The Top 10 Democrats Who Should Run In 2020

The Top 10 Democrats Who Should Run In 2020

In the age of Donald Trump, progressives are diligently searching for a competent replacement.

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In the age of Trump, Democrats and even some Republicans are all desperately looking for who will challenge Donald Trump. After researching electoral trends in presidential elections and the candidates themselves, I've picked 10 Democratic candidates who could be strong challengers to Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

They are listed in order of my preferences, and I even included some extra candidates since I am expecting the Democratic Primary debate stage in 2020 to be as crowded as the Republican Primary debate stage in 2016. Likely, many of the candidates will not be well-known, which could play out to be a huge advantage for Democrats.

1. Amy Klobuchar

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is the ideal candidate for 2020. She is a member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor party – a branch of the Democratic party. Klobuchar is progressive and, given her home state's location, has the best chance of winning in the Rust Belt.

In her Minnesotan political races, she consistently wins by huge margins. Her family's background of being immigrants, miners, teachers, and sports columnists gives her a broad appeal to people on both the left and right.

2. Kamala Harris

California Sen. Kamala Harris is likely the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination in 2020, and for good reason. If anyone would fight tooth and nail to save the country, it would be this determined senator.

We all know if any person would be America's saving grace, it would be a black woman, and Harris could very well be the one. She has quickly climbed through the ranks of California politics, and, as a senator has been very candid about her opposition to Donald Trump's cabinet nominees.

3. Gavin Newsom

This California governor and businessman has expressed no interest in pursuing the White House, but he would definitely be a tough challenger to Donald Trump – especially given that the charming Newsom gives us serious JFK flashbacks. He is popular among California progressives for being an early advocate for same-sex marriage and the legalization of recreational marijuana.

4. Kirsten Gillibrand

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is often cited as Hillary Clinton 2.0. However, she is much more outspoken and implacable than Clinton. This friend of the F-bomb is most notoriously known for saying “We must resist and push back on every horrible thing this president is trying to do. Fundamentally, if we are not helping people, we should go the fuck home," in an address to the Popular Democracy Forum at NYU.

Obviously, she would never hold back in a debate against Trump and let's face it, we'd all love to see a powerful woman say “fuck you," to Trump on national television.

5. Julian Castro

Before serving in President Obama's cabinet as secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Castro served as the mayor of San Antonio, Texas. His name was also tossed into possible contenders to be Hillary Clinton's running-mate in the 2016 election.

With the high population of Hispanic Americans in Texas and given his home state advantage, Julian Castro could be a breakthrough star as a candidate by turning Texas blue. This would be a huge Electoral College lead for Democrats and would make Republicans rethink their Nixon-Reagan-Trump strategy of appealing to mainly white evangelicals.

6. Elizabeth Warren

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, touted as Hillary Clinton's "Sister in a Traveling Pantsuit" is likely the most well-known potential candidates on this list and for good reason. She was thrown around as a possible 2016 candidate, but Warren decided to sit the race out given that Hillary Clinton was the obvious frontrunner.

She is very popular among the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, often referenced as the female counterpoint to Bernie Sanders. She's also been given one of Trump's trademark insulting nicknames – hers being “Pocahontas."

7. Chris Murphy

Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy is definitely someone I would trust to do the work of creating and enforcing gun regulations as president. After the tragic Sandy Hook shooting on Dec. 14, 2012, Murphy raged against the country's lack of courage to stand up to the NRA and demand action to prevent anymore gun-ridden horrific scenes. If fixing the terrible issue of mass gun violence, Murphy is a strong contender for 2020.

8. Joe Kennedy III

Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III is the grandson of Robert “Bobby" F. Kennedy, JFK's younger brother. While bearing the Kennedy name, which has proven to be an asset to win almost any election, Joe also carries the charisma of his grandfather and his great-uncle.

He has expressed no interest in running for president in 2020, although he has flirted with running for Massachusetts governor in 2018, a possible move to build a longer resume for when America is ready for another President Kennedy.

9. Terry McAullife

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe chose not to seek, possibly opening up a bid for the presidency in 2020. McAuliffe knows the ropes of presidential campaigns, having worked on the campaigns of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton (McAuliffe has been a very close ally to the Clintons).

If anyone knows how to win, it would be McAuliffe. Since he is from Virginia, he carries the advantage of practically guaranteeing that swing state, which, given Virginia's locality to North Carolina, he has a good chance of winning there too.

10. Sherrod Brown

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is the best choice if Democrats want to go the populist route. Before serving as senator, Brown served as a U.S. representative and Ohio's secretary of state, so his resume is impressive.

While he is relatively unknown, he carries the policies of Bernie Sanders while also being from a swing state in the Rust Belt — a huge pro for progressives looking to experiment with FDR-esque policies in the modern era.

Cover Image Credit: flickr

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11 Harsh Truths About Sorority Rush College Girls Should Find About Now, Not In September

For any young woman that is about to go through sorority rush, here's what to REALLY expect.

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There's a common theme of every sorority making it seem like rush is the best time in the world, and that Greek life is the best thing since sliced bread. While I'm not knocking the fact that some people probably really do enjoy rush, there are some harsh truths that I believe every young woman should know before heading into recruitment.

I gathered some quotes from different women from different sororities here at Jacksonville State to give you the most honest, unbiased, expectations and truths for going into recruitment.

1. Give it some time. 

"You're going to want a sorority that you're not going to get. 9 times out of 10 you won't go where you *think you belong. But-- where you end up is exactly where you're meant to be. My sorority was next to last on my list, but I decided that I was going to give it some time. Now, I've found my forever home. "

2. You have to be open-minded.

"Don't cater your personality to the sorority you think is best. You won't end up loving it because you won't connect with the girls. Be open-minded."

3. Be yourself. 

"My honest truth is that I thought I'd have to go in and put on a big smile and just be who they wanted me to be in order to get a bid. That's how I was in every single room except for the one that I got a bid from. I was only myself in the room I was sure I didn't want and because I showed my true colors, that's what made it my home."

4. Leave with no regrets. 

"Rush is about finding someplace that is your home and that you belong. I would advise girls not to be heartbroken if it turns out that a Panhellenic sorority is not their home here at Jacksonville State, because they can find their home in other organizations! Rush is also an opportunity to find friends. So, get out there and build relationships with the girls you meet because that's what I regret the most- not being open to new friendships and being too nervous."

5. They're just as nervous as you are. 

"Don't go into a room thinking that you're better than the women already standing in it. They've worked so hard all summer to perfect this week, for YOU. They are tired. They are nervous. They are excited. They might trip on their words. They might get uncomfortable if you act like you'd rather be dead than in their party. Even if you don't believe that sorority is your home, be nice. Your attitude in every room during rush will follow you."

6. Sisterhood makes it worth it.

"Recruitment is emotionally draining and you think it won't ever end, but it's so worth the sisterhood that comes from it."

7. Stay true to yourself. 

"Umm, I would say recruitment is probably going to be one of the most stressful times that a girl is going to go through coming into college! You will feel pressure from every aspect just trying to make sure you make the right decision and end up in the right one. While we are all fundamentally similar it breaks down to very different girls and you need to make sure you stay true to yourself so you will actually enjoy the sorority and girls that you end up around. If you can just make it through and not care what others have to say about where you wanna go ( because people will try to tell you where you should go) stay true to yourself and do what's best for you."

8. Trust the system.

"You don't always get the sorority you think you want, but it usually ends up being better for you in the long run. Trust the system."

9. Just breathe.

"With all honesty, my best advice is to be yourself. Recruitment can be very stressful and sometimes a little overwhelming, but just go based off your heart. Do not let your friends make the decision for you because their choice may not be your best fit. You can still be friends and be in different sororities. Now there is a possibility that you are torn between two sororities and that's okay. Just breathe and think about who you see yourself with more and figure out what YOU want."

10. Don't stress yourself out.

"While recruitment is very draining and stressful, take time for yourself to de-stress and relax after your parties. Get a good nights sleep, and think about your values and how you truly connect to the women you had met that day."

11. It's not for everyone.

"Greek life is wonderful, but it's not the only place to find belonging. If you go through rush and don't find your home, don't be discouraged. You're not going to lose any of your friends because they joined a sorority and you did not. There are tons of other opportunities to get involved and make friends in other organizations."

I'm not writing this to scare anyone away from Greek life. I'm writing this to give, the young women who are about to rush, real and honest expectations and opinions from women who've already been through the process. There are so many benefits to joining a sorority. Lifelong friends, job connections, campus opportunities, connecting with others who share your values.

Even though Greek life won't be a perfect fit for everyone, you can still get these same things I just listed by joining any other campus organization. It's all about finding where you really belong.

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Pride? Pride.

Who are we? Why are we proud?

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This past week, I was called a faggot by someone close to me and by note, of all ways. The shock rolled through my body like thunder across barren plains and I was stuck paralyzed in place, frozen, unlike the melting ice caps. My chest suddenly felt tight, my hearing became dim, and my mind went blank except for one all-encompassing and constant word. Finally, after having thawed, my rage bubbled forward like divine retribution and I stood poised and ready to curse the name of the offending person. My tongue lashed the air into a frenzy, and I was angry until I let myself break and weep twice. Later, I began to question not sexualities or words used to express (or disparage) them, but my own embodiment of them.

For members of the queer community, there are several unspoken and vital rules that come into play in many situations, mainly for you to not be assaulted or worse (and it's all too often worse). Make sure your movements are measured and fit within the realm of possible heterosexuality. Keep your music low and let no one hear who you listen to. Avoid every shred of anything stereotypically gay or feminine like the plague. Tell the truth without details when you can and tell half-truths with real details if you must. And above all, learn how to clear your search history. At twenty, I remember my days of teaching my puberty-stricken body the lessons I thought no one else was learning. Over time I learned the more subtle and more important lessons of what exactly gay culture is. Now a man with a head and social media accounts full of gay indicators, I find myself wondering both what it all means and more importantly, does it even matter?

To the question of whether it matters, the answer is naturally yes and no (and no, that's not my answer because I'm a Gemini). The month of June has the pleasure of being the time of year when the LGBT+ community embraces the hateful rhetoric and indulges in one of the deadly sins. Pride. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, the figures at the head of the gay liberation movement, fought for something larger than themselves and as with the rest of the LGBT+ community, Pride is more than a parade of muscular white men dancing in their underwear. It's a time of reflection, of mourning, of celebration, of course, and most importantly, of hope. Pride is a time to look back at how far we've come and realize that there is still a far way to go.

This year marks fifty years since the Stonewall Riots and the gay liberation movement launched onto the world stage, thus making the learning and embracing of gay culture that much more important. The waves of queer people that come after the AIDS crisis has been given the task of rebuilding and redefining. The AIDS crisis was more than just that. It was Death itself stalking through the community with the help of Regan doing nothing. It was going out with friends and your circle shrinking faster than you can try or even care to replenish. Where do you go after the apocalypse? The LGBT+ community was a world shut off from access by a touch of death and now on the other side, we must weave in as much life as we can.

But we can't freeze and dwell of this forever. It matters because that's where we came from, but it doesn't matter because that's not where we are anymore. We're in a time of rebirth and spring. The LGBT+ community can forge a new identity where the AIDS crisis is not the defining feature, rather a defining feature to be immortalized, mourned, and moved on from.

And to the question of what does it all mean? Well, it means that I'm gay and that I've learned the central lesson that all queer people should learn in middle school. It's called Pride for a reason. We have to shoulder the weight of it all and still hold our head high and we should. Pride is the LGBT+ community turning lemons into lemon squares and limoncello. The lemon squares are funeral cakes meant to mourn and be a familiar reminder of what passed, but the limoncello is the extravagant and intoxicating celebration of what is to come. This year I choose to combine the two and get drunk off funeral cakes. Something tells me that those who came before would've wanted me to celebrate.

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