To learn more about the 2020 Democratic candidates you’ll see on tonight’s debate stage, read the op-eds they’ve written for CNN Opinion since primary season began.
Though multiple polls of Democratic voters indicate that beating President Donald Trump is the top priority, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg wrote that the election cannot just be about the current occupant of the White House. Instead, he said, it must be about “the seismic changes our nation is facing -- both globally and at home -- and ensur[ing] every American has the opportunity to succeed.”
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders argued that for everyone to succeed, banks have to stop ripping off hardworking Americans. There is a solution, he wrote: with his Loan Shark Prevention Act, introduced with New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Congress would be able “to put an end to predatory lending.”
Meanwhile, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, addressing the role of automation in the US economy, wrote that the next Industrial Revolution will soon take hold in the US -- and the fate of manufacturing workers in years past will again become reality -- this time for retail, call center and fast food workers. Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper advocated for a new national strategy for the American workforce -- one that would mean “an investment of historic proportions in skills training and apprenticeships.”
But activist and author Marianna Williamson cautioned that any political or economic strategy must take into account that politicians in Washington have been disempowering Americans for far too long. This “new aristocracy,” as she called it, “has hijacked America’s value system, leading us to swerve from our democratic and deep human values.”
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand argued that taking back democracy requires bravery. But, more importantly, it requires leading not “from weakness or ego but from strength and character.” Colorado Senator Michael Bennet wrote that the American people would also play a critical role in this democratic process. It won’t be easy, he wrote, but “it's more naïve to think we can keep doing what we're doing and expect anything meaningful to change for our country.”
And California Rep. Eric Swalwell reasoned that some “new generational optimism and energy” would be critical to restoring “the promise of America for all Americans – not just those in the penthouses and golf resorts.”
To read what the candidates who debated last night wrote in their op-eds for CNN Opinion, click here.