Tom Koos, a minor candidate for the 2024 Presidential election, who affiliates himself with the Democratic Party, has hopes and aspirations for America to give equal opportunities to those who are of different races, sexualities, and genders. This is Koos’ fourth time running for president and he wants to inspire those who need their voices to be heard.
“I’m a son of immigrants and my parents came in the post-war era. I was brought up with the story of the American Dream,” Koos said.
Koos has always known he’s wanted to run for president, even as a little kid. On multiple occasions, Koos referred to his desires to run for president as a “quixotic whim” meaning he knew there was a low chance of him being elected, but that never deterred his level of passion for his causes.
“What [running for president] provides me is a drive to look into policies and try to figure out what I would want to be in a candidate,” Koos said. “And what I want in the candidate I would ultimately select in the general election.”
One of the specific interests of Koos’ is to get people out and voting whether they share his values and opinions or not.
“I love talking to people, particularly about politics, and I am comfortable in uncomfortable conversations which would mean engaging with those who don’t necessarily have my political views,” Koos said.
He works at Stanford University and is often surrounded by many students that he loves having conversations with about different issues. He explained that he often starts his conversations by asking students where they get their news from because of how drastically different news outlets can affect their decision-making.
When asked what the top three political issues he’s most passionate about were, Koos explained that over the years it has significantly changed. This is because of certain issues such as same sex marriage being put into law as opposed to when he was first interested in politics.
The first current issue he mentioned was overall what America stands for at the given moment and how it’s been heading in an uncomfortable direction. The second issue he mentioned was about equal access for everyone.
“I think that equal access and opportunity for all is another significant issue that combines a lot of other subtopics including equal access to health care, social security, workplace safety, education, and housing,” Koos said.
This was one of his main talking points and biggest passions. Because he is the son of immigrants, he has seen first-hand how hard our socioeconomic climate can be on those who are less fortunate. He uses the idea of the American Dream to push his ideologies forwards that everyone should be treated fairly and not be forced to struggle because of where themselves or their relatives come from.
Valerie Dudley, the Director of Multicultural Education and part of the Center for Equity and Inclusion: Institutional Diversity (IDEAL) at Temple University, pointed out that although we are striving for a better America, some things seem to be heading in the wrong direction. Dudley mentioned issues such as Roe V. Wade and Affirmative Action that are regressing instead of progressing like many people previously expected.
Dudley also had a lot of insight on the specific issues that Koos wants to tackle within his campaign like equal opportunity and diversity.
“When you watch the media, it’s how they represent what’s going on in our society and the spin they put on it,” Dudley said.
The media oftentimes paints people of color as being more violent and committing more crimes than white individuals which leads to more fear and worrying instilled in local communities, especially in major cities. These are issues that directly effect Koos’ idea of the “American Dream” and the hope for a more accepting future.
Koos also has a handful of role models in the political field such as the late John McCain, Barack Obama, and even those who he stated he doesn’t necessarily politically agree with such as Ronald Raegan because of their ability to show empathy to the American people in tough situations.
Koos has many hopes and dreams when it comes to the political system within America, and he strives to inspire people with these hopes and dreams just as he was inspired when he was a little boy. Even outside of the political field, Koos has people in his corner who inspire him in his everyday life.
Koos’ sister, Kati Koos had a lot of heartwarming things to say about her brother.
“Tom is the kind of person who is constantly forward thinking and I think he takes all things into account,” Koos said. “When we have conversations one of the things, I notice about him is he always thinks of every single side of an issue.”
The people that Koos surrounds himself with drive him to talk to young adults and help people become more educated.
“There’s a checker at my local grocery store who’s worked there since the month I moved to this community who still mentions the fact that they’re going to vote because they knew a presidential candidate, even if I’m not in their state” Koos said. “That’s inspiring.”