This article was originally published for The Odyssey on November 12, 2017.
Half of our news articles seem like Onion articles lately and sometimes we can’t tell the difference. Many of us are ready for another election, myself included. In the event that the world still exists, here are 20 people who are politicians, influencers, celebrities and all-around good people that are better candidates than Trump.*
*This article is mostly a joke and is not to be taken seriously. Next election, please, for the love that is all the good left in this world, don’t elect a celebrity. If the world still exists by next election, think with your brain and make sure the next candidate doesn’t and can’t get a star on the walk of fame.
1. Elizabeth Warren
She’s very conscious of women’s rights – something we will need after these four years of disassembling easy access to birth control and Planned Parenthood.
2. Bernie Sanders
Sanders has been a senator in Vermont for several years now, and he did run for president last year. He cares deeply about the financial status of our nation and he’s a champion of health care regulations.
3. Michelle Obama
While Barack was president, Michelle made waves in terms of familial health, women’s rights, higher education and service families. She and Jill Biden created Joining Forces, an initiative to aid current people acting in the service and also veterans and their families. She went above and beyond to create a program to encourage students to go to college.
4. Joe Biden
Joe has been fighting against sexual assault and rape for a decade. In 1990, he introduced the Violence Against Women Act, which protects women of all races, ages and ethnicities against the injustices that often occur next to domestic violence, date rape, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking.
5. Barack Obama
One of Barack’s biggest projects was working on the affordability of higher education and making community colleges cheaper. He helped increase employment and helped the economy. In addition to this, he halted the Dakota Access Pipeline, which helped Native Americans in a huge way.
6. Melinda Gates
Melinda and Bill created the Gates Foundation, which focuses on the strengthening of human dignity and the increase of equity around the world. By 2020, she hopes to deliver contraceptives to more than 120 million women across the world.
7. John Lewis
Lewis is an influential American leader who not only does he ride or die for civil rights, but is also a huge supporter of income and family security.
8. Anderson Cooper
A true warrior against adversity, Cooper came out last year joining just a handful of openly gay television news anchors and hosts. He’s made it clear he isn’t afraid of DJT which is fantastic in this political climate where journalists are being silenced.
9. J.K. Rowling
I know she’s not an American, but “Harry Potter” has sold more copies worldwide than any other book series and has shaped people of all ages immensely. Being a bestselling author isn’t a qualification for president, but her fearless attitude and passion for world peace are an inspiring place to start.
Also not an American, but the man has worked hard to impact the world, taking strides in the fight against the AIDS and HIV pandemics, poverty in Africa, and has also worked diligently to save the environment both here and in Ireland. He definitely has his priorities straight.
11. Leonardo DiCaprio
His foundation focuses on restoring wildlife, improving the life of and life-span of both green space and living beings on Earth. They’ve invested and awarded over $20 million in efforts to help others fight to save the wildlife of the planet. At the very least he’d re-establish the EPA.
12. Lin-Manuel Miranda
Miranda has been an activist for the natural disasters in Puerto Rico, immigration rights, the DACA dreamers and diversity in film and theatre in just the past year alone. At least every tweet he composes is worth reading.
13. Chance the Rapper
Passionate about the state of Chicago public schools, this rapper has donated to and funded not only to the schools in the system but also to scholarship funds and grants for the students enrolled. We need someone to look out for our children.
14. Taraji P. Henson
Famous most recently for her academy award winning motion picture “Hidden Figures” and popular show “Empire,” Taraji is no stranger to the fight for inclusion and diversity in film and television. She firmly believes that more women should also be involved in these scenes in more leadership roles.
15. Joan Baez
Baez sang about social equality, justice, civil rights and peace. She worked closely with Bob Dylan and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to express her political views and promote freedom of speech and protest.
16. Whoopi Goldberg
She’s recently created an entire line of cannabis-based products that help women with period symptoms. Fighting for the legalization of cannabis, women’s rights and women’s health all in one? Perfect.
17. Billy Joel
A brutally honest and down-to-earth man, Billy Joel is a huge activist for child and domestic violence, cancer and autism since the 1970s and 1980s. He also supports music education, AIDS, Red Cross and Anti-Bullying campaigns among others. He could sing our pain away.
18. Ben and Jerry
Using ice cream to change the world’s view on climate change? Genius. Just as the ice cream melts, so do the polar ice caps. They’ve encouraged consumers to sign petitions and speak to government officials to fund clean energy and a cleaner planet. Also, they would absolutely be co-presidents.
19. Ellen DeGeneres
A talk show host who cares deeply for gay rights, gender and identity inclusivity, equality, charity, philanthropy, and making dreams come true, Ellen is truly someone we can afford to have in office. No, you can’t solve a problem by throwing money at it, but she is empathetic, something we need more of in this world.
20. The entire cast of Stranger Things
Earlier this year, after winning a SAG award, David Harbour said, “We will punch some people in the face when they seek to destroy the weak and the disenfranchised and the marginalized. And we will do it all with soul and with heart and with joy.” Perfect and relevant, as always.