Something to Think About: Don’t Forget the Underdogs

October 13, 2015


Photo See page for author [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Presidential Candidate Martin O’Malley speaks in Maryland.

With the first democratic debate just around the corner, everyone on the news is talking about a Sanders versus Clinton showdown.

Both candidates have been holding rallies, making speeches, pooling together support.

Headlines read “Hillary vs. Bernie: Their money… and yours” and “Clinton vs. Sanders = lecture vs. rock concert.”

And that’s all well and good.

Except for the fact that there are three other democrats running for president, and their names do not appear anywhere.

Chances are, you have never even heard of them. They don’t make headlines. Donald Trump can’t even be bothered to insult them. And that is saying something.

But it is extremely important, both to the Democratic Party and the democratic process that all voters (including future ones) are informed about every candidate.

And since there are 15 republican candidates, we can just concern ourselves with democrats for now.


Lincoln Chafee

The best place to start with Lincoln Chaffee is that he used to be a republican. In fact (and he will gladly remind you of this at every possible opportunity), he was the only republican to vote against the Iraq war. He later became an independent and was elected as governor of Rhode Island in 2010, the first independent governor in 150 years. Today, he is a democrat. His policies include:

  • Diplomatic foreign policy: he promises to work with multinational bodies like the United Nations and to end practices such as drone strikes and wiretapping
  • Equal economic opportunity: Chafee will raise the minimum wage, eliminate the pay gap between men and women, and work towards reforming the tax system
  • Comprehensive immigration reform: Chafee will follow the immigration policy outlined by the bi-partisan bill he cosponsored, the McCain Kennedy Bill


Martin O’Malley

O’Malley has served as both Mayor of Baltimore and Governor of Maryland. As Mayor of Baltimore, he focused on reducing crime and improving education. As governor, O’Malley focused on bringing the state back from the recession. Today, he has “15 Goals to Rebuild the American Dream.” These are the ideas that make him stand out:

  • Make 100% of electricity in America from renewable resources by 2050
  • Completely eliminate veteran unemployment by 2020
  • In five years, implement public funding of congressional campaigns


Jim Webb

Webb has a quite a resume. He was Senator from Virginia, worked as Secretary of the Navy and even served as a Marine. He is also a journalist, author and filmmaker. When it comes to politics, he advocates for a clean campaign and is very focused on the issues. His top priorities are:

  • Economic fairness: reforming the tax code by eliminating loopholes and moving away from income and towards consumption
  • Foreign Policy: respect treaties and allies, continue in the fight against terrorism, by military force if necessary
  • National Infrastructure: combat unemployment by investing in infrastructure
  • Criminal Justice Reform: address the issue of mass incarceration and create structured re-entry programs

Although compared to Hillary, or even Bernie, these candidates are worth listening to in tomorrow’s debate. They may just surprise you.


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