In addition to the president and the Democratic candidate, as of October 9, 1,216 candidates (with different levels of seriousness) appeared before the Federal Elections Commission to run for president.
The United States has had presidents for more than 230 years, but only the first, George Washington, was elected as an independent candidate. The twins of US politics, the Republican and Democratic parties, dominate media coverage and campaign donations so completely that the chances of a candidate winning from outside the two formations are slim to none.
What kind of person looks at those almost insurmountable odds and thinks, “I’m running anyway”? Enough, beyond Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
As of October 9, some 1,216 candidates (with different levels of seriousness) had come forward before the Federal Elections Commission of the United States to run for president.
The BBC He asked three of them – a concert pianist and motivational speaker, a Native American and computer technician, and a cryptocurrency billionaire – what they stand for and why they deserve the votes of Americans.
Jade Simmons She is a multi-faceted woman: former beauty queen, professional piano performer, motivational speaker, rapper, mother, and Christian pastor. As she puts it, she is an unconventional candidate, but “these are unconventional times.”
It seemed to me that it was a moment in which we could not allow ourselves to do things as usual, he analyzes. “I am the daughter of a civil rights activist and the way my father raised me was that if you see gaps, if you see injustices, you should ask yourself if maybe it is you who has to take the reins,” Simmons details.
She says her goal is to create equal access to opportunity, through economic, educational and criminal justice reform. And in that spirit, he aims to run “the least expensive campaign in our nation’s history.”
“We believe that it is abominable that it costs almost $ 1 billion to run for president when the requirements are to be 35 years old, to be a resident born in the United States and to have lived here 14 years, “says Simmons.” We prefer to spend that money on helping people, “he argues.
So are you progressive or conservative? “It depends on who you ask!” He replies. “Everyone from disgruntled Bernie (Sanders) supporters to conservative Christian pastors likes our politics,” he says.
Her experience as a pastor and person of faith does not automatically denote conservatism, she assures. “I think Jesus is one of the most radical figures we have in history. And I think that if you look at how he operated, you could end up calling him progressive,” she defines.
The coronavirus pandemic disrupted this year’s race toward the White House, reducing mass gatherings, making party conventions virtual, and dominating the news headlines.
But for Jade Simmons, the biggest challenge of her campaign has been to let people know that she exists. “Even at a time when the lives of blacks and their voices supposedly matter and there were statements of solidarity coming from the media and corporations, it is those same media, including those directed at the black community, who have refused to tell the story that I’m here, “he warns.
Of course, “maybe there is a celebrity like Kanye West who did not even present his official candidacy, and on July 4, when he announced it, in 30 minutes it was present in all the main channels “, describe.
While Republican and Democratic candidates will be on the ballot in every state, independents must meet a number of state deadlines and access requirements.
Simmons’ name will appear on the ballot in Oklahoma and Louisiana, but in 31 other states she is registered as a written candidate, meaning that if voters physically write her name, their vote will count. She acknowledges that the odds are absolutely against youBut he still thinks he can make it to the Oval Office, if not this year, some other time. “I know it sounds crazy given the history of the independents!” He says.
“We believe that if we stay on our feet long enough, there is still more disruption to come and most Americans will see that the current two nominations are not the option,” Simmons analyzes. “We have been saying from day one that we must restore the fabric of the nation. This is a spiritual, cultural, social and racial fabric, and we feel that it has been torn to shreds, mainly and intentionally by both political parties, “he compares.