Image for post
Image for post

The Amazon rainforest has been called the “lungs of the planet”. It may be the Earth’s most valuable carbon sink, sucking in CO2 and replacing it with oxygen, naturally filtered and breathable. But now, our lungs are on fire. This is the planetary equivalent of lung cancer, and if we don’t act now it will become terminal.

So how do we stop this cancer from spreading? Unfortunately, there’s little we can do to stop the fires that are already burning. …


Image for post
Image for post

Attaining fair and equal pay for women is important. In most circumstances, women are underpaid compared to their male colleagues despite doing similar work.

To be fair, in most cases men are underpaid too. After all, Walmart is the largest employer in the United States, followed by Amazon. Both of these companies are infamous for their poor working conditions and wages.

But the issue of equal pay in women’s soccer is an entirely different beast. It’s not about fair pay at all — it’s about the right for some women to be as overpaid as some men are.

Is that really worth fighting for? …


Image for post
Image for post

What’s the solution to climate change? Most people will probably cite renewable energies. Maybe eating less meat and dairy. Few people will cite family planning and reproductive healthcare access, but studies show that this may be the most important solution of all. Of course, it’s no surprise that people don’t know this. The media rarely covers the proven link between reproductive healthcare and the climate crisis.

Man-made climate change isn’t as complex a problem as it seems, it’s really just a matter of arithmetic. There are too many people participating in too many greenhouse gas emitting activities. …


Image for post
Image for post

Most of the primary candidates have long histories of government work. This is a good thing, because it means we can assess their rhetoric based on their records. We can gauge their trustworthiness using objective measures.

A candidate’s history is the only reliable way to assess them, because anyone can say one thing and then do another. In fact, this is the most common trick in the politician’s playbook.

So why don’t debate moderators ever ask candidates’ about their records? On the few occasions that they do, it’s usually focused on rhetoric while ignoring their voting history. Like asking Tulsi Gabbard about her twenty-year old anti-LGBTQ+ comments, while ignoring her years of consistent pro-LGBTQ+ votes and bills since then. …


Image for post
Image for post

On the first night of the primary debates, moderators asked candidates if they support abolishing private health insurance companies in exchange for a government program. Elizabeth Warren and Bill de Blasio were the only two candidates to raise their hands. Much was made of this by the media, as demonstrated by these articles in Slate and Vice, among others.

But the moderators are bamboozling us.

Why did they phrase the question so awkwardly? Why didn’t they ask candidates directly if they support the Medicare for All bill, which has already been embraced by both candidates and voters?

Medicare for All has become a household term, so any question alluding to government run healthcare reform will be interpreted as referring to this bill. Moderators know this, but NBC has a bias and they want to push it. And damn it — fairness and accuracy aren’t going to stop them. …


Image for post
Image for post

Fair debates are a necessary part of the democratic process. When debates aren’t fair, we’re prevented from accurately assessing the candidates. We’re prevented from making informed decisions, decisions that will impact the lives of millions of people.

We have a recent history of debate malfeasance, so it’s our responsibility to watch for shenanigans. In 2016, the debates were rigged in favor of Hilary Clinton. This was confirmed by WikiLeaks and later supported by Donna Brazile, the Democratic National Committee’s interim chairperson.

A 2016 Democratic primary candidate, Jim Webb, said about the 2016 debates, “That debate was, I’m going to be very frank, rigged in terms of who was going to get the time on the floor by the way that Anderson Cooper was selecting people to supposedly respond to something someone else said. I even turned around to Bernie Sanders at one point and said, ‘Bernie! Say my name, will you? …


Image for post
Image for post

I’m a good feminist. And that’s why I’ll only vote for a woman for president.

It’s like Martin Luther King famously said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their pants.”

I’m pretty sure I remembered that right.

That said, there are a few lady candidates who have entered the 2020 primaries. At least two of them are real contenders for the presidential throne.

This one lady, Kamala Harris, was the most progressive prosecutor ever! She fought against criminal justice reform in California, and instituted anti-truancy laws that led to the prosecution of low income parents. She pushed for laws that separated families, similar to those instituted by Trump in the borderlands. But don’t worry, it’s cool — she’s a classy lady. …


Image for post
Image for post

We hear primary candidates talk about improving military readiness. We hear others justifying mass incarceration. These platforms are to be expected, furthering the power of the prison and military industrial complexes.

But Mike Gravel doesn’t have time for that noise. He wants to end the Empire now, and that’s why he’s running for president in 2020.

Gravel was a U.S. Senator from Alaska from 1969 to 1981. Since then, he’s opposed military intervention in Iran and Syria, as well as the existence of Guantanamo prison. …


Image for post
Image for post

Somehow, since Roe vs. Wade was passed in 1973, it’s never left public debate. It’s thought of as perhaps the most divisive culture war issue in American politics. But still, 59% of Americans favor legal abortion in “all or most cases,” including 58% of liberal to moderate Republicans. Support for abortion is nearly identical between genders and races.

Despite having the popular support of the American electorate, the mainstream media fails to present the abortion debate this way. …


Image for post
Image for post

Every presidential election cycle the mainstream media obsesses over the candidates’ “electability.” Are they too old? Are they too left? Are they too uncharismatic? Can they really appeal to the general electorate? Rarely do they ask if a candidate is too centrist. There’s an assumption that this simply isn’t possible. They assume that the American electorate is so far right that a centrist candidate is the only way to elect a Democrat.

There’s a reason for this obsession with electability, of course. Voting does requires some balance of ideology and strategy. But we’re rarely presented with the data we need to strategize successfully. …

About

lydia madeline

Data scientist studying evidence-based ways to further social and environmental justice. My work has been covered in The Guardian, CNN, CBC, Al Jazeera, etc.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store