US Constitution

Would you Vote for Them?

National elections are coming fast in less than 20 months, and the democratic party has a line of candidates that want to become the next president of the United States. This writing is about the set of characteristics that will favor any candidate to be the elected president. I start listing what I think are four important characteristics based on historical data on elections in USA. They are: being a man, white-European, straight, and Christian. The Constitution of the United States is absolutely agnostic, blind, egalitarian about this. Nothing is written in the Constitution that requires such four characteristics to be president, but statistics of presidential elections tell us that having them are almost like a requirement to be the elected. The following analysis is a combinatoric exercise where I eliminate one, or two, or three of such characteristics and talk about the chances of winning the election.

Group 1: Four Out of Four

Candidates with all four characteristics will bring nothing new to the table. They have a great advantage because of the “normality” factor that favors them. This group includes John Delaney, John Hickenlooper, Jay Inslee, Joe Biden, and Beto O’Rourke, among others. And of course, from the republican party the uncontested candidate, D. Trump, is part of this privileged group.

Group 2: Three Out of Four

This group has 4 subgroups. Candidates with three of the four characteristics have a great battle in front of them. We have had one recent president in the first subgroup among all forty five presidents, that is Barack Obama. He is non-white, but he is a man, straight and Christian. Is it probable that for the next election the president will be from this subgroup? Surely, but with difficulty. If Trump presidency turns out to be a total fiasco, such a candidate may have a chance due to nostalgic memories. This subgroup includes Cory Booker, Julian Castro, among others. How about a candidate that is a woman, white, straight and Christian? We had such a candidate that won the popular vote, Hillary Clinton, but didn’t win the election. The chances for a similar candidate are good compared to an Obama-like candidate. This subgroup includes Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren among others. How about a candidate that is a man, white, LGBT and Christian? We have Mayor Pete this time around. Does he have a chance? I would say yes. He has a chance because of the young voters are less preoccupied with the sexual orientation of people compared to the total population. How about a candidate that is a man, white, straight and non-Christian? This type of candidate will have a chance depending on which religion he follows. Two famous presidents were non-Christian, Jefferson and Lincoln, hence, candidates in this subgroup have better chance than candidates in the other three subgroups. Bernie Sanders belong to this subgroup of candidates.

Group 3: Two Out of Four

This group of candidates will have it harder than the previous group. This group has 6 subgroups. How about a candidate that is a woman, non-white, straight and Christian? At the time of this writing, only Kamala Harris is in this subgroup. It will be extraordinary for her to win. How about a woman, white, LGBT and Christian? I don’t know of any candidate with such characteristics, but she will have to overcome a lot to become president in this coming election. How about a woman, white, straight, and non-Christian? The closest candidate to this subgroup is Tulsi Gabbard, who is Hindu but is not of white-European race. How about a candidate that is a man, non-white, LGBT and Christian? None of the candidates that I know as of now is in this subgroup. How about a candidate that is a man, non-white, straight and non-Christian? Or a man, white, LGBT and Christian? I don’t know any candidate in the last two subgroups, but it will be difficult for such a candidate to appeal to a large electorate based on historical data.

Group 4: One Out of Four

As you can imagine, any candidate in this subgroup has basically a slim chance of winning the election. This group has 4 subgroups. How about a candidate that is a man, non-white, LGBT and non-Christian? Or a woman, white, LGBT and non-Christian? Or a woman, non-white, straight, non-Christian? This last subgroup is where Tulsi Gabbard falls in. We can say she has a very tiny chance to win the election based on historical data, but America is the land of opportunities, and we never know what will happen until it happens.

Group 5: Zero Out of Four (the “US Constitution” group)

I call this group the US Constitution group because it exemplifies what the US Constitution was meant to proclaim. That is, to give to any natural born citizen of thirty-five years of age or older the freedom to be elected president of the nation. The US Constitution implicitly, by omission, established that to be the presidency of the United States, gender, skin color, sexual preferences, and religion are not part of the requirements. Hence, the year when one of the two main political parties proclaims as its candidate a woman, non-white, LGBT, and non-Christian will be the year when we can say the American society has given a complete acknowledgment of what the US Constitution meant to say. She won’t have to win the election, but the fact that she will represent the republican party or the democratic party, will be enough. Would you vote for her?

It is clear that to win a national election for presidency of the United States requires more than what has been written here, much more, but the four characteristics explained above are used, consciously or unconsciously, to weed out candidates in the mind of many voters.

C.A. Soto Aguirre©