Tom Steyer

Tom Steyer delivers a speech at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention in San Francisco.

As a college student, your eyes have probably been opened to the world of politics since you came to the University of Kansas. And as a student at a liberal public university, you’re also probably a Democrat.

So, with so many Democrats running for president, you might find yourself overwhelmed. There are too many candidates, too many platforms and too many debates. How can you possibly pick just one candidate?

There’s plenty of great candidates who deserve your support. They may not win the primary, but they're experienced public servants with good ideas to help our country.

Tom Steyer is not one of those candidates.

The liberal mega-donor announced his presidential campaign on Tuesday despite previously saying he wasn’t running this time around. Apparently he changed his mind. Perhaps he realized his dream of impeaching President Trump is fading into the political oblivion.

Why is Steyer running? Ostensibly, he sees himself as the “outsider” (sound familiar?) who can break “the corrupt stranglehold that corporations have on our government.” That’s great, but there are already multiple candidates like U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) who are running on very similar messages and have infinitely more experience in getting things done in Washington, D.C.

Look, I get it. If I were a politically minded billionaire, running for president would seem pretty fun. But how does Steyer look at this over-crowded field full of great candidates and think, “You know what this primary could use? A billionaire with no sense of self-awareness.”

The $100 million Steyer is reportedly ready to spend on his campaign could be much better spent on a nationwide program to increase voter turnout for the eventually nominee. Hell, even if Steyer continued to spend that money on his impeachment campaign, he would be doing more good for the country than his vanity campaign could ever manage.

So, my dear college student, please don’t give this man your vote. Don’t give him your money. Don’t even give him your attention. 

Tom Steyer has done a lot for liberal and environmental causes. Maybe he should make a run to be the next U.S. Senator or Governor from California, like he’s considered in the past. But right now, the last thing we need is another inexperienced billionaire in the White House. 

If you want an outsider in 2020, vote for Bernie Sanders. If you want a hardcore environmentalist, vote for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. Whatever you do, don’t get distracted by a rich guy’s flashy promise to shake things up. We’ve seen where that leads, and it’s not pretty.

Nick Hinman is a Junior from Olathe majoring in political science and philosophy.