On Thursday, September 24, Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley, former Governor of Maryland, spoke at Pitzer College. O’Malley began his speech by stating, “I am running for President of this country to rebuild the truth of the American dream that you and I share.”
O’Malley has fifteen strategic goals to rebuild his vision of the American dream. To begin, he would raise the minimum wage above the poverty rate or above $15 across the entire nation, and he would expand paid family leave. O’Malley stated that there exist timeless truths, one of which is that “Our economy is not money; our economy is our people.”
O’Malley argued that growing inequality in America can be partly attributed to the false notion that trickle down economics works. He stated that any person in America who works hard and plays fairly should be able to raise a family above the poverty rate, adding that “Wherever you start in our country, through your own determination, grit, and drive, you should be able to get ahead.”
He also affirmed his commitment to increased regulation and oversight on Wall Street. “I am not a candidate of big money, big banks,” O’Malley said; “I want to reign in the excess of Wall Street.”
Besides the economy, O’Malley also took this opportunity to affirm his stances on two other hot topics: immigration and clean energy. O’Malley stated that he is committed to comprehensive immigration reform and intends to keep families together when possible and restore due process at the borders. Referring to Donald Trump’s inclination to build a border wall to solve the country’s immigration problems, he said, “I am not for building walls. I believe in the statue of liberty.” On clean energy, O’Malley plans to move America to a 100% clean electric grid by 2050 and create five million jobs along the way.
Regarding foreign policy, specifically in relation to Israel and Iran, O’Malley affirmed his support for the Obama administration’s recent negotiations with Iran. While he believes Israel is still the strongest U.S. ally in the region, he added, “I also believe in negotiating with Iran. I believe in negotiating with our enemies.” O’Malley intends to bring a diplomatic approach in dealing with the nation’s foreign policy. He is open to talking to all countries and said that “we need to stop cold war mentalities. I think our foreign policy needs a new thinking and fresh approach.”
After addressing his stances on an array of issues, Governor O’Malley answered questions from the crowd. One student asked Governor O’Malley about his thoughts on the high level of poverty and violent crimes in the transgender community. O’Malley addressed this question as an issue about dignity. He cited the history of the U.S. moving in the direction of affording more and more people equal protection as evidence that the situation would improve.
O’Malley ended his speech by declaring his belief in forging a better future: “I like tough fights. I never bet against the United States.”
Photos by Wes Edwards ’18