.”
Once Taylor shared his serious intention to seek the nation’s highest office, he was informed that he could not work for the federal government while making a run for the presidency. He decided after “careful thought” to quit his job on the naval base, so strong was his conviction to enter the race.
His strategy? Taylor plans to conduct a massive campaign over social media as well as travel.
“Running for president will require me to travel,” he said. “I have designated all of the area within eight-hours drive time – that circumference around Greater Memphis. That would encompass all of the Tri-State Region.”
So, what’s the end game for Taylor? Does he feel he can win with a grassroots effort, driven by small donations, social media, and one-on-one conversations with disgruntled constituents?
“Any thing could happen,” said Taylor. “After the election, I will strategically have gained enough in-roads so that the governor and state senators and representatives will realize that they could become collateral damage by my effort because I, as a common person, had the audacity to run a national campaign, they would realize that, ‘Hey, we could become collateral damage because of this guy.’
Taylor says the window is open and his campaign could go viral at any moment.
“I hope to galvanize black communities within that area, the circumference that I designated. There is a lot of apathy. We need a spark of inspiration. At these small community centers where I go and speak, people say, ‘Where are you from? You don’t talk like anyone in Memphis, so you’ve got to be from somewhere else.’”
There is at least one item that Taylor considers to be a major platform issue which he says other candidates don’t talk much about – cyber-security. He shares his views on cyber-security prominently on his website, among others. Taylor states:
“…During my twenty-seven years in the military I was fortunate enough to see the creation and institutionalization of at least two new commands structures: the United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM) and USCYBERCOM. Respectively, each command has the following missions: to monitor and facilitate diplomatic, military and economic actions throughout the whole of Africa; and to monitor, interdict and take actions to prevent cyber warfare directed against the U.S. and our allies…
“Collectively all of us, government, public and private sectors, non-governmental organizations and the like, must strengthen our cyber defenses and operations…It is time now to dump those government managers and elect real leaders; cyber-savvy leaders.
“America needs leaders and leadership. It’s time to replace the ineffective leaders that we currently have. It is time to elect country-loving Americans who will defend America above all others.
“I approve the hell out of this message.”
As Taylor sees it, the election is still anybody’s game. “Anything could happen,” as he puts it.
For Taylor, walking through the process has already produced rewards.
(For additional information on the candidate and his platform, go to: www.horacetaylor2020.com.)