2016 Election: Can We Get To November Already
Just to be clear I do not #FeelTheBern I am not trying “To Make America Great Again”, I don’t identify with #ImWithHer and for damn sure do not “Trust in Cruz”. This election cycle has been like no other, and while I have enjoyed the jokes and absurdity of these candidates at this point I just want to time travel to November. The candidates on both sides of the isle have made terrible mistakes in judgement, insults, threats, statements of sexism, racism, and xenophobia (to be fair this is the republicans only). When November gets here I will be voting for whoever is on the Democrat side because as bad as they have been I would not want Ted Cruz of Donald Trump running a High School SGA much less President of The United States. As someone who studies politics from an academic perspective this election has been intriguing but exhausting at the same time. If you think I am being a little overactive, lets take a look back at what we have seen so far.
Democrats: “At Least We Aren’t Them”
Candidate Supporter a.k.a “Stans”
I appreciate and encourage you to support you candidate and be enthusiastic about it. Hell, I wish I was enthusiastic about a candidate this year, its good for the political process. However, their is a point when enthusiasm turn into obsession and your obsession becomes annoying and in some cases detrimental to your candidate. Although both Bernie and Hillary supporters are guilty of this the “Bernie Bros” are the kings of it. Bernie Sanders has fantastic ideas and I understand why so many people are excited and glad he is part of this race, but you don’t have to tell me every 5 mins why he is so great. And even more than that, don’t assume that I am ignorant to or about your candidate if I don’t like him or question something he has done.
Bernie supports are quick to get in your twitter mentions if you say even the slightest bad thing about Bernie and quick to get in your mentions if you say something bad about Hillary to cosign. I get it, you believe in him, you want him to win but chastising potential voters and presenting a bad image about your candidates supporters is not the way. Take Trump for instance, we don’t just hate Trump for Trump we hate him because of what he represents and the type of people who are out here supporting him.
The truth is that in modern politics, in my lifetime (born in 1979) we haven’t seen a candidate like @BernieSanders ignite so many people.
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) April 20, 2016
Also don’t try in use hyperbole to describe what everyone with any sense of politics can see. I understand Bernie’s idea of a “Political Revolution” but its not happening. Even if Bernie were wining it wouldn’t be happening because the idea of this “Political Revolution” is that we would have more people participating in the political process than ever and specifically young people and minorities who typically don’t participate or have been prohibited from participating. The facts of the matter is that voter turnout on the Democrat side is down compared to the republicans and significantly down compared to what happened in the 08′ primaries and the 2012 Presidential Election. So, Yes, your candidate has a unique message and yes he has some “radical” ideas but this is not a political revolution and part of that is his campaign fault which we will address later.
Bernie is not alone in this. Hillary supporters, while not as bad, are still guilty of the same type of activities. Hillary supporters seem to be more in tune with the reality of the situation but they are quick to defend and dismiss complaints about Hillary’s past and the people who she has associated. The campaign Hillary ran in 08′ against then Senator Obama was borderline racist at worse and at best distasteful. She also used offensive rhetoric throughout the 90’s when she was First Lady and voted for some legislation in the 2000’s that would make you question her judgement specifically on trade deals and war. All politicians make mistakes, or bad choices and thats fine but just admit it, I don’t need you trying to justify all her mistakes or missteps. Bernie and Hillary both have been better at these things than their supporters and their supporters are the ones interacting with people daily that could be harmful the candidate.
Both candidates have made mistakes that you would not expect at this point in a presidential race. Bernie’s mistakes have hindered his chances of getting his message out and winning the nomination, while Hillary’s mistakes have left the door, however little, open for Bernie to make a miraculous comeback.
Bernie has some fantastic progressive ideas. Free higher education for everyone, single payer government funded healthcare, taxing Wall St. speculation, re-writing our trade deals. These are all fantastic idea but unfortunately he did not think he would be this far in a race so he never did the steps behind the scenes in order to propel this campaign. However he lacked the preparation and strategic political plan to become President.
Had he run on forming a progressive coalition to take over congress and support his presidency, he could have won this primary
— Block Samson (@insanityreport) April 20, 2016
This tweet says it all. Bernie needed to created a progressive coalition of people in all levels of government who are 1. running for office this November 2. Supported his ideas and polices 3. Able to reach a wide, diverse group of people. Yes, Bernie Sanders is new to the national stage, a lot of people don’t know who he is. But, Bernie Sanders knew that a lot of people did not know who he is before he decided to run for POTUS. He should have built and efficient ground game across the country particular in places where he/his campaign felt he was underrepresented or had the most work to do.
His campaign dismisses the “Deep South” but if Bernie would have performed reasonably, not even winning those states we would be in a different spot in this election. If Bernie would have reached out and directly marketed his policies and platforms to and for minorities he would be not be getting the floor swept when it comes to minority voters. Hillary does have the famous name and year and years of being in the public spotlight but thats your job if you are going to run against her. Senator Obama was a first term Senator who had less time on the national stage than Bernie but, he got a coalition of people to get out and drive participation and awareness that led to his two term presidency.
Hillary has committed her fair share of mistakes and her’s are even worse because she is the front runner, she has been here before, and some of them are not even her. Hillary has fumbled the ball on race and has continued to defend the 1994 Crime Bill and continues to allow Bill Clinton to come out and speak on her behalf. It almost seems like Bill is trying to sabotage her campaign with his comments about Barack Obama and Black Lives Matter.
Hillary has also added to the narrative that she is corrupt by not releasing or seriously addressing her speeches. I personally don’t believe their is anything that serious with them and even if they were, her record shows that she still hold Wall Street accountable to an extant. However, to compare herself to Trump or Cruz or any other republican is insulting and leads to the rhetoric that Hillary is a conservative. I believe a lot of this is sexism but she is not without blame. Hillary could literally do nothing and cruise to victory so her mistakes are more costly because she has it rapped up.
Math, Math, and more Math
Lastly the math is with Hillary. At no point in the 08′ primary did Obama have this large of a lead against Hillary and that race was not considered contested or close. So everyday I get online and read that Bernie is right where he needs to be, or the lead is not that big, or there is a path. NO!!! The only way Bernie comes back is if Hillary get arrested or has a Romney 47% comment, and even then I think she pulls it out. I get why Bernie is staying in the race, and I believe he should. IF he plays this out and unites the party when Hillary is nominated, he can get himself a prominent spot in the party and continue to push Hillary to the left. As much as uninspiring as both these campaigns have been, I will happily vote for either of these candidates over the other side and both candidates should do fine as POTUS. Just don’t tell me how great these candidates are and how they will be the best thing to ever happen to this country.
Republicans: The End of a Party
The Good Ole Days
Never did I think I would be reminiscing for the days of John McCain and Mitt Romney or sad that I don’t see Jeb Bush or Rand Paul on the debate stage. We have gotten to a point in the Republican party that is an actual black eye on our country. We have Donald Trump who represents some of the worse people in our society and he is able to rally them to come out of the shadows and show the rest of America just how sexist, racist, homophobic, and xenophobic we can be. Some would argue that this is not the real Trump and he is just placating a group of people that fear change in the country. That point is irrelevant to me because if he is legit or not, people believe he is and he is getting votes and if he is nominated or God forbid elected, he would have to serve his base.
Right behind Trump is Ted Cruz, who absolutely believes every single despicable, bigoted, and prejudice word that comes out of his mouth. He is a war mongering, bigoted, religious zealot that has no allies and is determined to crush our government. Ted Cruz whole platform is to cut money from everything accept defense and ways to discriminate against people. As bad as Trump is, he still says something every 30 days that I somewhat can understand, I can not think of anything Ted Cruz has said accept when criticizing Trump that I have ever agreed with.
I don’t even think we need to address John Kasich because if we are saying Bernie is done that Kasich is over cooked. At this point he is in the race to take votes away from Trump to make sure he does not reach 1237 and automatically clinch the republican nomination. Cruz and Trump are the two worse Presidential candidates in probably the last 150 years. However if you are a progressive, liberal or even a moderate their is some good news.
For those people who are ready to actually see a large political shift in American politics, 2016 may be your year. Donald Trump has been a polarizing figure in the Republican party and does not have the support that most front runners in his position has had in the past. On top of that he is slightly off track on the road to 1237 which would lead to a brokered convention. If that happens delegates would then lobby and vote on the floor to decide who would become the Republican nominee. If they cannot decide on first vote then some delegates would be able to switch allegiances and at that point it would become a madhouse.
The most interesting part of this is what happens after they choose a nominee. If Trump wins the nominee, do the Republican establishment fall in line and concede their party to Donald Trump and the people like him or do they start a 3rd party and run their own independent candidate. And if so they do keep this new “Conservative” party going forward, which would change our political process as we know it. The other option is that Trump, who will be leading in delegates going into the convention no matter what, gets passed over by someone from the establishment. At that point does Trump and is vocal group of supporters run an independent campaign against the Republicans, which could splinter the party and possibly loose people forever. Both of those situations would almost certainly lead to a victory for the Democrats and presumed nominee Hillary Clinton.
Media: Maybe The Worse Part of the Election
Probably the most troubling thing about this election cycle has been the media’s coverage. They have completely forgot what their role is in regards to reporting and holding candidates accountable for their actions. Donald Trump is clearly running a campaign that placates the most bigoted people in our country and the media tip toes around that topic at best. They show the footage from his rallies, report the rhetoric that he shouts and then frames it as “He speaks his mind” or “He is not politically correct”. That type of framing is damaging because so many Americans form their opinion about things based on the way media frames it. On top of that supposedly “neutral” news channels always brings on an intelligent, thoughtful, political analyst to spare with a Trump supporter who has no facts, no sense, and no reason to be on TV and give them an equal platform. And thats the best case scenario!!
I think everyone remembers the exchange between Van Jones and Jeffery Lord about the KKK after Trump failed to denounce the KKK. This was possibly one of the worse moments in television history. You have a man who is pleading for his humanity, with the simple expectation that a potential President of the United States would come out and with some conviction denounce the KKK. Then on the other side you have a Trump surrogate who is bringing up that the KKK is this liberal left wing group that somehow represents the democratic party, all of which is irrelevant and wrong and nobody else on that set calls him out about it. Then the next segment Van Jones is gone and that dude is still on my TV. WTF!! Not only is the media allowing bigots, sexist, and xenophobes to come on air and spew that message on such a large platform, but when they do they are treated as equals, like they have a valid, legitimate point and its sickening. Politics has always been a dirty game but some of us believe in democracy and want our country to move forward and continue the success of the last 8 years, but as far as this election cycle goes….Just Get ME To November.