Recently, it seems that every time you look in the paper or refresh your news feed, another prominent politician is announcing that they are the best candidate to face President Donald Trump in the 2020 election to become the 46th President of the United States.
As citizens, we cannot make a decision based on a 30 second commercial, ad on Facebook or even this article as to who fits the bill of our own personal everyday champion. We must take an initiative to research each candidate running so that we can make an informed decision for the future.
While I may strictly be focusing on the current Democratic candidates running for president, I am well aware that not every person reading this may associate with a particular political party. And while I can’t tell you everything you need to know to make your decisions, I can get you started by introducing you to some of the candidates currently running in the Democratic primary and telling you a little about them.
So, in no particular order, let’s meet our eight most prominent candidates.
With nearly 40 years of experience under his belt, Vermont Senator and 2016 Democratic nominee runner-up Bernie Sanders (77) has decided to make a second attempt to face Trump for the White House. Sanders has taken the title of front-runner (so far) and raised an unprecedented $6 million just 24 hours after his official declaration of running for president.
Sanders has always touted himself as a champion of the people, advocating for wealth redistribution, continuing the fight of inequality and creating a bigger social-safety net for the 99 percent.
Senator Cory Booker (49) comes from New Jersey, where he has gained national attention for his hard-hitting inquires against Trump and his appointees to several positions in his administration. Having been the mayor of Newark, Booker has ties to deep rooted communities which make up the foundation of the working class and Democratic Party alike.
Booker is a large defender of the legalization of marijuana, criminal justice reform, immigration and Medicare for all. While he has been pushed to be more progressive by his fellow constituents, he has certain ties to Wall Street and big business that may make for some fierce exchanges when he and his fellow candidates meet for debates on national television.
In a time where immigration has become one of the hottest issues in politics today, Julián Castro (44), a third-generation Mexican-American, has taken the mantle of fighting for those who are voiceless in this debate. The former mayor of San Antonio and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under the Obama Administration is running on a more centrist platform.
This former budding-star of the Democratic party has been a longtime ally of the LGBTQ+ community, supporter of expanding early childhood education and a supporter of pushing for a greener and more energy efficient economy.
Tulsi Gabbard (37), the first American Samoan and Hindu member of Congress, served in the Iraq War and was a strong and early supporter of Sanders in 2016. Gabbard’s platform is that of an anti-interventionist foreign policy, universal healthcare and raising the minimum wage.
Gabbard has the potential to label herself as a generational change in the current political climate. However, during this sure to be intense race, she will have to answer for past actions of her discriminating against the LGBTQ+ community and straying from the Democratic platform by being a pro-life supporter (Gabbard has apologized for the comments made about the LGBTQ+ community and now affiliates herself as pro-choice).
Popularly known as one of the harshest Trump critics out there, Senator Elizabeth Warren (69) is equally critical of Wall Street and the top one percent. Hailing from Massachusetts, with a history that includes being one of President Obama’s closest advisors and a professor at Harvard Law School, Warren advocated for regulations on big business and banks after the 2008 economic crash.
Income inequality and the notion of a rigged economic system failing those in the middle and lower-income class are also on the forefronts of Warren’s campaign message.
Kirsten Gillibrand (52), the current senator of New York, is one of the most outspoken members of the Democratic Party when it comes to women’s rights and the #MeToo movement. Making sure to follow her beliefs rather than protecting her political ties, Gillibrand was one of the first to call for the resignation of former Senator Al Franken and unabashedly criticized Bill Clinton for his involvement with Monica Lewinsky.
Gillibrand has also been a fierce advocate of gun reform, LGBTQ+ rights and the rights of African-Americans and other people of color.
Third-term Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar (58) became a more recognized name in the national spotlight while being on the panel that questioned and scrutinized the Brett Kavanaugh appointment to the Supreme Court. Some of the most pressing issues pushed so far by her campaign have been support for universal healthcare, expanding voter registration access and combating climate change.
Seen as a unifier of the Democratic base in “rust belt” states, Klobuchar is rated as one of the most “electable” Democrats at this time and is expected to be a force to reckon with when it comes to the primaries in the Midwest.
A first term senator from California, Kamala Harris (54) decided to throw her hat into the ring on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Harris is the former State Attorney General of California and a child of immigrants (India and Jamaica).
Refusing to brand herself as a single-lane issue candidate, Harris has been very vocal about criminal justice reform, climate change, maintaining a healthy economy and the sudden onslaught of recent racial and religious tensions that millions of Americans face today.
As of Feb. 21, there have been 190 individuals that have filed with the Federal Election Committee to run for president in the Democratic Primary. It would be impossible to try and name them all, let alone give you a little insight into each one of them.
I hope that this brief introduction into some of the bigger named candidates has enticed you to try and learn about these candidates (and others) more in depth.
We as citizens have an obligation to make an informed decision on who we support not only for us, but for future generations that will reap the benefits we lay down now. Only through political discussion and learning can we address the issues that face us today as Americans and come out on the other side stronger and more united.
Published By: Stephen Dumnich