After the largely heartbreaking indirect election of 45th President Donald Trump in 2016, the well-defined rift in the left-wing and DNC has not fallen out as a talking point among the politically engaged population. Despite intense efforts by many to prevent a “split vote,” nominee Hillary Clinton did not obtain enough votes to flip the Electoral College, or inspire faithless electing from the voting slates.
Wait, say that in English?
In the United States, presidential victory is decided indirectly, which means that “One Person, One Vote” is not really how it works. The Electoral College consists of slates of representatives who decide how they will cast their ballots for president by interpreting how their state voted. They are not legally bound to their state’s vote count, and can choose to cast faithless ballots, or ballots that do not directly represent the poll results of their state.
Wait, some handful of faceless politicians have ultimate power to speak on behalf of my state, and they don’t even have to say what we tell them to?
Yes. This system was instituted Way Back When we didn’t have live poll reporting and nation-wide maps, the internet, or risk of foreign election interference (“hacking.”) It made sense for a small band of folks from each state to carry an envelope to the capital and speak for the folks back home before these advents, but now that we can flip on the news and snack on popcorn as results roll in from sea to shining sea, the Electoral College is just a head and heartache.
As of February 1, 2019, no bills have been proposed for the abolition of the Electoral College, but we’ll keep you posted with our eyes glued to RepAOC.
So who’s running, anyhow?
(R) 45th President Donald Trump has not stopped campaigning since February 2017, just after his inauguration. He intends to sit his allowed two terms and fight endlessly for a border wall between the US and Mexico. After the longest government shutdown in American history, we are on a three-week break, during which 45 expects congress to produce a bill including funding for said wall, or else the shutdown will resume and he will enact State of Emergency powers to demand a construction budget. 800,000 government employees are furloughed (but have been promised backpay.)
(R) Former Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee has expressed interest in running against 45. He was the 34th most conservative Senator during his time, and voted 66% conservatively. He opposes same-sex marriage and abortion rights, having changed his stance since his 1994 campaign in which he stated that government should not interfere in the matter. Corker was, however, one of 13 republicans to sign a request of moratorium against 45’s family separation policy, stating that the White House had made an obvious mistake and that Congress needs to create a better long-term solution to immigration issues.
(R) Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland is popular among Democrats and is the only Republican Governor to ever be re-elected in Maryland. His most notable acts include speaking on how he’s “evolved” to support same-sex marriage, his vote to ban bump stocks and gun ownership by domestic abusers, promised action to institute free college, and his outright disapproval of Donald Trump during the 2016 elections.
(R) John Kasich, CNN political commentator, Fox News host of Heartland with John Kasich, and 9-term House Representative for Ohio is taking his third stab at presidential candidacy after losing out in 2000 and 2016. He did not attend the republican convention (in his own state!) in 2016 and refuses to support 45. He describes himself as pro-life, and while he acknowledges the existence and problem of climate change, he does not believe the EPA should regulate carbon emissions and does not support renewable energy efforts. In 2015, he stated that he was open to the idea of requiring officers to wear body cameras. To offset a budget deficit in Ohio, he proposed the sale of state prisons to the private, for-profit prison industry.
(R) libertarian Bill Weld, vice presidential nominee under Gary Johnson in 2016, served as governor of Massachusetts from 1991-1997. After a nomination by then-President Bill Clinton to serve as ambassador to Mexico, he resigned as governor to focus on his campaign, but was denied a hearing by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and withdrew. His 2016 ballot with Johnson was the first since 1948 to consist of two governors, and earned the most votes to any third-party ballot since 1996.
The 2020 DNC list of nominees stretches into the double digits, surpassing the 17 initial nominees of the RNC in 2016. The odds of a female democratic nominee for the second election in a row is high, but so are the odds of a nominee older than 70. While Congress is getting a facelift, some joke that the White House has become an Old Folk’s Home.
(D) Julián Castro announced his candidacy on January 12. He served as mayor of San Antonio, Texas from 2009-2014 and as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2014-2017. His slogan: One nation, one destiny.
(D) Tulsi Gabbard announced her candidacy on January 11. She has served as representative to Hawaii since 2013, endorsed Bernie Sanders in 2016, and is the first Samoan-American and Hindu member of Congress.
(D) Kamala Harris announced her candidacy on January 21. She is currently serving as a senator of California and her campaign claims she is For the People.
Ken Nwadike Jr. announced his candidacy October 2017. He is a peace activist from San Diego, California and documentary film maker and supports debt-free community college.
Robby Wells is running for a third time, after 2016 and 2012 campaigns failed. He is a former college football coach from Bartow, Georgia.
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