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7 Questions to Ask When Choosing Your Democratic Primary Candidate

Image result for debate friday night
“In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than just ideals to be valued – they may be essential to survival.” Noam Chomsky

For me, voting isn’t like driving—a complete disappointment and utterly terrifying. Maybe it is terrifying…the future of the country is literally in our hands (literally—when we use them to turn those weird nobs from the 80s that they still haven’t replaced with modern electronics). And even if we make a seemingly intelligent decision, what if the candidate doesn’t come through?
Ok. Voting is just like driving.
I’ve put to together a criterion, inspired by Shaun King’s, that will hopefully help you choose a candidate based on your personal values:
WHAT ARE THEIR VOTING RECORDS? Please don’t base your vote on what the candidate SAYS they’ll do. No matter how charismatic or intelligent they are in debates or on twitter, chances are, in the past, they’ve support legislation or movements that contradict their new, “progressive” views. People can evolve and change their positions, but it is important to know the types of bills for which they are likely to vote.
DO THEY HAVE A PLAN? If they’re saying they want a legislative or social change, look at the fine print. Do they have the actual groundwork to enact it? Are they prepared to adjust budgets to accommodate the changes? Are they being realistic about what can be accomplished? Do they participate in demonstrations and events that align with their ideology? Do they remain firm in their positions or are they vague about their intentions? Is there a physical plan that you can read, and does it match the promises they made?
WHO DO THEY SUPPORT? What movements, organizations, or people do they consistently talk about or work with?
WHO SUPPORTS THEM? Have movements, organizations, and people that you respect endorsed them? Candidates with a range of support will be pressured to keep their word legislatively if influential groups support them. It also means others have faith in them. If organizations that share your values support a candidate, that says something.
CAN THEY ADMIT FAULT? When asked about a previous stance or mistake, are they able to criticize themselves? Do they skirt around the question? Do they make superficial, round-about excuses? Do they blatantly lie? If they can’t give an honest and direct self-evaluation, they probably can’t be a transparent president.
CAN THEY WIN? What cost the Democrats the election last time? Well, several things. But most importantly: the Electoral College. Hillary won the popular vote, but she didn’t win enough Electoral Delegates. Which states does the candidate already have support in? How many delegates have already pledged their support? Which states are likely to have a population that’s drawn to that candidate? More passionate support, more voters. We need swing states like Ohio, Michigan, Florida, and Colorado.
CAN THEY BEAT HIM? Think realistically. While polls aren’t always right on, if your candidate is polling significantly lower than the other Democratic candidates or polling lower than POTUS, go for your second choice in the primary. We need a candidate who has massive support. And not just support in numbers, support in passion. We need a revolution to beat the orange storm of hate.
The pool of candidates is ever-shrinking. To me, if the US shows up, there’s a clear winner. But elections are funky, and the vote gets split. I tried to stay unbiased while writing this, but I have to say it: every single one of these questions eliminates Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg. We went for the centrist candidate with White House experience last time, and she lost. This can’t happen again. The survival of the human race potentially depends on this election. Do your research. Failure is not an option. We totally got this. *screams in Socialist Panic*

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