Tag: presidential election

BREAKING: Beto to Announce 2020 Presidential Bid

William Ramage | United States

Earlier today, Beto O’Rourke, a three-term congressman from El Paso, announced that he will join the presidential race. In a text message to a local El Paso news station, Beto O’Rourke confirmed that he will be running for President in 2020.

Continue reading “BREAKING: Beto to Announce 2020 Presidential Bid”

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Snatching Defeat From the Jaws of Victory

Jack Shields | United States

Donald Trump did not win the 2016 election. This isn’t some article telling you about how Russia rigged the election. I recognize that Trump became President fair and square, winning 304 electoral votes. But Trump did not win the election so much as Hillary Clinton lost the election. Trump got lucky and won the Republican primary because he was the most unique candidate in the field of 17. While campaigning, Trump would say or do things that would completely destroy any other candidate’s chance of victory. From making fun of John McCain for being captured in Vietnam to a tape being leaked of him bragging about sexually assaulting women, it seemed impossible for him to become the 45th President of the United States. Yet Hillary Clinton was so unappealing, so corrupt, and so strangely unable to visit the mysterious lands of Wisconsin, that Trump was able to win the election in spite of himself.

With Trump’s approval ratings at historic lows, no wall built, and the Blue Wave in the 2018 midterms, you would think that the Democrats would have learned their lessons from the 2016 election and would be preparing for their easy path to the White House in 2020. But the Democrats have learned all the wrong lessons from both their defeat in 2016 and their victory in 2018. And it is because of this that they are set to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and ensure the reelection of President Trump.

Learning the Wrong Lessons

Coming away from the last two elections, the Democrats believed that they needed to become more radical. To them, Hillary didn’t lose because she was unlikable and corrupt. She lost because she was moderate. This mindset has caused the party to go sprinting as far left as they can. Presidential candidate Kamala Harris has been quoted as saying she wants to do away with private health insurance. Another candidate, Elizabeth Warren, has proposed a wealth tax. New York recently legalized late term abortions, and the Democratic Virginia Governor is supporting infanticide as a bill is proposed legalizing late term abortions in his state. And many are supporting Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez’s Green New Deal, which is Marxism with a hint of environmentalism. This is the exact opposite lesson than the one Democrats should learn. Americans may hate Trump, but this does not mean they love socialism. Most people do not like socialism. Polls show that most Americans do not support late term abortions. And the results of the 2018 Blue Wave consisted of suburban voters leaving the Republicans for moderate Democrats, not radicals. The American people want a moderate, not a Harris, not a Warren, and certainly not a Sanders. If they have the choice of Socialism or Trump, they will do just as they did with Clinton in 2016 and re-elect him. As Ben Shapiro said on his show, “All [the Democrats] had to do was not be crazy, and they can’t do it.”

This radicalism has resulted in former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz seriously considering running as an independent. An independent has a serious chance of performing at the level Ross Perot did in 1992, costing President George H. W. Bush his reelection with the unpopularity of both parties. But as seen in the 2000 election with the defeat of Vice President Gore, a third party candidate would only need about 3% of the vote to derail a candidate. If the Democrats picked a candidate perceived as a moderate such as Beto O’Rourke or Joe Biden and pitched the candidate as a return to normalcy, they’d be set to cruise to the White House. But instead, they seem hell bent on alienating moderates and giving Trump a second term.

The next mistake the Democrats have made is their embrace of intersectionality. The idea that what victim groups you fall into determines how important your opinion is has consumed the Democratic base. Just recently, a Women’s March in San Francisco was canceled due to the fact that too many of the participants are white. Your skin color or gender is now one of the most important qualities in determining if you will be the Democratic nominee. The best example of this is Beto O’Rourke. I’m not big on giving the Democrats advice; I want them to lose. But if I was a Democrat, I’d want Beto to be the candidate. He ran a close campaign as a Democrat in Texas, and now the GOP is worried about losing the state in 2020. He would easily defeat Trump with suburban voters turning on the Republican party. But they won’t do that. The Democrats are already criticizing Beto for being a white male. The base will not let a non-intersectional candidate win. While that might work in a primary, it will not win you the general. As long as the media push Kamala Harris because she is the intersectional candidate, Trump’s chances get better every day. With Democrats caring about skin color and gender so much that they will throw away their best chance at flipping Texas for a Senator who has accomplished nothing in the Senate and jump-started her career by sleeping with a 60-year-old married man simply because she is black and female, get prepared for four more years of Trump.

2020 should be a blowout for the Democrats. Come January 20, 2021, we should be talking about the brutal beating Trump suffered and how the parties have realigned in favor of the Democrats with Texas and Georgia now officially going blue. All that needs to happen is for Democrats to pick a moderate and focus on Trump’s behavior. But they just can’t help themselves. Democrats are allowing their party to be consumed by socialism and the religion of Intersectionality. It is looking more and more like when 2021 comes, we will be talking about how once more the Democrats managed to find a way to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory.


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Marco Rubio Proves Politicians Will Do Anything for Votes

Indri Schaelicke | United States

In January of 2016, speaking at a New Hampshire campaign event, Republican Presidential hopeful Senator Marco Rubio reaffirmed his pro-gun right stance. “I believe that every single American has a Constitution—and therefore God-given right—to defend themselves and their families,” Rubio said. The statements he made at this rally were clearly politically motivated- he was attempting to build a base of voters in a state with a strong commitment to gun rights, especially among Republicans. And it sort of worked- he received 10% of the vote in the New Hampshire Republican primary and came away with 2 delegate votes.

Yet just a few years later, it seems like Rubio has forgotten those closely held principles. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Marco Rubio is planning to introduce a red flag gun bill. This law, if passed, would encourage states to pass and implement laws that allow law enforcement to confiscate guns from their owners if they show any signs of aggression. The process begins when law enforcement, concerned family and friends, or mental health professionals petition a court for a court-ordered confiscation of guns from the person in question’s home. A troubling problem with red flag gun confiscation laws, however, is that the citizen whose right to defend themselves by owning firearms is being stripped away is not given an opportunity to represent themselves in court and prevent the confiscation.

How could a politician go from believing every person has the right to protect themselves and the people they love, to leaving this right up to the whims of a judicial system that can be easily biased into stripping this right from a person? Let’s examine what has caused Rubio to shed his principles with such ease.

The Parkland School Shooting

On February 14, 2018, gunman Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and killed seventeen students and staff members and injured a further seventeen others. This school shooting sparked a national debate on America’s gun laws and the constitutionally protected right of the people to keep and bear arms. The survivors of the shooting were understandably severely anti-gun after the events they had witnessed, and many of them started a movement known as the March for Our Lives. This movement organized marches and rallies across the US, and demanded tougher restrictions on the ownership of guns, with some even calling for the complete banning of assault rifles.

Being one of two senators from the state of Florida, Marco Rubio was forced to make a statement about the shooting and demonstrate to his constituents that he would do what he could to prevent another tragedy like this from happening. At a widely seen CNN Town Hall event, Rubio spoke with survivors of the shooting and came under fire from outraged parents of fallen students and shooting survivors. Question after question about what he would do to prevent similar shootings from happening came at Rubio, who did his best to stay true to his principles in the face of a hostile crowd. However, he soon cracked, and after the event announced that he would be introducing a Gun Violence Restraining Order Bill, also known as a Red Flag bill, in the US Senate. During the town hall, Rubio also stated support for four different proposals that would aim to limit the risk that a deranged individual could harm so many defenseless children.

These proposals include strengthening background checks, banning bump stocks, increasing the age limit to buy rifles from 18, and potentially limiting magazine sizes. On the issue of the legal age to purchase rifles, Rubio said: “I absolutely believe that in this country if you are 18 years of age, you should not be able to buy a rifle, and I will support a law that takes that right away”. In just two short years, Marco Rubio has gone from believing that everyone has the right to protect themselves to supporting “a law that will take that right away”. He also indicated that he is reconsidering his stance on limiting magazine sizes. “I traditionally have not supported looking at magazine clip size, and after this and some of the details I learned about it, I’m reconsidering that position,” Rubio said.

Political Posturing

This strategic positioning on the issues suggests that Senator Rubio is attempting to put himself in good standing with his constituents to ensure his reelection bid is successful. Rubio’s next run will come in 2022, just three years away. The survivors of the Stoneman Douglas shooting, as well as thousands of other teens concerned with the safety of their schools and communities, will range from 18 to 22. With almost 70% of teens surveyed in a SurveyMonkey poll saying that a federal ban on assault weapons would make the US a safer place, it is clear that the newest members of Rubio’s electorate are in favor of gun control. The Senator is ensuring that he can count on GenZ votes in his 2022 election run. If he does not secure this demographic’s support he will find it incredibly difficult to win reelection.

Rubio is walking an incredibly thin line. He must maintain his base of Republican support by not compromising his beliefs on gun rights, while also attracting more moderate voters who are more likely to support some sort of gun control measure. Florida is infamous for being a swing state in Presidential elections, as 27% of their electorate is not party affiliated. This massive demographic has the potential to decide close races, and Rubio must win their support by becoming more moderate. His red flag bill will allow him to achieve both of these goals, as both groups are likely to agree with the necessity of this law. It looks like yet another politician has decided it is worth shedding their principles to ensure reelection.


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It’s Time to Replace the Electoral College

Jack Shields | United States

The 2016 election was a showdown between Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton. The fact that the leader of the free world was going to be one of these individuals, both of whom were under FBI investigation, shows that our electoral system is in need of reform. Further compounding this need is the fact that Donald Trump received 2.8 million votes fewer than the loser, Hillary Clinton. The Electoral College is clearly a disaster which does not do an adequate job in achieving any of the noble goals presented by its supporters. However, the solution of going to a popular vote, by far the most popular idea, would be even worse. The Electoral College must be repealed and replaced with a ranked choice voting system, rather than relying on the popular vote.

The Failure of the Electoral College

The Electoral College was a disaster from the start. The system went unnoticed during the first two elections as George Washington was running, so it was really more of a formality than an actual election. Its flaws, however, became apparent in the election of 1796 between Federalist John Adams and Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson. At the time, the Electoral College operated under the rules prescribed in Article II Section 1 Clause 3, which gave each elector two votes for President. Whoever had the majority of votes became President, and whoever had the second most became Vice President. Adams won, becoming President, but rather than fellow Federalist, Thomas Pinckney, receiving the second most to become Vice President, Jefferson of the opposite party did. This made the Executive branch split ideologically for the only time in American history, causing tension and inefficiency. Problems continued in the election of 1800 when Democratic-Republicans Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr each received 73 electoral votes and the outcome of the election went to the House of Representatives. It was a brutal political battle that took 35 deadlocked votes before Alexander Hamilton convinced a minority of Federalist Representatives to back Jefferson in the 36th vote, making him the third President of the United States (a decision that would help lead to Burr killing Hamilton in a duel). Both sides understood our electoral system was a mess, so to remedy this the Twelfth Amendment was ratified in 1804, making each elector now have only one vote for President and one for Vice President.

While certainly an improvement, ratifying Twelfth Amendment was like applying a band-aid when surgery is required. Many more problems have surfaced since regarding Presidential elections and more and more band-aids have been added.

With electoral votes being what matters and not the votes of the people, the right to vote in a Presidential election was not and is still not guaranteed. The Fifteenth, Nineteenth, Twenty-fourth, and Twenty-sixth Amendments had to be ratified, along with the passage of countless laws, to at least clarify which characteristics can’t be used to prevent Americans from voting.

The Twenty-third Amendment was ratified in order to actually let American citizens in our country’s capital have any say in who would be running the nation. For 172 years they were spectators in their own country. Today, millions of Americans are unable to vote for who should be their Commander in Chief simply due to the fact they live in territories rather than states.

There have been five elections in which the winner of the popular vote was defeated. Additionally, small states are disproportionately represented in the Electoral College. Both of these are hailed by supporters of the Electoral College as its benefits. Small states should be represented and the tyranny of the majority should be kept at bay. The problem is that neither of those has really happened. When is the last time you saw a presidential candidate visit Wyoming or Vermont? Small states have not been represented, while swing states receive large amounts of media and campaign attention. Rather than a national election, the Presidential election is an election of Florida, Ohio, and Virginia. This is not how it should be. While power should be decentralized and overall, states should have more powers and influence in the lives of the American people, when we are holding an election for the head of the national executive the entire nation should be involved. The idea that we need a system that checks the tyranny of the majority is absolutely true. The Electoral College just isn’t the way to do it. Checks and balances, a small list of enumerated federal powers, decentralization of power, and state legislatures picking Senators were effective ways to check the majority. We have abandoned many of these ideas as government has grown bigger while our rights have shrunk, and the Electoral College hasn’t been able to stop any of this. The way to change course and keep small states powerful and the tyranny of the majority in check is to stick to checks and balances and decentralization of power, not have a terrible electoral system where someone can become President with only 27% of the popular vote. We should keep powers limited to protect the states. We should keep the amount of positions people get to elect limited to check the tyranny of the majority. But once we’ve decided to allow the people to vote, as we should do when deciding who gets to be the powerful man in the world, we should treat it as any other vote: winning 51% of the vote means winning the election.

The final supposed benefit of the Electoral College was it would protect us from the ignorance of the masses. It did this through the Electors, which are in no way constitutionally bound to vote for who the people of their state picked, although many states have laws requiring them too. But has it at all checked the people’s ignorance? The reality TV star who cheated on his wife with a porn star is President right now. President Wilson (re-segregated the federal government), President Roosevelt (put Japanese people in camps and appointed a former KKK member to the Supreme Court), and President Johnson (helped filibuster civil rights legislation) all were elected without any opposition from Electors. In fact, the only time the Electors have had any significant impact was during the election of 1872 when the Democratic nominee for President, Horace Greeley, died after the popular vote but before the electors cast their votes, causing them to split their votes between four other Democrats. Just like the tyranny of the majority, the ignorance of the majority should not be checked by the way we hold our elections. The way to check it is to limit the power of the federal government and what positions we get to vote for.

With the Electoral College being the disaster it is, many have proposed we move to a popular vote. In this system, whichever candidate receives the most votes becomes the next President. But this cure is worse than the disease. There have been eight elections in which the winner won with a plurality of votes, and this system exasperates this problem. It requires there to always only be two candidates, stifling many viewpoints and competition. The clearest example is with Bill Clinton’s election in 1992. Clinton won with an electoral landslide despite winning only 43.01% of the vote. This was because the third-party candidate, Ross Perot split President George H. W. Bush’s base. A Democrat won the election despite the fact that 56.36% of the electorate chose a conservative-leaning candidate. This is a problem that will continue to occur with a popular vote. A different solution is clearly needed.

Ranked Choice Voting

A Ranked Choice Voting System is the best way to elect the President. In this system, rather than picking just one candidate, a voter ranks his or her favorite candidate 1st, the second 2nd, and so on. If when the votes are tallied in the first round, none of the candidates received above 50% of the popular vote, then the candidate in last place is eliminated and the votes for those who voted for the now-eliminated candidate go to their highest ranked, non-eliminated choice. This process continues until one candidate has above 50% of the vote, making them the next President of the United States. President Bush would’ve been able to win in dominant fashion in the second round of the election under this system; giving the American people a President most closely aligned to the wishes of the electorate. That should be the most important goal of any electoral system, and none do it better than ranked choice voting.

While ensuring the majority of the American people actually voted for the next President is the most important goal, there are many other goals that are achieved by Ranked Choice Voting.

The candidates will be less radical. Primaries allow radical bases to select candidates not in line with mainstream America, causing most Americans to choose between the lesser of two evils as seen best by the 2016 election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Under this system primaries are weakened and may even become totally irrelevant and eliminated as multiple people from each party would be able to run without destroying any chance of victory as with the elections of 1912 and 1992.

With more candidates being viable the American people will have more options and more opinions will be represented. With votes transferring, the idea of ‘wasting your vote’ will be a thing of the past. All voters will get to vote with their conscience for the candidate most representative of their values without having to pick the least worst option.

The presidential candidates will have to campaign everywhere. Democrats in Texas and Republicans in California will finally have their votes matter and the need to campaign nationwide rather than Florida-wide will be the new path to victory.

Millions of American citizens living in territories such as Puerto Rico will be able to have a say in who their President will be. All Americans will have their votes matter now that we will have a system which ensures citizens do get to vote for President and there is no Elector who can go against the will of the people.

Lastly, this system has the potential to make elections more civil and unifying, something badly needed in this country. Most Americans disapprove of negative campaign ads, but their use is increasing. It is much easier to prove someone else wrong than to prove yourself right. A ranked-choice system creates negative consequences for disparaging your opponent and incentives to be civil; voters aren’t just voting once, they are now ranking candidates, so every detail of a campaign matters. And while not everyone is going to make a candidate their first choice, the candidate will want them to rank him or her second. A voter is not likely to rank a candidate anywhere on their list if the candidate is in a calling the other candidate’s supporters deplorables who are racist, sexist, bigoted, homophobic, and xenophobic. Candidates will now have to play nice if they hope to stand a chance should the election go to round two.

With an electoral system that has failed us from the beginning, many Americans are turning away from the Electoral College and looking for alternatives. While this is a necessary first step we must be careful not to stumble upon the first alternative and end up with an even worse electoral system. Ranked Choice Voting is by far the most efficient and beneficial system, making it the obvious choice for the Presidential electoral system of the future.


71 Republic is the Third Voice in media. We pride ourselves on distinctively independent journalism and editorials. Every dollar you give helps us grow our mission of providing reliable coverage. Please consider donating to our Patreon.

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Hillary Clinton 2020? Third Bid in Play, Says Ex-advisor

By Ryan Lau | @agorisms

Less than a week after the decisive 2018 midterms, the 2020 campaign season is already beginning. On Monday, West Virginia State Senator Richard Ojeda announced a 2020 bid against President Trump. Last week, Ojeda lost his House race, but now believes himself ready to run again.

Now, more significantly, a familiar name in politics is entering the realm of discussion once more. That’s right: we may see a Hillary Clinton 2020 run. After losing in the 2008 Democratic primary and 2016 general election, a close former advisor believes she is going to make another bid for the office.

Ex-advisor Mark Penn and Democratic politician Andrew Stein wrote an article Sunday in the Wall Street Journal detailing her potential run. They believe that this time, Hillary will run on a distinct platform: the “Hillary 4.0”. This, they believe, will set her apart from her three moderate incarnations of the past. In order to win the nomination, they believe she will need to portray herself as more liberal than ever before.

Due to claims of Russian interference and a popular vote win, Clinton did not believe the election was fair. Thus, she may be dissatisfied still with the loss and unwilling to end her political career to defeat by an outsider.

Throughout the campaign season, Penn and Stein detail, she had high approval ratings. Among Democrats, she had 75% support. However, much of this may have been because of the alternative: Donald Trump. Many of the progressive members of the Democratic Party voiced strong words against Clinton. As a result, she may find it difficult to regain their support a third time. This is especially true when candidates such as Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, and Kirsten Gillibrand have speculated runs. Nonetheless, they believe her desire to be the first female president will prevail.

Conway Encourages Hillary Clinton 2020

Interestingly, the announcement drew sarcastic support from Kellyanne Conway. The first woman to successfully manage a presidential campaign, she believed Clinton to be an easy target. As Trump has already defeated her once, she believes that he can do so again.

Conway took to Twitter on Monday to voice her support for a Hillary Clinton 2020 bid, saying: “Dear God, please, yes”.


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