On Jan. 19, The New York Times announced that it would endorse two Democratic candidates, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Amy Klobuchar. It is a shocking yet insightful look into the high stakes 2020 election.
The NYT has already experienced some backlash by endorsing both Sen. Warren and Sen. Klobuchar. Since the Democratic candidates share many of the same goals, voters are faced with tough decisions. However, The NYT made the right choice in endorsing both Warren and Klobuchar.
In the Democratic race, there aren’t many differences between the goals each candidate wants to achieve, but rather between how they plan to accomplish their objectives. Health care, education, environmental issues and the need to unify the country after an extremely divisive time in politics are some of the topics Warren and Klobuchar have addressed in the latest debates. It seems unfair to force an editorial board like The NYT to only select one candidate because there are not many distinctions in each candidate’s plans and values.
In the past, The NYT has endorsed a candidate with a more traditional approach to progressing the nation, but the past few years have been extremely turbulent in American politics. The Mueller report, the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, tense foreign relations and Americans’ declining trust in government are just a few examples of how intense the last four years have been.
For our democracy and country to thrive, we must elect a candidate who can bring political parties and citizens together. In 2020, it is important that the Democratic Party elects the most stable candidate in the race to beat incumbent Trump. Since the goals Warren and Klobuchar have set for themselves are not that different, it is hard to say if one is more equipped than the other.
Some argue that endorsing more than one candidate makes the choice harder for uncertain Democrats. CNN argued that the job of an endorsement is not to lay out the plans of the candidates, but to simply just pick one to support. CNN also argued that The NYT’s stance to not solely choose one candidate is what will be remembered. However, since this is the first time The NYT has endorsed more than one candidate (let alone two female candidates), it is questionable if CNN is correct.
In a society where women are often villainized in politics, it is important to note the progressiveness of supporting two strong female candidates. In the last election, voters were sure that Trump would not be able to beat the 2016 Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, but many argue that the way the media portrayed Clinton was the reason she lost the election. If we want to see true progress for women in politics, it is time we start acknowledging all of the women who have come forward with a plan to win in 2020.
The purpose of an endorsement is not to decide for you. It would be naive for The NYT to believe that voters who are struggling to decide on one candidate would simply choose who to vote for based on its endorsement alone. Endorsing more than one candidate leaves the choice up to the voters and their own informed opinions.
It is clear that the stakes in 2020 are extremely high and it is important for voters to be fully informed of the choices they have in this election. The NYT has made the decision to give the choice back to people in its most recent endorsement of both Warren and Klobuchar. The purpose of an endorsement is not to pick the voters’ candidate, but to lend support to specific candidates.
The endorsement of Warren and Klobuchar makes a powerful statement about women in politics. Each female candidate deserves a fair chance and shouldn’t be dismissed simply because there are other women in the race. Though The NYT did not choose a singular voice to support in 2020, it has made a bold decision to endorse two capable candidates to take on Trump in this upcoming election.