Have you ever wanted to get involved in politics in a more direct way than tweeting or sharing a Facebook post? While being vocal and voting (if you’re old enough to) are the best forms of action in our democracy, they often feel quite distant from directly influencing the progression of one’s favored policies. While being vocal for progressive policies draws politicians’ eyes to the issues at hand, money forces them to pay attention. As the vast majority of young adults are not millionaires, donating seems impractical; and even then, the little money most teenagers have doesn’t seem like enough to impact politics. That’s where the student-run super PAC, Path Forward USA, comes into play.
According to Ballotpedia, a super PAC “is a political committee that can solicit and spend unlimited sums of money.” Path Forward USA (https://www.pathforwardusa.org/) is a super PAC that focuses on raising money to influence progressive legislation. Their website states their mission as “to give a voice to forward thinking Americans who seek to create real change in this country. We are an independent expenditure committee that collects donations from Americans like you and uses our resources to help elect progressive candidates. We work as a connection between government and the people and we protect your interests. We care about leading America forward to be a country that works for all people.”
Now more than ever our country needs courageous young adults to stand up and organize as we lead our nation forward. Rather than watching scattered voices shout into the abyss of political gridlock, there is an opportunity to rally together to protect our interests. We all have a moral responsibility as American citizens to engage in the democratic process; we the people can take action today, make change today, unite today, and lead America forward today.
It’s time for us blue kids to further the substance of our vocal critique. Path Forward USA is a direct liaison between our voice and funding the never ending fight for progress. Research Path Forward USA at their website (https://www.pathforwardusa.org/) and be sure to spread the word about their mission. As always, we welcome all readers to submit an article about any political or social commentary to firstname.lastname@example.org and urge young Democrats to continue to be the voice of the future!
Imagine an alternate universe where the most inexperienced candidate in US history lost the 2016 presidential election and the most qualified candidate in US history triumphed. It’s now less than a month after her inauguration, and President Hillary Clinton’s National Security Advisor resigns. The terms of his resignation are riddled with treasonous acts such as discussing the prospect of dropping US sanctions on Russia with Russian officials before being appointed to a position of such authority. The Logan Act, established in 1799, imposes a fine and/or imprisonment for any citizens who act on behalf of the US government without authorization, like this former National Security Advisor did.
Imagine the day following his resignation. Headlines such as “Crooked Hillary’s Crooked Administration” would flood the news following a national outcry for not only the imprisonment of the former National Security Advisor, but for the impeachment and imprisonment of President Clinton. Sadly Hillary is not our President, but on the bright side this scenario of having our country put at risk was completely hypothetical, right? WRONG. Now back to reality.
The reality is that President Trump’s National Security Advisor did commit these treasonous acts and he did resign. His name is Michael Flynn, a retired US Army Lieutenant General, and he should be imprisoned for his actions against our government. President Obama was implementing sanctions against Russia for the DNC hacking and other alleged forms of tampering with the 2016 elections. While our government was taking one action, private-citizen Michael Flynn thought it was in his best interest to call the Russian Ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, and illegally discuss a contradictory actions. The call has been made public along with his resignation letter so, less than a month into the Trump administration, it is easy to piece together the not very mystifying puzzle that is Flynn’s treasonous actions. An investigation into Flynn’s communication will be conducted, but the investigation shouldn’t end there. The American people need to know exactly when and what Donald Trump knew of these conversations, either before or after being sworn in, and if Flynn acted alone or committed treason due to given instructions. The ambiguity surrounding the Trump administration’s relationship with the Kremlin is extremely unnerving and what is even more disconcerting is Capitol Hill’s hesitance to investigate and resolve any potential conflicts. These conflicts did not start with Michael Flynn’s phone call and they will not end with his resignation; further actions must be taken immediately, and it seems that republicans don’t have the audacity to fight against such controversies.
In a speech Michael Flynn gave while campaigning for Donald Trump he said that “if I [Flynn] did a tenth of what [Hillary Clinton] did, I [Flynn] would be in jail.” Well here we are. Michael Flynn has done much more than a tenth of whatever he thinks Hillary did; he has broken the Logan Act and committed treason. The only logical conclusion, as stated in Flynn’s own words, is jail.
There is nothing more comforting for frightened Democrats than knowing President Trump will be up for reelection in 4 years. Before we introduce our fantasy league of potential presidential candidates for 2020, we need to clear the air about who should not run in 2020.
As much as I supported Secretary Clinton in the primaries and the general election, she should absolutely not run in 2020. The Democrats suffered losses across the board, highlighting the imperative need for change within the party. Hillary Clinton represents the establishment Democratic party, and many disgruntled voters felt that it became a party no longer for the average American. However, Hillary Clinton is a trailblazer for women and many liberal issues that had never before stood on the Democratic platform. Hopefully her hard work in the 2016 election, and her entire life, opens the doors for progressive Democrats and creating a government that resembles it constituents in the near future.
Senator Bernie Sanders brought that change to the Democratic party that the Clinton establishment failed to spark. Additionally, Sanders excited millions of young adults and introduced them into the political process. But after the convention, those same young adults did not show up in large enough numbers to vote for the would-have-been first female president. While I believe Senator Sanders is too old to run again, especially 4 years later when he will be nearly 80 years old, I think his voice and his progressive platform would serve the party well for a younger Democratic candidate to champion.
The last two names that have floated around for potential presidential candidates in 2020 that I disagree with are Michelle Obama and Joe Biden. While I love them both (I mean who doesn’t love them), they would not be my first choice. Biden will be very old as well, and while he does have that ability to reach young voters like Sanders, he is too closely associated with the Obama administration. I firmly believe that 2020 needs to be a clean start for the party and that we should aim for a completely fresh administration. I am a huge fan of Michelle Obama, but I would want to see her get elected experience before she runs for the highest office. Perhaps the former First Lady will be groomed for the presidency for a future election, and I would be ecstatic to see her grace and intelligence enter the Oval Office. However, we need a Democrat who is prepared to take on Trump in 2020 and is ready to right the ship that his administration has already begun to sink after only 10 days in office. Here is our top 5 list of Democrats we would be thrilled to see run in 2020.
- Elizabeth Warren
- The senior US Senator from Massachusetts is currently one of the most high-profile Democrats and is a vocal advocate for progressive issues on Capitol Hill. She made our list because she is the younger and academic voice to Bernie Sanders, someone who could rejuvenate the Democratic party. Before being elected to the Senate, Warren was a decorated law professor at Harvard University and a published author. She is perhaps one of the most intelligent sitting senators based on her academic record, and she was also rumored to be on Clinton’s VP shortlist in 2016.
- Kirsten Gillibrand
- The junior US Senator from New York is my personal favorite for a 2020 run. While serving in the US House, she had a fairly moderate voting record. That changed when she was appointed to the Senate to take Hillary Clinton’s seat when Clinton was nominated for Secretary of State. She has voted against confirming nearly all of Trump’s nominations and has championed progressive legislation in the Senate.
- Cory Booker
- The junior US Senator from New Jersey is another one of the most high-profile Democrats currently. He recently made headlines for being the first sitting senator to question another sitting senator, Jeff Sessions, at his confirmation hearing for Attorney General. He is ambitious and unwavering in his beliefs. He was elected to the US Senate in 2012 and was previously mayor of Newark for 6 years. He has attended Stanford University, University of Oxford, and Yale Law School. He was also rumored to be on Clinton’s VP shortlist in 2016.
- Kamala Harris
- The junior US Senator from California was just elected to the Senate in 2016 and has showed immediate star-power. While she will have only been in the Senate for 4 years, Obama was in the same position when he ran for President. Her prior jobs include her being twice elected and serving as the Attorney General of California. The progressive is the first Indian-American and second black woman elected to the US Senate.
- Tammy Duckworth
- The junior US Senator from Illinois has many accolades and personal attributes that make her a great option to run, despite her being recently elected to the Senate in 2016. Previously, she served two terms in the US House of Representatives and before that she did state-sponsored work for veterans. This is fitting because Duckworth served in the US Army for the Iraq War where she traumatically lost both of her legs. Not letting anything hold her back, the second Asian-American woman elected to the US Senate is an energetic and passionate American hero.
It just happens to be that all of our top 5 picks are senators. Not only are they all experienced and capable of handling the presidency, but they reflect what America really looks like through what could be the most diverse primary in US history. It will be interesting to see in upcoming years how their actions reflect a possible presidential run.