The National Democratic Party is one of the two major political parties in the United States. It was founded in 1848 and enjoys the distinction of being the oldest, still functioning political party in the world.
Democrats often favor a mixed economy, labor unions, universal healthcare, environmental and consumer protection, equal opportunity and government social programs such as welfare and Social Security.
With the U.S heading into an election year, it is imperative that President Obama leaves behind a solid legacy for his successor to campaign on if the Democrats hope to maintain control of the presidency in 2016.
Currently, the two most prominent Democratic primary candidates are Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernard “Bernie” Sanders (I-VT).
This will be Clinton’s second time running in the primaries—she lost in 2008 to a young Barack Obama. She’s campaigning on a center-left agenda, focusing on the middle class and on small businesses, much like Obama did in 2008.
In contrast, Sanders is pursuing a further-left, more socialist agenda. A self-described Vermonter with a Brooklyn accent, Sanders is the newcomer on the scene, virtually unknown in comparison to Clinton, who’s had extensive experience in the White House, having served as both Secretary of State and First Lady of the United States.
Sanders is gaining notoriety for his no-holds-barred approach to politics. Rather than tip-toeing around controversial issues such as police brutality and Roe v. Wade, he has actively vocalized his views, even going as far as vowing that if he becomes president, he will not nominate any Supreme Court judges who are in opposition to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which allowed healthy women to obtain abortions during the first two trimesters of pregnancy without state interference.
His more progressive mindset seems to be winning him some support; in a recent poll, The Huffington Post found that among 897 registered voters, 36% were “favorable” to Sanders, while 43% were favorable to Clinton.
Though I appreciate his direct, unabashed approach, I think he’d be hard-pressed to attract floating voters and more centrist Democrats in the general elections, a factor that will no doubt be considered during the primaries.
Clinton, in contrast, appeals to moderate Democrats with her less radically progressive stance on political issues. That being said, the same poll by The Huffington Post states that 55% of voters were “unfavorable” to Clinton.
This decline in Clinton’s popularity can be attributed to the infamous e-mail scandal she is embroiled in, where she stands accused of storing classified government emails on her personal server. While Clinton denies any such wrongdoing, the damage to her reputation has been done, and the scandal continues to plague her as the government investigates the allegations made against her.
For the time being at least, it seems like Democratic voters are looking for a safe bet. Surprisingly, Sanders (the resident wild card), is becoming a more
appealing option as the Clinton e-mail investigation drags on.
The primary will probably come down to Sanders’s success in campaigning his uber progressive views versus Clinton’s ability to extricate herself from the e-mail dispute.
If current Vice President of the United States Joe Biden decides to run, however, the entire race will be spun on its head, as he likely will then be seen as the candidate most likely to succeed.
The combination of his Clinton-esque experience in the White House and Sanders-esque approachability and reputation (spotless) would likely be very popular amongst voters.
I personally would like to see Biden join the race. His track record as Vice President has been solid, and his ability to persevere, even in the face of family tragedy, appeals to me, as it probably will to many voters.
In my view, his electability (should he decide to run) will be inextricable from Obama’s legacy, which increases the pressure on the President to end his tenure on a strong note.
When it comes to elections in America, for me political affiliation has become less about believing in a party and more about not believing in a party.
I’m not inclined to vote for the Republican Party, which, in my view, is becoming increasingly ridiculous as Donald Trump continues his coarse rhetoric and gains further support.
Thus, I am prepared to disregard my conservative fiscal views and vote Democratic. At the end of the day, this beats the alternative of supporting candidates like Trump, who is literally teetering on the edge of white nationalism, and Mike Huckabee and Marco Rubio, who are pro-life except when it involves the life of a mother.