2020’s Oddball Candidates

With the 2020 election fast approaching, news coverage has already shifted toward potential Democratic candidates. So far sixteen notable candidates have thrown their hats in the ring, including: NJ Sen. Cory Booker, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development TX Julián Castro, former MD Rep. John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, NY Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, CA Sen. Kamala Harris, former CO Gov. John Hickenlooper, WA Gov. Jay Inslee, MN Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former TX Rep. Beto O’Rourke, VT Sen. Bernie Sanders, and MA Sen. Elizabeth Warren. These names should be familiar to those of you who pay attention to politics. After all, several of these people have run for president before, butl, two candidates who have entered the race do not come from Capitol Hill, or politics at all: Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang. Here is a brief profile of each oddball candidate.

Marianne Williamson is a spiritual author best known for being a spiritual counselor for Oprah Winfrey. She says that the United States is in need of a moral awakening and she is the person for the job, claiming we need serious, deep thinkers. She is currently one of five women in the race for the Democratic nomination and the only Jewish candidate. Her beliefs about what is wrong with America and what a president should be are more centered on emotion and spirit than politics. On her campaign website she states: “America is not just having problems with what is happening to our economy, our environment, our educational system and so forth.  We have a problem with the psychological fabric of our country, as a low level emotional civil war has begun in too many ways to rip us apart.” Nevertheless she does have a list of political issues she would tackle should she get into the White House.

Her Political Beliefs:

  • Universal Health Care

  • Free Higher Education

  • Green New Deal

  • $200-$500 billion in reparations for slavery

  • Child Advocacy

  • Get Environmental Policy back on track

  • Crime Prevention

  • Universal Preschool

  • Reduce high-stakes testing

  • Eliminate the sale of assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons and Ban bump stocks and high capacity magazines

  • End corruption in our food supply (like GMOs and processed food)

  • Increased minimum wage

Andrew Yang is an entrepreneur and founder of Venture for America. He is not well known and seen as inexperienced. The son of Taiwanese immigrants, he says that he believes in the American Dream. As far as his political platform goes, it ranges from standard liberal ideas to a few that are more extreme, and some that are in my opinion just a little wacky.

A Few of His Political Beliefs:

  • Universal Basic Income “The Freedom Dividend”

  • Medicare for all

  • Human Centered Capitalism

  • Legalize Marijuana

  • Common Sense Gun Laws

  • The NCAA should pay athletes, especially Division I Men’s Football and Men’s Basketball

  • Free Marriage Counseling for all

  • Make Puerto Rico a State

  • There should be a White House Physiatrist

  • The American Mall Act - to stop invest in the economy to revitalize malls

  • A Robo-Calling Text line - to forward the number of a spam call to the FCC

While it may seem very unlikely either of these two are able to snag the spot, that is what most of America thought about Donald Trump. It is important to be knowledgeable about all candidates and their beliefs before voting in the primary. Perhaps you think a candidate should have government experience, or perhaps you prefer outsiders like these too. Either way, the key to being an informed voter is to look at the candidate as a whole, analyzing all of their positions on issues that matter to you.