I am greatly dismayed with the American political scene. We currently live in an era of partisan politics where there is no common ground, mutual respect among politicians or understanding of the nation in which they live, all of which I find to be increasingly problematic and destructive. Our nation’s representatives have often strayed from the path of policy-making on behalf of their constituents. The political sphere has become little more than a glorified soap opera in which the actors are disillusioned politicians who are more interested in attacking President Trump with pretty words than actively working to defeat him or craft more sound domestic and foreign policy. In comparison, voters have grown increasingly ignorant of the world in which they live, who represents them, what policy is likely to be passed and even who is most likely going to run as the Democratic nominee for 2020.
At this particular juncture, there are two names that stand out among the other Democratic candidates. I believe the fate of our political system as we know it, and of the Democratic party, rests on who wins the 2020 Democratic primaries: Biden or Sanders. The only way the president will be forced out of office in the upcoming election would be at the hands of Joe Biden. If Sanders somehow attains the nomination, there is no doubt that 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will continue to be the residence of Donald J. Trump.
Biden is the only nominee that reaches over the aisle consistently. While the rest of the Democrats operate their campaigns as if they don’t need any votes from states that do not consistently vote blue, Biden recognizes the necessity of getting votes outside of his own party. Stances he has taken such as his support of insurance choice, or his support of a buyback program for assault rifles, will garner the support he needs to contest Trump. While he is a Democrat, he realizes not all of his positions have to be so far left, the risk being the execution of his policy plans and potential loss of voters. Sanders, on the other hand, whose political disillusionment is unmatched, sees no issue with his political stances and policy plans such as Medicare for All and free college. He fails to understand how utopian and idealistic he is portrayed to be. Although they have become subject of debate, and have been given some consideration, policy plans such as those will not be supported in the Republican-controlled Senate, nor will they pass whether due to resource allocation or simply getting voted down.
In terms of opposing Trump in the upcoming election, Biden has, without a doubt, the strongest chance. Trump’s impeachment was largely spurred on due to his alleged Ukrainian phone calls asking for assistance in getting dirt on Biden and his son, Hunter. To the public, it is evident Trump views Biden as his largest political threat so much so, that he allegedly had to ask a country to interfere in our election process. Even if he does not get impeached, the Ukraine incident will still loom over his head come election time. With Sanders, that rivalry is not the same politically. If Sanders was to get the nomination somehow, Trump has very simple courses of action.
Firstly, depending on the impeachment, if he were to come out on the other side still as the U.S. President, he can declare the impeachment an ill-advised witch hunt against an innocent man in which he assumes the role of a political victim, with politicians such as Nancy Pelosi and Sanders portrayed as the perpetrators. Sanders’ support of communism and socialism would also be an electoral problem and a PR nightmare for his campaign. All that the Trump campaign would need to do is bring up Sanders’ Cuban Honeymoon in 1988, and his positive statements about the infrastructure of the former Soviet Union in order to paint him as an anti-American socialist. The portrayal of Sanders’ following as a cult would also greatly hurt his electoral chances. True, Sanders brought new voters into the fray and his presence has gotten more people involved in the political process. The downside however is the fact that Sanders’ supporters are stereotypically portrayed as extremely left, radical and without a true understanding of the political system. James Hodgkinson is a perfect example. Hodgkinson, who was a Sanders supporter, shot Congressional Whip Steve Scalise back in 2014 at a baseball game before being killed by police who responded to the incident. He was noted for his online opposition to Trump and the Republican Party and his extreme support of far-left political issues, many of which Sanders held the same position on.
The decision of whomever is chosen to represent the Democrats in 2020 is imperative. Either nominate a moderate with a substantial chance to defeat Trump, or a radical with no concept of the economy or electoral strategy. When it comes down to it, the decision is not difficult, but if you identify as a Democrat, the decision is in your hands. Make the right one.
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Mason Holland is a contributor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.