Hey all! Allow me to introduce myself: my name is Gabriel Zita and I am excited to be your Clocktower Democratic political reporter this year. I am a born and raised Chicagoan, and I’m proudly French-Latino (My dad is French Caribbean and my mom is Puerto Rican/Dominican). I was raised as an Adventist and I graduated from Hinsdale Adventist Academy after being in the Adventist education system most of my life. I am currently a junior studying psychology, and I hope to become either a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist once I finish a doctorate program.

If you choose to read this column, you are probably interested in what is going on in the Democratic Party. To condense the biggest stories into digestible pieces, I created a Democratic Summer Summary (DSS), starting off with:

1. Everyone and their mama.

Due to this administration's policies on topics from climate change to gun control, 2020 is an imperative election for Democrats, and everyone in the party is acting like it. Over twenty candidates started their campaigns to a dss challenge President Trump next November. With wide and varied backgrounds - from a former Vice President to Oprah’s spiritual advisor - it is clear voters have choices. The candidate pool waned as the summer went on. Household names such as Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren soared to the top of the polls. Surprise candidates - like South Bend’s Pete Buttigieg - simultaneously gained traction.

2. A headache of a debate.

CNN and NBC had a conundrum. As they hosted the Democratic debates, they simply had too many people on the ballot to put into one night. So, instead of having everyone on one stage, the networks split up the debates and the candidates into two nights, which resulted in four debates over the summer. This approach developed into a smaller nightmare. From Bernie Sanders’ “ I wrote the damn bill!” outburst to Kamala Harris’ impassioned questioning of Biden’s history with bussing, all four debates had their moments. However, the format that the networks chose led to incomplete and unclear answers from the candidates as well as moderators clashing with the candidates for valuable speaking time. ABC you’re up next on September 12; please do better.

3. ‘Go back home’.

To round up a summer that included several headlines in the political arena, one particular discourse (via tweet of course) dominated the news cycle. Trump attacked “The Squad” - a group of ethnically diverse freshmen congresswomen in the House - claiming they were wrongly criticizing the U.S and should go back to their countries (only one was born outside of the U.S). This launched a firestorm of divisiveness, with Democrats universally condemning Trump’s rhetoric and many Republicans remaining silent. This xenophobia finally culminated with a rally full of Trump’s supporters adding a disturbing new chant to their repertoire: “Send her back! Send her back!” Nice.

Gabriel Zita is a junior studying psychology.