No unity within the Democratic party

Joshua Shapiro | Contributing Writer

This past Tuesday’s Democratic Debate–the last before voters go to the polls on March 2nd– showed telltale signs of a party in disarray. I watched with horror as the handful of remaining challengers to Trump and Trumpism chose to ignore the most dangerous president in our nation’s history, instead directing searing, personal attacks towards each other. The debate was emblematic of the disastrous path Democrats have chosen to embark on just months before the general election. The five egotistical, self-absorbed politicians left standing have decided that becoming president is more important than uniting and defeating the man who threatens our democracy.

Much has been made of Senator Bernie Sanders’ rapid rise to the forefront of the Democratic nominating contest. After arguably costing Hillary Clinton the 2016 election, Sanders–whose slogan might as well be ‘my way or the highway’–has once again broken the Democratic Party with false promises. Sanders has craved the presidency since 2012, and his willingness to alienate moderate candidates by proposing vague, unaffordable and at-best idealistic plans has done little to encourage promising results come November.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, former Republican Mike Bloomberg has decided to buy his way into the nomination race. My apprehension over Mr. Bloomberg has turned to disgust–his ad spending has wiped significant support from the actual moderate Democratic candidates. The ones who actually have a chance of passing gun-reform and climate-change bills through Congress. The ones who will actually enact a real, liberal agenda.

Amy Klobuchar polls close to zero percent. It’s arguable that she and Bloomberg have equivalent chances of becoming the next president. They continue to march on–to the vexation of their competitors and to the disservice of our country.

I could dig deeper into every candidate–the entire nominating contest has been plagued by the lack of a good choice. But look up for a minute! The only bloc of opposition to an out-of-control, repulsive president and party is crumbling before our very eyes. The selfish banter needs to stop, and quickly. The candidates and voters need to recognize the vast importance of unity and the even more important task of electing any Democrat over President Trump.

My goal is not to make the case for any individual candidate. I don’t think it’s possible to predict how well anyone will perform in a general election based on their standing in the primaries–just look at Hillary Clinton, who led general election polls at this time against Donald Trump by double digits only to lose in the fall.
Rather, I believe the candidates should be redirecting their focus to the underlying ideas and concepts that unite the party platform. We should be talking more about the fact that Democrats believe that science is real and climate change is a peril that must be tackled, something that the official Republican platform does not support. We should be talking more about the fact that all Democrats care about the working class–that the five Democratic candidates believe that each and every American should have access to health care in one form or another.

Because when we and our Democratic candidates fight against each other, everyone loses. If the Democratic party continues on its current trajectory, Trumpian Republicans will be running unopposed for decades. Now is not the time for questions about a new party. We need to fix what we have, and fast. If we fail, all the things we do care about–racial and economic equality, our planet and our healthcare–will be gone before we can blink.

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