What Republicans & Democrats Can Learn From Carly Fiorina

The second GOP debate in the 2016 Presidential Race took place earlier this week, and was not without its fair share of controversy. Donald Trump and Jeb Bush were, of course, going head-to-head, and issues like Planned Parenthood and Marijuana legalization were hot topics for discussion. But perhaps the most intriguing part of the debate was the responses from relatively unknown female candidate Carly Fiorina.

Fiorina is the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and, until Wednesday’s debate, has been running her campaign almost seemingly behind the scenes compared with candidates like Trump, Bush, and Clinton. But if members of either political party were unaware of her politics before last night, no one is unaware of them now. In one debate, Fiorina raised eyebrows and likely gained a number of new supporters when she spoke about everything from women in politics, to Planned Parenthood, and to the War on Drugs. Regardless of your politics, here are four lessons we can all stand to learn from presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina.

1. Women are strong figures in politics, regardless of their appearance.

Although women like Eleanor Roosevelt, Hilary Clinton, and Michelle Obama have done a great deal to improve women’s presence in American politics, a unified female frontrunner for the Office of the Presidency has yet to be established in our political history. Carly Fiorina may not be alone in the race to be the first female US President, but she may just prove to be the more favorable of the female candidates, even though she is currently lacking in public familiarity. But like many women in public positions, she seems to face more scrutiny from her looks than from her political ideologies.

During the candidate debate, Fiorina responded to Donald Trump’s remarks about her appearance in Rolling Stone magazine, noting that when a man runs for office or steps into the public eye his looks are hardly ever discussed. But the minute a woman steps out and says she is going to run for president, it suddenly becomes an issue of appearance.

Women are half the potential of this nation. Still somehow we spend a lot of time talking about women’s appearance instead of their qualifications.

Regardless of your politics, Fiorina is, no doubt, a modern pioneer of women’s rights and presence in American politics.

2. Moral values should not be excluded from politics.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the debate came when Fiorina brought up the issue of Iran and was able to connect it to the controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood. Fiorina linked the two unlikely issues by saying that,

One has something to do with defense of security in this nation. The other has something to do with the defense of the character of this nation.

If you are unaware of this subject, in a nutshell, a recently released video has brought on accusations that Planned Parenthood has been selling aborted fetuses for a profit, a violation of the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act of 1993. Regardless of whether or not Planned Parenthood is guilty of such acts, the subject showed how Fiorina connects her political beliefs with that of her moralistic values, something we could all stand to see a bit more of in modern politics.

3. Personal experience is a powerful tool.

In our modern times, issues like gay marriage, abortion, and job creation are some of the more heated subjects candidates face during their presidential campaigns. Another huge issue that is currently sweeping the country is that of Marijuana legalization, and how we are dealing with the ‘War on Drugs’ overall. When this issue was brought up in the debate, Fiorina was able to speak from personal experience.

The war on drugs has failed. Two-thirds of people sitting in jail are those for non-violent drug related offenses. It’s not working.

Fiorina noted in her memoir, released earlier this year, that she had watched her stepdaughter, Lori, struggle with prescription drug addiction, alcoholism, and bulimia before her death in 2009. This has become a powerful motivational factor for Fiorina when it comes to making decisions on political policies, particularly on how the US is handling the ‘War on Drugs.’

4. To accomplish your goals, you must be willing to fight for them.

Fiorina’s performance in the debate has not only placed her in the public eye as an advocate for women in politics and a figure of moral authority, it also displayed her willingness to get her hands dirty and shake up the modern political scene.

I am a fighter. If you can’t fight on a debate stage, you can’t stand up for the American people.

Clearly, Fiorina is not afraid of debate, and she most certainly is not afraid of criticism or at failing several times over before finally achieving your goal.

No matter what your political affiliation, whether Democrat, Republican, Liberal, or Conservative, we can all agree that Carly Fiorina is an excellent example of the strong willed determination required to chase the American Dream. She is not afraid to support her beliefs, and she speaks from her personal experience when discussing issues that apply to a wide range of individuals in this country. So before you go and pass her off as just another female candidate or another right-wing conservative, take the time to hear her out, and remember to judge her by her character, and not simply by her appearance.