An Idiot’s Guide To The 2020 Democratic Candidates: Part 3

Folks, they have literally not stopped. The Democratic contenders for the presidency continue to line up, all vying for the public eye and greater political trust. The first two debates have already passed us by, and it seems most people saw Elizabeth Warren having won night one, and Kamala Harris on night two. Here are the final ten Democrats in the running for 2020 (so far):

  • Julian Castro. Once considered a potential candidate for Hillary Clinton’s running mate, he was also Obama’s former Housing and Urban Development Secretary back when titles meant something when you worked in the White House.
  • John Hickenlooper. Why do we love him? He’s against the fool’s war on drugs. He oversaw Colorado’s marijuana legalization and stricter gun laws, including universal background checks.
  • Jay Inslee. He’s focusing on climate change for his platform, and has some experience behind his campaign: he spent time in the U.S. House of Representatives before winning the Washington Governorship.
  • Amy Klobuchar. She’s serving her fourth term as a U.S. Senator from Minnesota, part of the region where Trump faltered in stunning fashion during the 2016 election.
  • Wayne Messam. His parents were Jamaican (have the birther comments started yet?) but he was born here in the states. This African American candidate had a successful college football career before going into construction. Success seems to follow him wherever he goes, because he got into politics to become mayor of Miramar, Florida.
  • Seth Moulton. He’s a guy most comfortable in military uniform, and he served in Iraq, after which he was given the Bronze Star Medal. He was also awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for his service.
  • Beto O’Rourke. He’s an older gent with almost boyish good looks, and he loves to stand on tables. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives and nearly bested Senator Ted Cruz during last year’s race. He curses on occasion, and we love him for it.
  • Tim Ryan. Perhaps no one would recognize his name if he hadn’t recently tried to sweep Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House (he failed if you hadn’t noticed). He acquired a law degree while in New Hampshire, but he resides in Ohio.
  • Eric Swalwell. He is currently serving his fourth term as a representative from California, and has built his platform on “buying back” America’s assault weapons. Best of luck, buddy.
  • Marianne Williamson. She’s a jack of all trades, successful in business, teaching, and has already run for office in the U.S. House of Representatives in California as an independent, where she came in fourth. She’ll have to prove she can go a lot further than that if she wants to continue in this race.

Recently, ten of the contenders traveled to Houston, Texas to talk about schools, teachers, and testing in order to make their views on America’s educational system a little more obvious. Some of the public attendees spoke about their fears for our current healthcare system: what happens when you have an accident and cannot pay? Thankfully, the Ceja Law Firm can help if you reside in Texas. Check out their website.

 

An Idiot’s Guide To The 2020 Democratic Candidates: Part 2

Since our last post there have been even more candidates who have entered the fray! Here are the next seven contenders for the Democratic nomination. A lot of political analysts — and the public — have started to worry that the increased number of candidates will have a detrimental impact when one eventually tries to topple Trump from his very high horse. Is there a standout candidate yet? We’re not so sure, but let’s start with the leader of the pack. 

  1. Joe Biden. There’s not much to say about this guy that you don’t already know. He was our vice president for eight years, and he has a penchant for saying what’s on his mind. Interestingly, he continues to make political gaffe after political gaffe in even the short time since announcing his campaign — and yet no one seems to care. If anything voters are even more in support of the guy, who is really starting to show his age.

  2. Steve Bullock. This Montana governor thinks he has what it takes to beat Trump, even asserting that he can beat the incumbent president on his own turf. He’s been in the running for about a month, and so far he’s based much of his campaign on fighting against corruption and his ability to bring both sides of the aisle together.

  3. Michael Bennet. This Colorado senator thinks America’s political system isn’t just on the brink of disaster — it is a disaster. And he wants to be the one to save it. He’s running to expand voting rights (the opposite of what Republican voters seem to want to do) and reduce the money kicked into politics. Bennet thinks it’s time for lobbying for special interests groups to stop.

  4. Bill de Blasio. One of the least popular contenders for the Democratic nomination doesn’t seem to care how many people don’t want him in the running at all, because he’s moving forward anyway. The New York City mayor wants to “take on the wealthy” and “big corporations.”

  5. Pete Buttigieg. This openly gay (and married) candidate has probably received the biggest gift of notoriety during his campaign, but he recently hit an obstacle when there was an officer-involved shooting of an African American man back in South Bend, Indiana, where Buttigieg serves as mayor. It could be argued that there was no getting it right with black voters (or anyone else), but it seems like literally everyone is after him for stumbling after the tragedy occurred.
     
  6. Kirsten Gillibrand. She was a senator from New York, and one of several women currently in the running for the Democratic nomination. Like most candidates, she sees a broken Union in need of repairing. She believes in health care as a right. She believes in better public education. And she believes in the American dream, and wants to fight to see it restored.
  7. Mike Gravel. This former Alaska senator is a shocking 89 years old, but was convinced to run when a couple 18-year-olds hijacked his Twitter account to verbally abuse other candidates. He was also a former (failed) candidate in the 2008 election. He wants to cut military spending by at least half, and wants to fight for the dissolution of the Senate and the Electoral College (woah).

What Is The OWL Party?

If you’ve never heard of the OWL party or its contributions to the political arena that is Washington state, then you shouldn’t be too surprised. It isn’t the most serious political party in existence and was conceived of by the owner of Jazz club Tumwater Conservatory, Red Kelly. After successfully creating the new party, Kelly convinced a few other fellow musicians to join up and run for state office in 1976. Suffice it to say, they failed to get out the vote. Shocking.

Kelly didn’t stop at the recruitment of fellow musicians. His mother-in-law ran for secretary of state on a platform that stood against psoriasis, bedwetting, post-nasal drip, etc. What could she have achieved during her time in higher office? Unfortunately, we’ll never know. Today, most people you might ask would consider the OWL party a satirical joke rather than a sincere act of political posturing in the real world. They wouldn’t be wrong.

OWL stands for:

“Out With Logic, On With Lunacy.”

You know a particular political party isn’t as high and mighty as the rest when its motto jokes about its own acronym-based name: “We don’t give a hoot!” You also know it isn’t so serious when the party’s Facebook page has a whopping 19 likes after decades of operation. In addition, the page has a photograph of a keyboard on which there is a key that says “Release The Kraken.” Other political parties cannot hope to compare.

You might say that the OWL party’s biggest contribution to modern politics was the effect its introduction had on those who wished for fewer smaller political parties on the ballot. The OWL party found its way into Washington with so little trouble that area politicians decided to draft a whole new set of regulations to make the process a lot more difficult for political parties that are smaller or less serious in nature. Therefore no one can sue the government

The changes were implemented after a fair amount of backlash from other parties whose effect on Washington is usually blunted by those that hold more power due to size. The Socialist Workers Party wasn’t a fan of the increased number of hurdles placed in front of those who wished to create and implement their own political parties and attempted to stop the new regulations. It didn’t work out, and today the path to creation of a new party is much more difficult.

Who knows what other political parties may have been devised had the OWL party not led to more difficult restrictions for smaller organizations! Then again, who really cares? This is what we know for sure: President Donald Trump isn’t responsible for all the laughter following political office in the U.S. We’ve always laughed about it; some people just weren’t paying attention.

What Is The Guns And Dope Party?

This isn’t the most easily answered question. The party’s founder Robert Anton Wilson was a novelist, editor, and futurist among many other things. Certainly more than anything else, he was a man of eclectic tastes and beliefs and was perhaps ahead of the rest of us, philosophically speaking. He was born in 1932 and died in 2007, and his dark sense of humor persisted to the bitter end. He laughed through it all, even in spite of everything he disagreed with in life.

The Guns and Dope Party that he founded promotes several beliefs and causes on its website, many of which are reminiscent of the founders’ beliefs and others which are simply just absurd. They believe that all people have the right to arms, but that no arms should be forced upon other people (this is akin to the libertarian belief that if you want guns, you should have guns–but if you don’t want guns then don’t buy them).

The Guns and Dope Party also believes that you should be freely allowed to enjoy any type of drug so long as you don’t force that drug unto others. In addition, they believe in constitutional democracy (as much as they believe that our current system of government is far, far from that), and fighting for the rights of ostriches. Yes. Ostriches.

Venturing to the Guns and Dope Party website unveils several other positions taken by the interesting political interest group. Get rid of at least one-third of Congress. Leave other people alone. More than anything else, the group wants to get rid of tsars in the White House. They rightly believe that the U.S. drug tsar functions under the assumption that one person can know more about what drugs we should and shouldn’t have than the doctors who study them. After all, the tsar has never met you or studied your health.

The Guns and Dope Party is perhaps best known for its annual celebration in Black Rock City (not really a city) in the corresponding desert of Nevada. You know the one: Burning Man. The event first transpired in 1986 and has since grown exponentially into a non-profit organization with tens of thousands of participants. The popular festival is known for its view of self-expression through art and creativity while fostering a sense of community among its temporary members.

Wilson and his Guns and Dope Party are strong opponents of the fruitless war on drugs, believing that the money invested should be redistributed for other more worthwhile causes. The Guns and Dope Party still remains a relevant and thought-provoking, if comical, organization today.

Libertarians And What They Believe

If you are getting sick and tired of the government telling you what to do and you just want to be free to enjoy your life, you might want to consider joining The Libertarian Party. Libertarians believe in individuality and freedom above all else and want to limit the role of government in society. Read on to learn more about libertarians and what they believe.

Libertarians believe in individualism. They believe that everyone is responsible for their own actions and that everyone is responsible for their own happiness. As an individual, you have the right to be secure and enjoy liberty and property. No one has the right take this away from you.

A libertarian believes in spontaneous order where people are free to live but also have to live in a larger society that is determined by those living in the society and not the government. Libertarians respect the rights of others equally and any rules that are imposed need to protect individual freedom.

Limited government is an important part of the libertarian philosophy. They believe that big government is harmful and even dangerous to individual freedom. They don’t believe in the concentrated power of government because it has a corrupting influence so they want to limit it as much as possible.

Libertarians believe in free markets where the market dictates the price of a good or service. The also believe that people can be more prosperous if the government stays out of business. They also believe that social harmony is created when people are free to pursue their business interests without the government interfering with them.

They don’t believe in war and they think that society would work well if people are free to pursue what they want as long as they aren’t hurting anyone or trying to take away their things. Libertarians are often socially liberal and have no problem with gay marriage or drug legalization. They also are generally against the death penalty.

Fiscally, they tend to be conservative and don’t believe in paying any taxes. They believe that people will donate to charity to help the poor and make good decisions because it helps the environment and their pocketbook. They don’t believe on government bailouts either. Libertarians don’t believe in intervening in foreign policy because it can restrict freedom. The libertarian party is the party you want to join if you believe in freedom.

What Exactly Does The Green Tea Party Stand For?

The Boston Tea Party was a seminal event in the history of the United States and probably played part in the eventual separation of the what would become the United Sates from being a simple colony under the control of Great Britain.

Of course, a revolt against taxation of tea was not at the core of that protest, the causes were much more complex. But today the Green Tea Party has similar objections to the way that the United States government is handling issues that impact on the lives of each and every citizen in the U.S.

As a ‘Green’ party their primary focus is on environmental issues. Although they are widely regarded as an offshoot of the mainstream Republican party the party has hitched its wagon firmly to the issues that surround environmental issues. The Green Tea Party has been vocal in their support of the use of solar energy as an alternative to the power supplied by large energy companies in the United States.

This may at sometimes put them directly in the sights of power brokers of the Republican party in Washington who, by and large, have enjoyed the support of those very same power companies. However, the organizers of the party are of a different view.

The traditional Republican view is that power, both political and in the sense of energy should be decentralized sits well with many in the Republican party. And this is what the Green Tea Party stands for. In the opinion of their leadership and their supporters, people should be empowered to cut themselves off from a national grid controlled by big business and a government that they see as exerting unwanted control over the lives of ordinary citizens.

The organizers of the movement believe that government subsidies are simply wrong. The message is simple; let government attend to the business of government and let ordinary people attend to the business of their daily lives – including providing power for their families without regulation and laws preventing them from enjoying the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.

Whether or not they will continue to enjoy the support they have enjoyed to date remains to be seen. However, the message resonates with many people in the United States. In an age where big business and car accident legislation seems to touch each and every part of a citizen’s life many people simply want to be left alone to enjoy the freedom from interference. And that includes their right to freedom from interference when it comes to energy.

The Whig Party: A Brief History Of One Of America’s Best Known 3rd Parties

The Whig Party was a strong political party created in the 1830s in response to staunchly oppose then-President Andrew Jackson, his policies, and the politicians in the part of the Democratic Party that supported him. The Whigs were seen as the successor to two previous political parties: the Anti-Masonic Party and the National Republican Party. They further found favor with many voters by also claiming some popular ideas from the tradition of the Federalist Party, as they were understood at that time.

General Political Philosophy

The Whigs firmly believed that the majority of governing power belonged in Congress and not with the United States President, and they encouraged a program of protections that would allow for entrepreneurs, planters, reformers, and ambitious individuals to use banking, modernization, and entrepreneurship to encourage manufacturing and growth. This was extremely popular with many urban middle class and growing business fields but held very little appeal to many farmers and unskilled laborers.

On the moral side, there was a large part of the Whigs that were active Protestants who were deeply and morally against many of President Andrew Jackson’s policies, including removal of Native Americans to Reservations. Saying they were an “Anti-Jackson Party” isn’t too far off the mark although it might be a little bit over-simplistic. Along with the Jackson Democratic Party, they would form the early part of the two party system as it would work there.

Big Names In The Whig Party

Part of the reason the Whig party worked so well, at least from the 1840s through the middle of the 1860s, is that they had many big names who flocked to their banner. Senator Daniel Webster and Senator Henry Clay were both major names who helped lead the Whig party, which would go on to have four different politicians from their ranks rise to be President of the United States. These men were: William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, & Millard Fillmore. While there were several minor issues that were already dividing the party, slavery was the huge one that caused a break.

The New Republican Party would form as a result, which would include former Whigs like Abraham Lincoln. While unity made them a political force for two decades, in the end, the breaking of this unity is what would break them and resign them to a blip in the history books.

What Does It Mean To Be Far Left?

Politics can often be about directions. After all, that is how it is generally labeled – all thanks to an ideological spectrum.

Americans have political ideologies that are as diverse as the society of the country. Virtually everyone who is politically active or has an opinion about various political issues tend to sit somewhere on a political spectrum – from the far-left to the far-right, and they all have various labels thereof – from libertarian to communist, moderate, liberal, progressive, conservative, fascist, anarchist.

Many of these labels have their own biased connotations, so if you want to look at a political spectrum from an objective perspective, you can narrow things down to far left, left, center-left, centrist, center-right, right and far-right. The spectrum runs from socialism and communism over to libertarianism.

Political parties are really just social group of a similar political bent, and for people to belong to a group – which is something that is inherent in many of us – they might have to consider the platform of that party, prioritize their own values and stances on certain issues and then pick the group or party that best fits those prioritized values. In reality, America has such a diverse league of ideas and ideologies, that the concept of a two-party system really doesn’t fit; our country should easily be able to support six or seven viable political parties, one for each range of ideology on the spectrum, from the far-left to the far-right and those in between – or as some may think, those with “common sense” or are “realistic.”

So what is far-left, anyway?

Far-left, whether on an overall political spectrum, or within a political party, is a position that is considered “progressive” and is more about “the common good” over personal freedoms. The far-left is about the collective success and equality of outcome and assuming inequality of opportunity for people.

The most “far left” would be those philosophies that are consistent with authoritarianism, communism and socialism – in other words, nearly full government control of virtually all aspects of the economy and society. Theocracies can be like this as well, especially what could be seen in Islamic countries that operate under Sharia law.

In some cases, anarchy – which is some ways is actually “far-right” because it is a no-government philosophy – actually has elements of authoritarianism and can be every bit as violent as many on the far-left to enforce “equality of outcome” in the economy.

The far left believes in policies where there is forced redistribution of wealth to assist the lower-income residents – though there are several countries where these kinds of policies end up not helping the poor but instead leads to corruption and financial success among those who are within the ruling political party or their families and close associates.

When a philosophy or ideology favors more government intervention, such as the far-left, there will often be individuals who get left out in favor of those who are “favored” by the government – “victimized” groups, or just those who are in position of power. On the far left, many are not considered individuals, but usually part of a group – either a group of the “oppressors” who need to be “punished,” or the “oppressed” who need a hand up.

It’s all about social justice, and the definition of justice being equal to fairness.

What Does It Mean To Be Far Right

If there is any particular way that we get divided in America, it’s not by race or color or gender or sexual identity. Those are forced or encouraged by politicians.

How we are most generally divided is by our political ideologies. In America, we are all on a spectrum of ideology, going from left to right – progressive to conservative. Political parties are created to cater to a certain group on that spectrum, and people who join those parties join because those parties most often share their values and priorities.

Political parties often get members who compromise some of their beliefs, instead wanting to belong to a group, and that may mean prioritizing their stances on various issues and then joining the party that fits those higher-value, high-priority stances. If America had a political party for every ideology, there would not be just two major parties – there may likely be six or seven coalition parties that share power, because people inherently don’t want to compromise their beliefs, but they will if it means belonging to a group.

Ideologies vary across the spectrum and they all seem to have different names – far-left, progressive, liberal, moderate, centrist, conservative, libertarian, leftist, socialist, fascist, ar-right, alt-right and so on. Each has its general place on the spectrum, and even those who are “apolitical” have stances on some issues and just don’t want to discuss because it’s impolite at dinner parties and family reunions.

What you hear a lot these days are terms like the “far right.” Do we really know what that means?

On the broad American political spectrum, it means the farthest right or conservative side of the spectrum. But it can also apply to individual political parties, and the far-right or most conservative flank of a political party – even if that paty hs progressive ideas and values.

The best definition of “far right” in politics is that a person who is on the “far right” is someone who is the conservative or traditional within a political ideology, or on the entire political spectrum.

Think of the spectrum as being in regards to government – the far left is 100-percent government control of virtually everything, while the far-right is minimal government control.

In some ways, there is no “far right” in the Democratic Party anymore, but these types of people would be these so-called “Blue Dog”Democrats – those who have more traditional (or conservative) stances on some issues – maybe they support abortion, but not beyond the first trimester for example. Someone on the “far right” of the Democrats might be a “pragmatist” like a Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who absolutely supports the coal industry an think it’s wrong to shut it down, while the Democrat platform is in support of regulations and laws that make coal mining go extinct due to climate change.

Along the full ideological spectrum, the “far right” in America tends to be very free-market oriented, withminimal government interference except in matters of protecting people, rights and property. (No, “far right” is not the same as “alt-right.”) America had a free market for most of the first 150 years of existence, and those who wish to maintain those traditional roles and function of government are the “far right,” or some may call them “constitutionalists” or “objectivists,” in a reference to Ayn Rand and her philosophy of Objectivism.

“Far right” has been noted in some references as authoritarian or nationalist, but that is misleading. Those on the far-right are not the alt-right, which is nationalist and fascist/authoritarian in nature. The far right instead is more like pure libertarianism, where the government’s only job is to protect indivdual rights, liberties, and property and about everyone having equal opportunity with no government dictating winners or losers. Anything else placed upon the “far right” is ideological labeling from someone to the left on the ideological spectrum.