The Women of the 2020 US Presidential Elections
The Women of the 2020 US Presidential Elections are creating history. This is our rundown of what you need to know.
Let’s face it: Hilary Clinton made history. She was the first woman to ever become the Presidential nominee backed by a major party in the history of the United States. Despite having to break through a number of glass ceilings, Clinton won the popular vote, and was a whisper away from taking the Presidency. This was in 2016 - just about three years ago.
And now, thanks to the steps taken by Hilary Clinton, the field of Democratic presidential hopefuls is blooming with female candidates. Of the 20 candidates who have qualified for the first Democratic debate, six are women. They are: Tulsi Gabbard, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, and Marianne Williamson.
Here’s our rundown of the stances taken by the women of the Democratic Party vying for the top position in the United States of America:
Elizabeth Warren has long had a national presence on the political stage. The 69 year old Senator from Massachusetts, her signature issues are on income inequality and helping the middle class push back against attack from big corporations, lobbyists, and corruption. Her flagship idea is to combat the wealth accumulation in the 1% by levying a 2 per cent tax on assets over $50 million. This would raise $2.75 trillion over 10 years in revenue. This former Harvard professor plans to direct this revenue into universal child care. Her plans, in fact, are such a rallying point for her campaign that it has turned into a tongue-in-cheek slogan - “I have a plan for that!”. Warren supporters now sport this phrase on t-shirts, bumper stickers, and coffee mugs; branding Warren the candidate with a plan.
A new age spiritual guru who is completely new to public office, this author has made it to the democratic debates by securing 65,000 individual donors. Her claim to fame is as Oprah’s spiritual advisor. In this role, and as an activist, she has stated that her presidential bid is motivated by a need to give her country a “moral and spiritual awakening”. Like Warren, she supports universal pre-school; and free college as well. She’s been a strong supporter of the Green New Deal, and support citizenship for immigrants with no criminal background.
This Congresswoman from Hawaii is an Army National Guard veteran and was a strong supporter of Bernie Sanders in 2016. However, she’s most well known for gaining notoriety for meeting Bashar al-Assad, and implicitly condoning his regime, and the use of chemical warfare against civilians. She’s had a history of statements against the LGBTQI community, which she has apologised for. She also used to work for an anti-gay advocacy group, which she has expressed regret over. Her most emphatic stance is on her opposition to American intervention overseas.
The Senator from New York, Gillibrand is a career politician who has turned herself into the champion for women’s rights through her #MeToo advocacy and outspoken liberal voice. She has also voiced strong support for the green new deal and supports immigration reform. Most importantly, she has pledged to ensure that she only nominates judges who would uphold and protect reproductive rights. This being said, her liberalism has evolved from a rather conservative track record - she used to have an A rating from the NRA, and used to be against granting amnesty for undocumented immigrants. Although now vocally in favour of stricter gun laws, her previous advocacy for gun rights has rendered people skeptical of her commitment to the stances she takes.
Hers is a name that has become a rallying cheer for millennials against Trump. This senator from California was first catapulted onto the national stage at the start of the Trump presidency, when her questioning of Trump’s nominees went viral. Her social media presence continues to be strong, with a following of netizens that amount to the millions. She co-sponsored both the Green New Deal as well as Sander’s Bill on Medicare for All. She’s declared her support for legalised marijuana, even admitting to having smoked a joint. She’s called for a national moratorium on the death penalty, as well as a ban on the import of assault weapons. However, as the attorney general of California, she did defend the death penalty in cases she argued and policies she backed, which has gained her intense criticism. Her stance on reproductive rights and sex work all place heavy emphasis on the consent of women.
Pragmatic, effective, no-nonsense - this is how Amy Klobuchar is most often described in the news. Her signature issues are infrastructure, health care, climate change, drug pricing, and other issues that affect the middle class. She’s been criticised of being so blunt that she is emotionally abusive of her staff - and yet, her effectiveness is highly praised. She hasn’t signed on to the Medicare for All Bill, instead backing Medicare Advantage, an alternative plan to traditional medicare. Her biggest plan is a policy rollout that would direct revenue funds and taxes to rebuild the country’s infrastructure, citing this as what is necessarily the top budget priority.