AMAC Exclusive – By Claire Brighn
With the midterm year officially here, the country is still reeling from the disastrous effects of radical policies implemented by Joe Biden and Congressional Democrats, from spiraling inflation and skyrocketing gas prices to a border crisis and crime wave that show no signs of abating. Major cities run by leftist local governments like San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland are on the verge of total collapse. And yet, a slate of ultra-left Democrats are already lining up to double down on these abysmal failures, embracing failed policies like defunding the police, erasing borders, the Green New Deal, socialist economic pipe dreams, and the destruction of American history and institutions. While the final filing date has not yet arrived and more candidates will surely jump into races, here are just a few of the more radical candidates who have already announced campaigns for public office in 2022.
1. Stacy Abrams – running for Governor of Georgia
In her second bid for Georgia governor, Abrams is expected to run on an openly radical platform. For those who followed her 2018 campaign against current Governor Brian Kemp – a loss which she has refused to concede – this will come as no surprise. Back then, she admitted illegal aliens were a part of her election strategy and said after losing that she wants to “open the gates” for the “undocumented.” She even had the endorsements of socialist organizations like “Our Revolution” and Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America.
Since losing in her first bid against Gov. Kemp in 2018, Abrams has become “serious” about doing whatever it takes to win, saying in a keynote speech at a Roosevelt Institute event, “I stand here ready to be a soldier, and I invite you all to join our army.” Arguably, she isn’t at all a soldier, but rather a mastermind of insidious divide-and-conquer political tactics. In 2019, she said, “identity politics is how we win,” suggesting that it is only by dividing Americans along racial and gender lines that Democrats can win elections. She later articulated that point again at another speaking event, saying that white women only want “to protect whiteness,” while chiding black men who vote Republican as wanting “to protect their gender privilege.”
Arguably, many of her radical positions can be traced back to her activism in college. In 1992, she co-founded the Students for African-American Empowerment (SAAE), whose manifesto at one point included the motto “buy black; boycott white” – a fitting precursor to her calls for boycotts of Georgia businesses over the state’s election integrity law earlier this year.
That boycott eventually led to the MLB pulling the All-Star game from Georgia and the loss of over $100 million in revenue for Georgia businesses – many of them black-owned in the Atlanta metro area. For a politician who has wreaked so much havoc on her state out of office, one can only imagine the damage Abrams might do if given power. But at least a run in 2022 may help promote sales of her romance novels (which she desperately needs to pay off her personal debt to the IRS).
2. Beto O’Rourke – running for Governor of Texas
When Robert Frances (Beto) O’Rourke ran for president in 2020, he put his long-held radical leanings front and center. He was “really excited” about the “Green New Deal,” endorsed getting rid of the Electoral College, advocated for slavery reparations, and said “hell yes” the government would take Americans’ guns if he was elected.
Beto has a similarly progressive record as an elected official. As a council member in El Paso, he called a police union “out of control” for their efforts to secure cost-of-living increases that had been previously negotiated. In Congress, Beto voted against the Keystone XL Pipeline nine times, and in 2017 he called the border wall “racist.” Just this past year, he testified against a Texas bill banning transgender children from participating in school sports that were not of their biological sex.
All of this means that Beto brings with him one of the most radical records of any candidate in the 2022 contest for Texas Governor. In a state that went for Donald Trump by nearly 6% in 2020 and with sinking Democratic fortunes nationally, O’Rourke looks to have a tough road ahead.
3. Peter Welch – running for Senator of Vermont
Peter Welch, currently a House Member from Vermont, is vying to replace Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the only Democratic Senator retiring this year. While Welch has been in politics for decades, he runs with the new radical crowd. He is a member of the Progressive Caucus chaired by Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) – the supposed mentor of the AOC-led “Squad.” Welch has the backing of socialist Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and has promised “to fight for progressive change on day one.” He endorsed AOC’s Green New Deal in 2018, is a member of the pro-choice caucus, and has called for universal government healthcare. Although Bernie Sanders’ perennial success in Vermont indicates that a radical like Welch could win there, the litany of crises facing the country under far-left governance may convince voters that it’s time for a change.
4. Rana Abdelhamid – running for U.S. House in New York’s 12th District
Political newcomer Rana Abdelhamid’s campaign platform is about as radical as they come, playing to a voter base similar to the one AOC used to launch herself into national politics. Abdelhamid even has the backing of Justice Democrats, the socialist political action committee (PAC) whose goal is “electing more leaders like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.”
Abdelhamid is a member of Democratic Socialists of America and believes “the process of healing from our nation’s history of white supremacy begins with a reparations commission [and] demilitarizing police departments.” She touts understanding “intersectionality,” which now includes how “the climate crisis is going to impact Black and Brown and poor and working-class women the most.” She calls the American “system” inherently flawed and designed to “uphold white supremacy and the patriarchy.”
Abdelhamid is eager to get in on the action, already applauding the radical lefties in the House for holding “it down” to pass the “most progressive” piece of Biden’s agenda—the Build Back Better Act. It would be wise to take her bid seriously—not long ago, AOC flew under the radar until she won her primary.
5. Huwaida Arraf – running for U.S. House in Michigan’s 10th District
Perhaps even outdoing Abdelhamid in terms of extremist views is Huwaida Arraf, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM)—a group once investigated by the FBI for possible terrorist ties. She is a radical through and through, saying recently that “If Israel wants peace, it must start by dismantling its colonial, apartheid regime.”
Arraf would undoubtedly fit in with the progressive anti-Israel, anti-Semitic squad of Democrats in Congress, and is an international activist engrossed in endeavors under the guise of “justice.” Last year, she attended the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) annual conference alongside Squad members Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, where the latter praised a new class of Democrat lawmakers “who aren’t afraid to speak out for Palestinian human rights and freedom.”
Arraf’s political past would likely give many American voters pause. While she denies ISM is pro-terrorist, she once wrote an article with the co-founder of ISM (her husband) that said, “The Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics – both nonviolent and violent.” In an interview on CNN in 2002, she practically described herself orchestrating human shields for terrorists inside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem: “We also put international activists inside in the hopes of providing an international civilian shield, if you will,” she bragged.
As a lawyer, she defended a terrorist which the Trump Administration ultimately deported for failing to disclose her convictions in the 1970 bombings that killed two men in Jerusalem. And, to top it all off, this year Arraf helped author a memo to the Biden administration called “The Legal Basis For Immediate Reversal Of Trump Policies On Palestine/Israel.”
With all the focus on hatred for Israel, it’ll come as no surprise if Michigan voters, even progressive ones, begin asking what, exactly, Arraf plans to do about the issues that matter to them. Nonetheless, with the support of high-profile Squad members like Tlaib and Omar, Arraf is another candidate that can’t be written off.
6. Charles Booker – running for Senate in Kentucky
Booker is running for Kentucky Senator a second time in the hopes of unseating Republican Rand Paul. Last go-round, in 2020, Booker lost in the Democrat primaries against the ostensibly more moderate Amy McGraff—who then went on to lose to current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Back then, Booker had the endorsements of Bernie Sanders, AOC, and Ayanna Pressley, among other radicals. Now, he already has the eager endorsement of the Sunrise Movement, “a grass-roots climate advocacy group that helped push the Green New Deal to the center of Democratic politics.” Ironically, while Booker fully embraces the socialist Green New Deal, Kentucky is one of the top coal-producing states, providing thousands of Kentuckians with jobs.
If his 2022 campaign is anything like the one he ran in 2020, Booker will double down on calls to dismantle “structural racism” and “institutional racism.” During one interview (in which the interviewer was wearing a shirt with the logo of the Black Panther Party), Booker said we need to “completely reimagine public safety” and that he “absolutely agree[s]” with defunding the police.
Undoubtedly, Booker may face the stiffest test of any candidate on this list, particularly in deep-blue Kentucky. But it is worth noting that the state does currently have a Democratic governor, and in the fast-moving world of American politics, nothing is out of the question just under a year out.
Many conservatives may view the range of radical policies these candidates support as out of touch with American voters; many would call the far-left ideology upon which they are based inherently dangerous. But the nature of politics in a democracy is that any candidate who appears on the ballot has a chance to win. As the 2022 campaign season heats up, more radical candidates are sure to join the ones on this list, leading up to a titanic struggle for the future direction of the country come November.
Claire Brighn is the pen name of a conservative researcher and writer with previous domestic and foreign policy experience in the Executive Branch.