2020 Presidential Race: A diverse election

Category:  Opinions
Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 at 5:33 PM

The process of selecting a Democratic challenger to President Donald Trump in 2020 has kicked off in interesting ways. There are most definitely a diverse group of presidential candidates, and each candidate is coming in strong with tactics and proposed polices.

For starters, there are more women running than ever before. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren was one of the first big names to announce, and she has big plans for ending Washington corruption, rebuilding the middle class and acquiring equal justice under law. According to the UK magazine New Statesman, Warren is among the “top 20 U.S. progressives,” along with Bernie Sanders (more on him later).

Former California attorney general and current Senator Kamala Harris entered the presidential race on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, bypassing the traditional route of launching an exploratory committee.

Harris has a strong stance on climate change and proved so by launching an investigation into Exxon Mobile in 2016 after reports that the oil and gas giant lied for decades about the risks of climate change. Among her many progressive stances, Harris stands for free Medicare for all, tax cuts, increased gun control and free tuition at all four-year public colleges. If elected, Harris would be the first African-American female president and the first president of Asian descent.

Among the other women Democratic nominees in the running, there is Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar. She launched her campaign on Feb. 9 in Minneapolis and is known to be a “heartland” Democrat — meaning she is certainly progressive in her views but not aggressively, making her most likely appealing to the Midwest and undecided voters. Her status of being a modern American liberal leads to her support in LGBT+ rights and pro-choice, and she has been known for her criticism toward the Iraq war. According to GovTrack, Klobuchar passed more legislation than any other senator by the end of the 114th Congress in 2016 and has sponsored or co-sponsored 111 pieces of legislation that became law. Her approach toward her political leadership is known to be rooted in pragmatism, which may provide her with a unique pitch to voters sifting through a platoon of choices.

Of course, there are many candidates in the running who could potentially go down in history for their gender. But, there is one other candidate in the running who is equally inspiring, specifically among the LGBT+ community, and that is Pete Buttigieg. The Indiana mayor announced his run for presidency on Jan. 23 and is the first openly gay man ever running for president. He is an Afghanistan veteran and served a tour as an officer with the Navy Reserve. Buttigieg says this experience changed his outlook on politics for the better, stating, “when your life is put on the line by an elected official, that shows why the core of politics matter, because those decisions affect our lives.” That sense of urgency is what has shaped Buttigieg’s presidential platform. He hopes to get the youth engaged in politics by showing them why they should care, emphasizing the importance of awareness of climate change and increasing access to mental health and behavioral services.

Despite losing the Democratic nomination for president to Hillary Clinton in 2016, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders has officially announce his running for the 2020 presidential race. According to Fortune, the self-described Democratic socialist received $5.9 million from nearly 223,000 donors in just the first 24 hours after announcing his run for presidency, making his campaign the biggest first-day money haul of the 2020 election so far.

As for his policies, Sanders is pro-labor rights and has put an emphasis on reversing economic inequality and limiting the power of the wealthy. On foreign policy, Sanders supports reducing military spending, along with pursuing more diplomacy in regards to international cooperation. On social issues, he has kept his stance as pro-choice, LGBT equality and has shown high recognition of the Black Lives Matter movement. If elected, Sanders would make history as the first Jewish president and would be the oldest Democratic nominee.

As for the one Republican who has officially announced their running, American attorney and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld launched his exploratory committee in February and will seek to challenge Trump for the Republican Party’s 2020 nomination. After appearing in New Hampshire, Weld claimed that he sees his nomination as his civic duty to stand against “the hard heart, close minded and clenched fist of nativism and nationalism.” Weld is seen to have potential appeal to moderate Republicans, due to his stance of being pro-choice and in support of gay rights. When it comes to Medicare, Weld seeks to relax the eligibility rules and seeks to lower taxes as a means of economic growth.
Obviously, these are just some of the 2020 presidential candidates. It seems as though each person running has one goal though — to prioritize socialized health care, push major action on climate change and break the issue on immigration (and of course, defeat Trump).  This election is surely an interesting one and surely one each American citizen should be keeping close tabs on.

Abby Martinson | voices.spectator@gmail.com

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