Op-Ed: Martin O’Malley 2020

Monday, February 8, 2016 - 9:00pm

Martin O’Malley 2020.

Yes, I just said that. The longshot presidential candidate just dropped out of the race after finishing third in Iowa, and his dismal 2016 campaign is now behind him. He only secured 0.6 percent of the vote in Iowa and burned through his own money at an alarming rate, while barely making a splash among voters.

However, I support Martin O’Malley. Any other year in a presidential race, he would have done quite well. Most of his ideas were progressive, yet fell short of socialism, and he has a proven track record of working with the other side of the isle. The only problem for him was that this is not a normal election year. With Trump stealing airtime from every candidate, and Sanders and Clinton fighting it out on the left, there simply wasn’t enough space for a third candidate for the Democrats. It happened to be O’Malley who drew the short straw.  

Martin O’Malley is a quintessential Democrat. He embodies many progressive ideas, and has a set of 15 goals for the country that he would have implemented if he was elected this year. Some of them are things I hold near and dear to my heart. For example, O’Malley had a goal of having a 100-percent renewable electric grid by the year 2050. The environmental and economic impacts of that goal would be monumental for our country and our world. He also wanted to cut the youth unemployment rate in half by bringing back job programs for young people. This would make college more affordable and would put money back in the American Infrastructure. This is a pragmatic approach, proposing to put a real plan in place to accomplish a problem that everyone on the left has been yelling about for many years. Martin O’Malley is full of plans like this.

Additionally, O’Malley has the experience needed to run this country. He served seven years as the mayor of Baltimore, and during that time, he oversaw monumental change. For example, he lowered the number of homicides in Baltimore to less than 300 for the first time in more than 10 years. He also passed one of the first municipal laws banning transgender discrimination all the way back in 2002, something many municipalities still do not have. O’Malley cut crime and saved money, all while revitalizing the city of Baltimore. After that, he ran for governor of Maryland, where his progressive actions continued. He championed criminal justice reform, and passed the Dream Act in Maryland, which allowed more children to get a college education. He passed marriage equality, and included “Gender Identity” as a protected status at the state level. He even repealed the death penalty and passed gun safety laws, something many other candidates have not been so quick to support. Under O’Malley, wages have gone up, and graduation rates have, too.

O’Malley is also the frontman for an Irish rock band, and was rated as one of the most attractive men in politics. He’s also the only candidate on the radar right now who has any meaningful experience with urban areas, which are a key part of American culture. In fact, he has promised to bring back America’s cities and work with local leaders to revitalize and restore our neglected cities like never before. O’Malley isn’t just a good leader, he’s the leader we need. Nobody else will work together with everybody in Washington to accomplish real progressive change with people in mind.

I support Martin O’Malley — because he can bring our country together to accomplish progressive reforms in a way neither Clinton nor Sanders can. I strongly urge him to run again in 2020, and to hold strong as a Democrat and reformer. 2016 may not have been the year of O’Malley, but I firmly believe there will be one soon. So I say it again:

O’Malley 2020.

Kevin Sweitzer is the president of “Michigan for O’Malley” a club that supports O’Malley. He can be reached at ksweitz@umich.edu.