Every Fourth of July, Americans are bombarded with advertisements about red and white products — it almost feels patriotic to spend money. Oftentimes, these companies advertise food sales — five dollar watermelon or hot dogs on a stars-and-stripes background — and imply that these items have some inherent patriotic identity. All-American men eat meat, a Costco ad might urge you. Most of us don’t truly believe that we are performing our civic duty when we buy a hot dog; however, there was a time in American history when one’s diet was directly tied to their love and devotion — or lack thereof — to America. To understand American patriotism as it relates to food, we must go back to British Colonialism in the early 1600s.
The 2018 Midterm was serious business. Cornell has been a roaring fire of political intensity for the last two weeks. Opinion columnists (I’m sure you can guess the specific ones) have been yelling all night. More of my friends voted than I thought possible, although some Cornellians — either disillusioned with the political process (fine, but a weak excuse) or simply disinterested (c’mon) — never filled out a ballot. Although we probably won’t get a true break from electioneering until after the 2020 race, I’ll be content with clearing my inbox of daily asks for campaign donations and “shockingly new analysis” from pollsters and Nate Silver himself.
Tonight, when election results start rolling in, professional pundits and party power-players will descend upon their studio desks and bleak backrooms to opine on and debate the implications of this election for the one that will take place just under two years from now. Attempts to divine the electorate’s views on President Trump will be especially earnest within the Democratic Party, still recovering from a 2016 election in which Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly three million votes but lost the electoral college by fewer than 80,000 aggregate votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. From the moment polls close, the varying successes and failures of unabashed liberals running in traditionally-red states (such as Beto O’Rourke, Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum) and the staying power of their moderate counterparts in increasingly-red states (namely Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.)) will be compared and contrasted in an attempt to divine which type of candidate would have the best chance to defeat President Trump. In the face of these inevitable electability prognostications, though, I want to offer my fellow Democrats my view on what what characteristics the party’s nominee in 2020 should have. In an election in which it feels like the fate of the country, not to mention the fate of the millions whose lives have already been negatively affected by a Trump presidency, the Democratic nominee for president of the United States in 2020 should have the courage to be bold and the willingness to acknowledge nuance.