Everything You Need to Know About the 2020 Presidential Candidates

Everything You Need To Know About The 2020 Presidential Candidates So Far

It's never too early to get to know your candidates, ladies and gents.

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The 2020 Presidential election will be the first election that I will vote in and I am stoked! People may think that it's weird that I'm excited to vote, but I've been waiting to vote in a presidential election ever since I was 15 years old, so when I turned 18, I begged my mom to take me to register to vote, even though it didn't take much convincing because she said she was going to take me regardless of if I wanted to register or not. When Twitter was lighting up with talks about Bernie Sanders possibly running for office in 2020, I decided to research (thankful for Google) the candidates who already announced their run for office because as a first-time voter, it's my civic duty to know who I'm voting for when the time comes in less than a year.

1. Senator Elizabeth Warren

The 69-year-old Democratic Senator of Massachusetts is also a former Harvard bankruptcy law professor and adviser to President Barack Obama. Senator Warren had to release an apology to Cherokee leaders for igniting confusion because of her 2018 DNA test results proving that she has Native American blood. If she sparked confusion over a DNA test, will she spark confusion in office if elected?

2. Julian Castro

The 44-year-old former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and member of the Obama Administration is/was the mayor of San Antonio, Texas and would be the first Latino president of the United States if elected. Castro is a longtime supporter of LGBTQ rights and early childhood education, as well. I need to know, do you stan "Baby Shark" Mr. Castro?

3. House Representative Tulsi Gabbard

The 37-year-old House Representative for parts of Hawaii and Iraq War veteran. Gabbard was socially conservative (which she received backlash for), but now sings a different tune and is pro-choice and supports same-sex marriage. If she changed her tune outside of her candidacy, will she change her tune if elected?

4. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

The 52-year-old New York Democrat and 2-term senator called for President Trump's resignation over sexual assault allegations (which he denied and he's still in office, if that lets you know anything). She's super vocal on gun reform and advocates for the rights of women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community. Advocating for the rights of women while in office? You're a solid maybe, Senator Gillibrand.

5. Senator Kamala Harris

This 54-year-old Democrat from California acknowledged Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to seek the Presidential nomination in 1972. Harris is a former prosecutor who supports criminal justice reform. I can get behind reforming the criminal justice system, Kamala.

6. Pete Buttigieg

The 37-year-old Democratic mayor of South Bend, Indiana and the first openly LGBTQ candidate. He announced his run in a tweet. If that's not the most 2019 thing ever, I don't know what is. He's also the notable underdog candidate, so who knows how this could come out?

7. Senator Cory Booker

The 49-year-old New Jersey Senator was the mayor of Newark, New Jersey in 2006 and then assumed a Senate seat in 2013. Senator Booker endorsed the bipartisan legislation and added an amended to limit the usage of solitary confinement for juveniles in federal custody. Another candidate who supports criminal justice reform? I stan.

8. Senator Amy Klobuchar

The 58-year-old Minnesota Democrat and 3-term senator. She supports universal health care, wants to combat climate change, and wants to expand voter registration access. Those are some principles that I can get behind, Senator Klobuchar.

9. Governor Jay Inslee

This 68-year-old Washington governor is not scared to vocalize his opinions on climate change. Governor Inslee says that he is the only candidate who will make defeating climate change America's number one priority. A vocal president? Well, we've already got one, so would you be better or worse?

10. Governor John Hickenlooper

The 67-year-old former governor of Colorado wants to expand pre-k, create more jobs, and lead to the state through natural disasters. Excuse me governor, but how exactly do you lead the state through a natural disaster? Will you go to all places affected and help rebuild destroyed communities; like one by one: door to door? And creating more jobs is something every president ever has preached about, what makes you so sure you'll get it done?

11. Beto O'Rourke

This 46-year-old Texas native made the news with his run back in 2018 against Ted Cruz by a slim (and very slim) margin. Although he lost, he won the hearts of many people. Politics is in Beto's blood as his father was the El Paso County commissioner back in the late 70s and 80s. Beto also raised $6.1 million within 24 hours after he announced his presidential bid. I'll place a few bets on Beto if I do say so myself.

12. John Delaney

The 55-year-old is a former Maryland congressman who served 3-terms and was a first-generation college student for his family. He is dubbed as a self-made millionaire as he publically traded financial companies back in 2012 and began his political career a year later. Delany's main points of focus on his campaign trail are healthcare, immigration, infrastructure, pro-choice and pro-LGBTQ rights, trade, and foreign policy. Another businessman in office? I'll have to think about it.

13. Senator Bernie Sanders

The man. They myth. The legend. The 77-year-old senator is running independently; Bernie who lost the nomination to former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton in 2016, but his legacy lived on as he was who many people wanted. Bernie is for universal health care and free public college, as well. There were rumors for a long time in 2018 if he would seek another run for office and Twitter basically exploded when he announced his candidacy. I guess it's time for people to "Feel the Bern" again.

14. Wayne Messam

This 44-year-old Democratic candidate from Florida announced his run in March. Messam plans to focus on canceling trillions of dollars in student debt. He believes that the American dream is going away for most Americans and wants them to meet their needs. If elected, he will be the second African-American president in office since former President Barack Obama.

15. Bill Weld

The 73-year-old Republican nominee from Massachusetts shared a Vice President with Gary Johnson for the Libertarian Party. Weld is the only person (that I could find) who is running against Donald Trump within the Republican party; Weld's even called Trump unstable. Although he's blasting Trump (and gives 0 whats about what people have to say), he still has conservative/economic views but thinks of himself as an extremist for both fiscal and social policies. I will be tuning into the Republican debate to watch these two go at it because I have a feeling that it will be a funny show.

16. Marianne Williamson

The 66-year-old Democratic nominee from Houston, Texas whose father was an immigration lawyer. Williamson grew up in a liberal household but was aware of social injustices. Her resume is very extensive (she is a non-denominational spiritualist) who is all about people. A week ago, she said that she lacked 40,000 people to qualify for the DNC debates and used Instagram to ask for more people to help her get there. I had no idea who she was (still slightly have no clue), she seems chill enough to make it on my list of maybes.

17. Andrew Yang

The 44-year-old Democratic candidate from New York is not a politician; he's an entrepreneur. He studied at Columbia Law School and Brown University, both very dignified institutions. Yang was awarded the Champion of Change in 2012 and a Presidental Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship in 2015 during the Obama Administration. Yang is very clear about one thing: he is fearful for the future of the United States of America. Me, too Andrew, me, too.

18. President Donald Trump

The current POTUS who won over Hillary Clinton in 2016. He will be running against people from his own party/administration. Trump began his re-election run in 2017, which is strange. Does that mean he's not confident enough or too confident? Both are very damaging attributes, just saying.

19. Honorable Mention: Joe Biden

76-year-old former Vice President of the United States and the other half of the Obama/Biden bromance memes. Biden believes that he is the most qualified (and many people agree with him), but he said that he doesn't know if he'll seek office in 2020. I personally love Joe Biden and I won $5 in the 5th grade because I was the only person who knew that he was the VP was at the time.

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Sociolinguistics Series: Part 50

Language is a powerful tool.

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It's part 50--halfway to 100! I'm so glad to still be here writing! In this section, we will talk about Dr. Shikaki's findings on how Palestinians view the state of Israel.

25 years ago, 85% of Palestinians supported a two-state solution. 10 years ago, this number decreased to 70%. Dr. Shikaki believes this was due to an increase in the prominence of Islamism in Palestinian society during the second intifada; Islamists were opposed to the two-state solution. In the most recent survey, the December 2018 one, only 43% of Palestinians supported the two state solution.

In 2000, American President Bill Clinton met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and PA Chairman Yasser Arafat at the Camp David Summit to come up with a solution to the conflict. It ended without an agreement, but in December of 2000, Clinton once again proposed a resolution: the Clinton Parameters.

The content of the Parameters basically allowed Israel to annex settlements while Palestine to take 94-96% of the West Bank, as well as Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. There were other guidelines regarding territory, refugees, security, and the end of the conflict. Essentially, the West Bank would have been split up by Israeli roads and settlements--which is kind of the reality today.

Both the Israeli government and Arafat accepted the terms with reservations, and Arafat wrote to Clinton a letter asking for clarifications on the terms. Clinton and Dennis Ross, an envoy of the Parameters, publicized that Arafat had refused to accept the terms; they painted Palestinians in a negative light, saying that Israel wanted to accept the peace negotiations but Palestine did not.

American Lawyer Robert Malley was at the Camp David Summit and oversaw parts of the Clinton Parameters. In 2001, he said that three myths had come out of the failure of both negotiations, and that these three myths were dangerous to any future peace processes if people kept believing in them.

These myths are as follows: "Camp David was an ideal test of Mr. Arafat's intentions," "Israel's offer met most if not all of the Palestinians' legitimate aspirations," and "The Palestinians made no concession of their own."

He said that these three statements were not true but very heavily publicized by America and Israel after the negotiations failed; rather, there is more nuance to each of these issues, and America and Israel have just as much responsibility in the failure of the Summit and Parameters as Palestine did. Malley wrote, "If peace is to be achieved, the parties cannot afford to tolerate the growing acceptance of these myths as reality."

Anyway, what does this have to do with Dr. Shikaki? He polled Palestinians not only on the their attitudes to the two-state solution, but the Clinton Parameters as well. 25 years ago, there was 60% support for the Clinton Parameters by Palestinians, but the June 2018 poll showed that the number had gone down to 37%.

The last ten years shows a significant decrease in public support for both the two-state solution and the Clinton Parameters, and it could be a result of disagreeing with specific parts of the proposals (such as how the Temple Mount/Dome of the Rock or Jerusalem is delegated).

I did some further digging when I got home, and I found this data from the UN Division for Palestinian Rights website:

"A 25 December [2000] published poll found that 48% of the 501 Israelis questioned were opposed to the proposals; 57% would object to Palestinian control of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound; 72% were against even a limited return of Palestinian refugees to Israel. A 29 December published poll found that 56% of the Israelis would oppose a peace agreement reached on the basis of the Parameters."

This shows that though public media--especially Western media--may have painted the Palestinian government as the villain (and Israel and America as the "victims"), the proposals accepted by either government had varied support among its people.

The Israeli civilian population did not want to accept the Clinton Parameters because of the way certain things would be resolved; their reservations lie with the Temple Mount/Al-Aqsa Mosque because the Temple Mount, which is the holiest site in the world for Jews, would have been given to Palestine, while Jews would have control of the Western Wall of the Temple Mount (which is the status quo).

In addition, there was a section in the Clinton Parameters that dealt with the right of return for Palestinians, where there would be a certain number of Palestinian refugees who settled in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, while other Palestinians either would become citizens of their host countries, move to a third-party country, or settle back into the land that is Israel Proper (with permission from the Israeli government, of course); many Israelis did not support this.

That was the public opinion years ago. Today, there is even less support for these proposals. Dr. Shikaki outlined three issues as reasons for a decrease in support of compromise, which we will cover in the next section. Stay tuned!

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