By AZARIA HOWELL
After vowing to “keep America great”, US President Donald Trump announced his campaign slogan for the 2020 election recently, in a bid to keep his seat in the Oval Office. Democratic challengers have since stepped up in opposition to Trump, with hopes that they’ll be the next person through the doors of the White House. Their policies have many similarities, and a wide array of differences, some have received high-profile endorsements, and some- nothing. The big question clouding all of their minds is whether or not they can be the one to defeat incumbent President Trump in 2020.
If you were a follower of the 2016 election which saw Trump take power, then it’s likely you’ll remember the name Bernie Sanders. The 77-year-old politician is back for round two and is this time hoping to gain the nomination of the Democratic party, which he was unable to do last time around. Sanders started off being elected in 1981 as Mayor of Burlington, Vermont and has since been elected to the US House of Representatives and more recently the Senate. A self-defined Democratic Socialist, Sanders’ policies include raising the federal minimum wage, decreasing the cost of healthcare, and proposing cost-free universities across America.
Former Vice President to Barack Obama, Joe Biden is vying for the top in 2020, hoping his campaign will ensure his return to the White House. Leading in most current polls, Biden has significant experience in politics which sets him apart from other candidates. His policies focus on a strong lower and middle-class America, working from the bottom up. Biden is a strong supporter of STEM-based education and wants the United States to remain in the Paris Climate Accord. Already a well-known and highly respected politician, Biden has a fighting chance in becoming the Democratic nominee for 2020.
Gaining popularity after a hard-fought loss against Senator Ted Cruz in Texas, Beto O’Rourke’s campaign focuses on combating Trump’s immigration policies. Beto sees America as a place where all cultures should thrive. His campaign is entirely funded ‘by the people’, which he claims will help democracy, and ease the balance of power in politics. When not focusing on immigration, he believes in paying teaching staff across the nation a living wage.
Kamala Harris has experience in the legal field and resides in California, a state known for embracing Democratic candidates. The senator’s campaign has a strong focus on criminal justice and drug reform. Somewhat controversially, Harris announced that her plans would include full legalisation of marijuana, as well as releasing non-violent, low-level drug offenders from prison. A woman with a diverse background, Harris’ policies protect migrants and minorities.
At only 38 years old, Tulsi Gabbard announced her bid for president recently, with compassion, the environment, and an anti-war message at the heart of her campaign. Growing up in Hawai’i, Tulsi believes that the United States should be home to diversity. To her, the word ‘Aloha’ is more than just hello, it signifies love, respect, and culture. Controversially, she served in the Army’s National Guard, yet believes in an anti-war agenda, saying that she doesn’t want America to repeat their past mistakes. Her campaign stands up to corruption, collusion, and climate change.
A Massachusetts senator since 2013, Elizabeth Warren is fighting for structural change by building a strong middle class and addressing housing issues in America. Her campaign is defined by the empowerment of women. She wants to introduce a tax on wealthy Americans in order to help out those who are less fortunate. Warren’s policies can be groundbreaking and controversial at times, which will likely render true in her campaign. Recently, she has announced that she will clear up to $50,000 of student debt for millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet.
Graduate of both Harvard and Oxford University, Pete Buttigieg is running for President on the basis of a new generation of American leadership. If he were to win the campaign, Buttigieg would be the first openly gay President. He first entered politics in 2011 as a local mayor, with policies to invest in future technologies, as well as sharing strong community values and embracing every, race, religion, culture, gender, and sexual orientation. Pete also has experience in the Navy and is a strong supporter of honest politics.
Julián Castro was a potential running mate for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and was the former secretary for Housing and Urban Development under Obama – yet his 2020 campaign means more than that. He has witnessed the treatment of Latino people in America and hopes his policies will combat racism. Castro has a plan to provide citizenship and refuge for undocumented immigrants, as well as having a strong focus on public education. Being an activist, Castro believes in equal opportunity for all.
Businessman Andrew Yang’s campaign rose to popularity after the announcement of a controversial, yet quite well-received policy of a universal basic income. The policy would give every American over the age of 18 an income of $1,000 per month to combat automation in the workforce. His campaign is increasingly popular among youth, who call his supporters the “Yang Gang.”
Debates are on the table to start in June this year, and each candidate will have to provide a more in-depth analysis of their policies, as well as answer some of America’s hard-hitting questions. Announcements, policy, and a whole lot of controversy are on the menu for the 2020 election- and you don’t want to miss a thing.
AZARIA HOWELL is a huge politics nerd living in Christchurch. Expect lots of new political articles on Tearaway from her! She also loves snowboarding, Beagles, and wearing clunky boots.
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