• ECHO Action Editor

We The People must vet the candidates now and demand answers

Updated: May 2, 2019

Stephanie Scherr

Activist Echoes Editor

In recent weeks I have shared my concern that Democrats are calling for nicey-niceties, wanting everyone to be happy, positive and just #VoteBlue. Again I say, #AnyBlueWontDo and it's the job of We The People to vet candidates who want to be the leader of our nation and a voice for this planet. We must ask hard questions, demand answers and press them on justice, health and climate issues.

When Elizabeth Warren says "you can count on me" when I ask her about pipelines, fracked gas and FERC reform, that answer is not enough. What exactly does that mean? I love dogs, but I don't need a selfie with her dog or her husband. When you attend these events, you see how easily the public accepts such answers as an affirmation of support. They walk away happy, satisfied, feeling good about the candidate.

When Pete Buttigieg is asked about his climate policy and fracking and says he'll be talking about it later in his campaign, that's not enough. If you don't have answers now to the most critical issues facing our nation and planet, you have not spent enough time in public service considering pollution solutions. Cramming for the test is not acceptable.

When Jay Inslee, whose driving issue is climate change, tells me he doesn't really know enough about FERC to answer my question, that's a real weakness. I appreciate that he wants to learn more about it, but if you're campaigning on the work you've done as Governor and you can't find a way to transfer that to the national level, you're not ready.

Beto O'Rourke may be fast talking, with issues spewing out endlessly, but when we get past the celebrity he has gained, what are his solutions? We cannot accept ideas, swaggy attitudes and slogans as problem solving.

When Amy Klobuchar said she wouldn't reduce student debt or support the Green New Deal, the audience began to deflate. Afterwards, she seemed uncomfortable and reluctant to talk with the audience, even seeming a bit unsure about taking selfies. I've never heard such silence after a Town Hall. Why did that happen? She was asked hard questions, she answered them honestly, but it wasn't what that gathering was waiting to hear. That's how we learn and decide.

When Tulsi Gabbard is asked a question, she lays out the answer with solid groundwork for why she takes the position she does and what needs to be done. If she disagrees with how we are handling something or the position of other candidates, she is clear on why she disagrees.

Digging deeper than asking, "Do you support the #GreenNewDeal?" is how we've learned the meaning behind John Hickenlooper's new nickname, Frackenlooper. This guy is so friendly with the friends of fossil fuels (a former geologist for the industry) that he's tasted fracking fluid to supposedly prove it's safe. How's that for an important eye opener?

Some voters like to vote for someone they think they "know". Do you think you know Joe Biden? Look at his policy positions in the past. Stop looking for comfortable and easy.

People that watched Trump on TV thought they knew him. His inflammatory comments were just another wild TV show, until his lack of ethics tainted our nation.

In 2016, I remember a woman standing next to me at a Hillary Clinton event. She told me, "I don't waaant a revolution." Well my dear, if you're a white woman and life keeps rolling along no matter who is president, I guess you can afford to follow the expectations of the establishment. Many of us cannot. Certainly not the people of color in America. Funny how the Golden Rule dissipates when it means uncomfortable change, whether it's the right thing to do or not.

I was at one candidate event where the woman next to me swooned, "isn't he so cute?" No, no he's not. Or wait, maybe that's what's bothering me....cuteness. We're so easily swayed by charisma, newness and celebrity. Cute won't pay the bills, reduce our taxes, help immigrants at the border or in detention, get us the medical treatment we all deserve, keep our air and water safe from deliberate and irresponsible chemical use, protect our civil rights, freedom of speech, peaceful assembly and freedom of the press or increase social and racial justice.

Yes, there are some people with good intent running for office, but the job of the President of the United States is tough enough without the crises we're facing, the financial, justice and ethical violations we've been assaulted by and the damage that's been done by the current administration.

We need strong, solid, experienced leadership to guide us out of this, heal international relations, inspire nations to work cooperatively and for the people of the planet to have real hope for our future. How do we get that? We don't wait to see what's dropped in our lap. We get out there and ask questions, follow up and make sure we get the best candidate possible to turn America around. 🇺🇸


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