Democratic primary results: what does this mean for America?

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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Last Tuesday, the largest of a series of elections for the Democratic candidate for the upcoming 2020 election took place. 

This event is more colloquially referred to as Super Tuesday, and this year it was very telling for the future Democratic nominee and the state of current American politics.

The purpose of these primaries is to distribute around 4,000 pledged delegate votes among the candidates to decide who shall represent the Democratic Party in the election. In order to win the primaries, a candidate needs a little less than 2,000 to claim the nomination from the  Democratic National Convention (DNC). Super Tuesday is especially important, as it is the largest day of primaries, covering around a third of the votes needed to receive the endorsement.

Often, the largest of the Democratic primaries distinguishes a few candidates from the rest and helps the nation focus on these candidates. 

This year was no different.

There were several candidates that were in the running to snag the endorsement, but four main candidates caught the attention of most voters: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Micheal Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren. With these potential contenders, the stage was set for an interesting night. 

The first of these to drop out was Bloomberg. After coming to the realization that, no matter the outcome of the other primaries, he would not be successful in obtaining the nomination, Bloomberg withdrew from the running. After withdrawing, the Massachusetts native shared his open support for his fellow running mate Joe Biden, saying that Biden was the Democrat’s best chance for defeating Trump. 

Following Bloomberg’s resignation, Warren quickly followed suit, saying, “So from the bottom of my heart, thank you, for everything you have poured into this campaign.” 

When the dust of Super Tuesday had settled, two candidates came out on top. Joe Biden took the lead with 664 delegates, followed by Bernie Sanders with 573 delegates. 

With these two candidates taking the lead, the stance that the Democrat party might endorse is becoming more clear.

Perhaps one of the most intriguing individuals of these two candidates is the self-proclaimed socialist himself, the 78-year-old Bernie Sanders.

Socialism is highly supportive of government ownership of properties or assets and government distribution of goods for the betterment of peoples. A simple example of socialism in action is the idea of universal healthcare.

Although the socialist party has been around in the USA since it was first established in the year 1901, this is the first time in recent years that we have seen a socialist candidate have such a presence, with the potential to win the presidential primary elections. 

The rise of a socialist candidate shows the increasing deviation from moderate beliefs in today’s politics. 

For years, American politics has suffered from the painful effects of political polarization. Both major parties stray further away from each other, constantly clashing, separating and removing the platform for any centrist or moderate views to be welcomed.

I often find myself struggling to identify with a political party, as now it’s custom to believe in a set of extreme ideals if you’re a Democrat, and a belief in another set of, equally extreme, ideals if you’re a Republican, and no middle ground can be reached.

Voters are being sorted into two parties, Democratic or Republican, and in recent years we haven’t seen any candidate who has run on a moderate platform.

For example, even Joe Biden, a perceived moderate, said that he would have Beto O’Rourke, a politician who said, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15,” be in charge of his potential administration’s policy on gun control.

In this society, there are anti-gun conservatives and pro-life Democrats, but they are mostly ignored as the polarity between the two parties only grows.

Having a popular socialist candidate only reinforces this polarization. Socialism is a far-left wing political ideology, and the great popularity surrounding it this election should be worrisome to the moderate voter.

Political centrism is disappearing, and replacing it is the volatile politics of constant, far-left and far-right internecine clashes.

Although the immediate danger of this polarization is not very threatening, observing how divided our politics is becoming should raise concern for future elections. In the next four years, we could see the rise of a far-right presidential candidate, and that will only be combated with an even further leftist candidate.

With moderation fading, and strong left and right views taking hold of both parties, the  moderate voters get left behind, wondering how they will be represented in this polarizing, political world.

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