By CPLA Treasurer Arianna Conte
If you watched the Democratic debate and had no idea who candidate Lincoln Chafee was, well, you weren’t alone. This former Rhode Island senator and governor is a bit of a political wild card, considering his Republican turned Independent turned Democratic affiliations, and general affinity for going on the record about subjects the general public doesn’t care about. Most notably, Chafee wished for the United States to “join the rest of the world” and “go metric,” as in convert to the metric system, according to a Huffington Post article from June. Chafee has also strongly reacted to Donald Trump’s characterization of the racehorse Secretariat, declaring “this statement is another splash of nonsense that comes out of Trump’s mouth;” following college Chafee shoed horses on a Montana racetrack. To Chafee’s credit, his supporters were the most grammatically correct according to a USA Today article from earlier this month; the only time Chafee has come out first in anything pertaining to this election. If you weren’t aware, support for Chafee has been polling at between zero and one percent.
This lack of recognition, combined with a halting of funds and essentially no public popularity, lead Chafee to drop out of the Democratic primary race on October 23rd. His concession speech, given at the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum, was an “opportunity one last time to advocate for a chance be given to peace,” alluding to his campaign plan of Prosperity through Peace. If president, Chafee promised improvements to the DREAM Act and Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act, as well as the establishment of an Essential Worker Visa Program for workers with little to no job training. He promised to end the US’s foreign intervention wars and supported a federal minimum wage of fifteen dollars and policies requiring equal pay in the form of a Paycheck Fairness Act. High goals, for a person whose campaign lasted only a few months.
Those admittedly bright promises are now coming to an end, though, as Chafee called for audience members, and anyone who might see his concession speech, “to be remembered as Peacemakers, as pioneers of a more harmonious world.” He asked for all people to “demand from your leaders an end to the endless wars and the beginning of a new era for the United States and humanity.”