Things That Matter

Presidential Candidate Julián Castro Opens Up About Juggling His Fight For Latinos In His Campaign And Being A Dad

Julián Castro is a huge underdog in the crowded Democratic field of presidential hopefuls. He knows it and has never shied away from that fact. It’s also the reason that he’s still in the race. From the start of his campaign, Castro, the only Latino in the race, has run on the platform of giving a voice to those Americans who have been counted out, kinda like himself.

“If there is one thing that has distinguished my campaign is that I’ve spoken to the most vulnerable, the often voiceless in this country and I haven’t been afraid to speak up for the poor because too often Democrats talk about the middle class but somewhere along the way we forgot to speak up for the poor,” Castro says. “I’m doing both of those things.”

Castro believes in this and isn’t going to let polls or political pundits stop him from campaigning. Unfortunately for Castro, voters won’t get to see him on the Democratic debate stage in Atlanta this week. This due to the fact that he didn’t reach the polling criteria of 3 percent or higher in four approved polls or 5 percent in two early state polls. 

Despite this, Castro isn’t going away or shutting down his campaign. He’s getting “real” with voters and in recent weeks has called out the Democratic establishment for its primary process.

The former secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama has run one of the most progressive campaigns of any Democrat currently in the field. When it’s come to issues like housing, immigration, and even animal cruelty, Castro has released some of the most comprehensive and well-received polices. He says that’s because these plans aren’t just talking points but real problems that Americans across this country are facing. 

“We’re trying to connect the dots with policies that match up with the way people actually live. People don’t live in silos and we shouldn’t make policies that reflect that,” Castro said. “I learned that very early on as a councilman and a mayor and I saw that as Housing Secretary, it’s not enough to address the issue of education, housing or criminal justice reform, you gotta address everything.”

For Castro, that also means addressing issues within his own Democratic establishment. Last week, he criticized the Democratic nominating process, particularly the role of Iowa and New Hampshire in determining the nominee, two states where the electorates are mostly white. 

Credit: @JulianCastro / Twitter

He told MSNBC that the two states are not “reflective of the United States as a whole, certainly not reflective of the Democratic Party, and I believe that other states should have their chance.” While there was some criticism of those comments, Castro did begin an important conversation that he feels needed to be addressed. 

“Democrats know that I’m telling the truth here. We’ve been justifyingly calling out Republicans who have been trying everything they can to suppress the vote of people of color. But at the same time, we start our presidential nomination process in two states that have very little people of color, ” Castro said. “People know that I’m speaking the truth here.”

Castro doesn’t view himself as the “Latino candidate” nor has he ever used his background to gain some votes. He’s says that he’s running the campaign on the basis that someone like him can represent everybody. 

Credit: @JulianCastro / Twitter

While he might not be on the upcoming debate stage or at top of most polls, Castro is being seen and his message of uplifting forgotten communities is being heard. Castro is optimistic about his chances and his supporters are standing by his side through it all. 

“We’re gonna work like crazy to shine a light on the people and the problems that are out there that voters want solved,” Castro said. “I’ve gone to places that few other candidates have gone. I’ve spoken to the homeless, those in jails, I just went into an ICE check-in for a migrant that was seeking asylum. We’re going to keep uplifting the lives of people who have been forgotten.”

Castro finds relief from the perils of a long campaign when he’s back in his home in San Antonio. He is rarely home while campaigning but when he is you can find him hanging out with his family, including his two children, Christian and Carina. It’s those moments he says that puts everything in perspective and in some way serves as a reminder of the importance of continuing his campaign. 

“What I hope that young Latinos and Latinas are seeing in this campaign is that they can compete with anyone, anywhere, on any stage  I haven’t run this campaign on the basis to vote for me because I’m Latino but someone like me can represent everybody.”

READ: It Turns Out The Great Woman Behind Julian Castro Is His Mother, A Woman Who Has Long Carried The Fight For Latinos

The Lincoln Project Is A Conservative Organization Trying To Get Donald Trump Out Of Office

Things That Matter

The Lincoln Project Is A Conservative Organization Trying To Get Donald Trump Out Of Office

Alex Wong / Getty Images

As 2020 drags on, the campaign for the U.S. presidency is still going. President Donald Trump is hoping for another term though polling shows him far behind Joe Biden as the months go on. One Republican organization is pushing for President Trump to lose the election. The organization is called The Lincoln Project.

Republican organization The Lincoln Project is going after President Donald Trump.

A group of Republicans, Kellyanne Conway’s husband among them, have joined forces to go after President Trump in the 2020 election. The organization is using Trump’s own actions and words to create ads to criticize his actions. One ad goes after his willingness to downplay the severity of COVID-19 leading to thousands of preventable deaths.

“We are Republican, and we want Trump defeated,” reads the website.

Some people on social media have compared The Lincoln Project’s videos to President Trump’s own energy when he attacks opponents. Supporters of The Lincoln Project, according to YouTube comments, appreciate the organization’s willingness to go low when Trump goes low.

They have attached his legacy to the argument over the Confederate flag.

The ad calls out the history of the Confederate flag and what it represents: treason. The flag was flown by people trying to destroy the U.S. and leave the nation. The Lincoln Project asks why Trump would support a flag flown by losers and treasonous people, especially since it is often seen in his rallies. The wide use of the Confederate flag at Trump rallies is not only attaching Trump to that legacy, but also the Republican Party.

The organization is really not holding anything back.

The economy, rapid unemployment, and a bungled response to COVID-19 are all anchors The Lincoln Project is putting on the Trump campaign. The president is in trouble in the polls with Biden leading in several reputable polls. Even notoriously conservative polls have placed Trump behind Biden in the race for the White House.

READ: People Who Voted For Trump’s 2016 Election Opened Up About The Moment They Decided To Not Vote For Him In 2020

From DC To Iowa, Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Yesterday’s Primary

Things That Matter

From DC To Iowa, Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Yesterday’s Primary

Drew Angerer / Getty

With all that’s going on across the country – between a national health crisis and social unrest in response to the continued murders of unarmed Black men – you’d be forgiven for forgetting that we’re still in the middle of an election year. In fact, we’re still in the middle of a primary season. I know, it seems like 2020 has already dragged forever but we still have a ways to go.

Thankfully, despite all the challenges the country is facing, millions of voters still stepped out yesterday to let their voices be heard in the primary process.

In D.C., people lined up to vote despite protests, a pandemic, a city-wide curfew, and threats of police violence.

Credit: Stuart Garibaldi / Facebook

I anticipation of continued anti-police brutality demonstrations, all of D.C. was under a 7 p.m. curfew for a fifth consecutive day. However, Mayor Muriel Browser pointed out on social media and in interviews that residents would be allowed to cast ballots no matter the hour as long as they were in line before 8 p.m. Essential workers and journalists are also exempted from the city’s curfew.

More than four hours after polls closed for D.C.’s primary election, some District voters throughout the city were still waiting in line to cast their ballots, as the June 2 primary stretched into June 3.

In one part of the city, Ward 4, more than 100 people remained in line to vote as of 11:15 p.m. According to several elections volunteers however, most people at the polling center were sticking it out and “people are really positive and patient.”

The precinct is one of many across the city where people waited upwards of four hours to vote.

Police allegedly threatened D.C. voters who were in line to vote, despite being exempt from the city’s curfew.

The Mayor’s order made it very clear that as long as you were in line to vote before the 8 p.m. poll closing time, you would be able to cast your vote no matter the hour. Basically, anyone who was out past the 7 p.m. curfew to vote was exempt from the curfew order.

But according to some reports, some police didn’t seem to know or care about this exemption. Many took to Twitter to share that while waiting in line, police were harassing them and demanding they return home.

Meanwhile, in Iowa, Republicans finally drove racist and anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King from office.

King’s defeat was the top headline in Tuesday’s primaries. The nine-term congressman with a history of racist and anti-immigrant remarks was ousted after the GOP establishment lined up in support of his challenger, Randy Feenstra.

King’s defeat doesn’t necessarily mean a progressive candidate will take his place. Most pundits expect his Iowa district to remain in Republican control come the general election in November – Trump carried the district by nearly 30 points in 2016.

But getting rid of King is a win for all sides. He had a history of hate rhetoric targeting Black and Latino communities. But only after a New York Times interview in January 2019, in which the congressman questioned why the terms “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” were offensive, did he finally lose the support of GOP leaders.

In 2013, in response to proposed immigration legislation, King said this of migrants, “For every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds—and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

Yesterday’s primaries also revealed challenges states face in the upcoming general election caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic presents states with two immense challenges: how to deal with the wave of mail ballots from voters who don’t wish to travel to their polling place in person, and how to accommodate those who do show up and follow the necessary medical precautions.

Yesterday, lines stretch on for hours. So states need to figure out how to safely accommodate the increase in voters and provide them with social-distant ways to vote.

Obviously, it’s fantastic that Americans are voting in record numbers. We need everyone to vote to be able to achieve the kind of change that we want and need to see in this country. But all of this means that come November, America may not know who wins the presidency on Nov. 3.