As the world enters 2019, it is emerging into something very exciting - a portion of human history where we are closer to the 2020 presidential election than we are to the 2016 election of Donald Trump. As a strongly rooted Democrat, this is particularly exciting to me because not only do I deeply enjoy following politics, but I also know the importance of doing so. However, there is still a heavy question that looms over the head of my fellow Democrats and me; who is going to be the nominee that makes it to the presidential election? So far, a number of Democratic candidates have already announced their campaign and the class is already diverse in ideology and demographic alike. Must we make sacrifices in inclusion and diversity in order to defeat Donald Trump in 2020? Not only do we not have to, but it is of tremendous importance that we do not.
Strategically speaking, the party should put forth the most appealing candidate to the masses of America. This approach includes a certain amount of compromise, which is often unpleasant. However, is it acceptable to not vote for Kamala Harris just because she is both a person of color and a woman? Not only is it wrong to do so, but it is essential to democracy that we abandon that pattern of thinking. Although we have never had a woman as president and have only very recently had the first person of color holding the position, our nation cannot sacrifice progress for the sake of strategy. Of course, it is important to many that the Democrats put forward a candidate that is capable of defeating Trump, but history shows that there will always be a Trump to defeat. If we as a country place representation on the backburner and put forth our best white male to defeat Donald Trump in 2020, then we are promoting a cycle of unequal opportunity.
Despite the importance of inclusion, I do have a small confession to make; I absolutely love Sherrod Brown. Day after day I find myself dreaming of the possibility that he runs for President in 2020. I would even settle with seeing him selected as somebody’s vice president. Not only do I believe he is an incredible person with many great ideas, but I must admit that I also love the idea of his ability to appeal to the moderates of America. However, Brown’s core values are what makes him an incredible candidate and his appeal to people with various political orientations is merely a bonus. If his appeal to conservatives is the only basis one chooses to support him instead of a female candidate who aligns with that individual’s politics more, then that person is silently giving way to the underlying sexism that plagues today’s elections.
Similar to racism, sexism, and a plethora of other “ism’s”, the perceived inconvenience that progress poses to our society is touchy and rarely admitted. It would be easy to vote for a cis male in the primaries because that person is the least likely to face discrimination as a candidate. However, doing so not only fails to promote progress, but downright suppresses it. When you decide your favorite candidate in the 2020 election, don’t fail the democratic process by putting your politics on the back burner to push forward the less progressive but safer candidate.
Parker Laird is a sophomore studying psychology at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to reach the College Democrats? Send them a tweet @OUCollegeDems.