In September 2018, I wrote an article about four women who were running for Congress in four separate districts, each speaking against wars and militarism in highly unusual ways. They later all won their elections, joined together, and called themselves a squad. Since taking office, they’ve all been far superior to the average Congress member, and often been real standouts.
Who are likely to be the big-party, general-election, antiwar candidates in 2020? It’s possible that there will be more than four. If you know of any prospects I haven’t heard about, please let me know. Here are the ones I have heard about:
Ilhan Omar, Minnesota’s Fifth District
Ro Khanna, California’s Seventeenth District
Rashida Tlaib, Michigan’s Thirteenth District
Ayanna Pressley, Massachusetts’ Seventh District
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York’s Fourteenth District
Jamaal Bowman, New York’s Sixteenth District:
Bowman has said, “My opponent, Representative Eliot Engel, and I do not share the same foreign policy vision. He voted for one of the worst policy disasters of my lifetime — an unjust and costly 2 trillion dollar war in Iraq. He voted against President Obama’s signature foreign policy achievement which put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program. He went on CNN this past year and said he didn’t want to tie Trump’s hands when it came to strikes on Iran. He was one of only 16 House Democrats in 2016 to vote against an amendment that blocked the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia which has been relentlessly dropping them on Yemeni civilians. My opponent accepts donations from corporations and arms manufacturers like Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon. He supports a hawkish and costly foreign policy agenda instead of focusing on the communities in our district that have been neglected for far too long. We must dramatically reduce the Pentagon’s budget over the next ten years, end the forever wars, and rebuild a diplomacy-first approach through the State Department. We have been in Afghanistan for 19 years, in Iraq for 17 years, and in Syria for five years. Congress must reassert its authority to bring our troops home.”
Arati Kreibich, New Jersey’s Fifth District:
She proposes to “put a stop to the endless wars and turn the focus of the international community to building peace and fighting climate change.” Kreibich proposes to redirect military spending to human needs, going so far as to suggest that the latter should be be funded more than militarism.
Mckayla Wilkes, Maryland’s Fifth District:
Wilkes proposes using the War Powers Resolution to end U.S. participation in the war on Yemen, and moving at least $200 billion out of military spending, as well as “massively increasing funding for foreign aid programs, especially in regions victimized by unjust American military interventions.”
Michael Owens, Georgia’s Thirteenth District:
Here’s a bit of his platform.
- “Focus on rebuilding trust by partnering with our allies and the United Nations.
- “Strengthen the State Department and take a diplomacy-first stance to solving international conflict with a balanced approach to intervention as a last resort.
- “Immediately end funding to the Saudi war in Yemen.”
Mark Gamba, Oregon’s Fifth District:
Remarkably, Gamba proposes that the United States obey international laws and end its wars. He recommends a major shift of resources out of war profiteering and into human and environmental needs. Gamba connects the issues by pointing out that “the U.S. military is the largest organized polluter in the world,” and noting that investing in diplomacy saves money (as well as lives).
Eva Putzova, Arizona’s First District:
Putzova says, “the invasions and continuing American military occupation of Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries in the greater Middle East has been a human, economic, and environmental disaster for people here and abroad. Millions of lives have been lost or ruined and trillions of dollars have been wasted that could have been spent on healthcare, education, and a ‘Green New Deal’ here at home. I oppose all undeclared, illegal wars of choice and will work hard to ensure that Congress asserts its constitutional oversight responsibility over the executive branch on matters of war and peace.” She also opposes uranium mining and the transportation of the uranium ore, but supports reaffirming Flagstaff as a nuclear free zone.
Cori Bush, Missouri’s First District:
Her platform includes this:
- “Bring out troops home and Strengthen VA Benefits.
- “Oppose our imperialist foreign policy and the runaway influence of the military industrial complex.
- “Take Power away from military . . . contractors and Pentagon officials.”
UPDATE: Found one more: https://lopezforthepeople.com/#my-platform
UPDATE: Found another: https://mondaireforcongress.com/platform/
5 thoughts on “Antiwar Congressional Candidates 2020”
Tulsi Gabbard campaigned for the Democratic nomination for President on a platform that primarily anti-war. She was an attractive candidate and had a great deal of exposure but she only got about 2% of the votes. The problem was that 98% of the voters did not care much about our wars. They were not affected by the wars. The sad political lesson is that anti-war is not a winning issue.
Not what she did or a complete explanation of why she failed.
David, you said “Not what she did or a complete explanation of why she failed.” What do think she did and why do you think she failed? Part of the reason she failed was that the DNC could not forgive her for not supporting Hillary and she was maligned in the press.
No, the problem is that both media and most people handle elections as personality contests rather than focusing on the issues. Gabbard was simply never taken to be a serious contender. Nevertheless, you are right that anti-war is not the priority issue for most people, despite the fact that nothing else can be accomplished until we free our spending from military dominance. We have lots of work to do.
True but only part of the problem.