By Priya Sarma
In contrast to the circus and drama that surround the Republican primary with seventeen candidates in the pool, the Democratic Party primary appears to be a low-key identity and no-drama slogan this year. A primary is a process by which party members elect the party nominee for presidential election. With Hillary Clinton entering the Democratic primary race, for some it seems as though the Democratic Party candidate has already been nominated. With the candidates that are running in the democratic pool, the only competition that is being foreseen is between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.
Clinton supporters believe that Hillary’s competence and experience will help her swing the independent votes. For eight years, Hilary Clinton was a close adviser to a president (her husband Bill Clinton) who balanced the budget and secured bipartisan agreements to reform welfare and opened up trade in North America.As a senator of New York, Clinton listened to and worked with senators on both sides of the aisle.When she became secretary of state, she flew nearly a million miles and visited 112 countries. As secretary of state she was a significant proponent of the Arab Spring, helped negotiate the Israel-Palestine conflict with the then President of Egypt Mohammad Morsi, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. She alsowanted to take an active stand on the civil war in Syria. Though some Republicans argue that she left no indelible mark in foreign policy strategy, George Packer from the New Yorker argues that “the conditions of the geopolitical world during this time were too complex and immune to American will to allow breakthroughs to occur.”
On social issues Hillary Clinton is a liberal.She will preserve the Affordable Care Act in health, more popularly known as the Obama Care.In a nutshell, Hillary is an astute politician with a vast wealth of knowledge both in international and domestic policies and a socially liberal agenda. She is extremely well respected throughout the world, and has an unsurpassed work ethic.
Bernie Sanders, the other significant candidate in the primary, considers himself as a democratic socialist. In fact, he is the nation’s only socialist member of Congress. When Bernie Sanders was asked to describe what democratic socialism is, he responded “Democratic socialism is taking a hard look at what countries like Denmark, Sweden, Norway (and) Finland … have done over the years and try to ascertain what they have done that is right, in terms of protecting the needs of millions of working families and the elderly and the children.”He believes that there is a lot to learn from countries that have had social democratic governments where democracy and socialism go hand in hand and the governments provide a greater safety net to the less privileged section of the society.
Sanders is considered a very progressive candidate when it comes to social issues. He believes that abortion should be legal, agrees with same-sex marriage, and believes women should be payed equally for equal work and voted NO on ending preferential treatment by race in college admissions. Sanders is also considered to be a ‘climate change hawk.’He argues that global warming is a significant threat to the planet and is caused by human activity. He has sponsored a bill which would charge companies for their carbon emissions and use some of the money raised to boost production and use of renewable energy technology.
These positions all sound very promising, and forward-looking, but they are also very idealistic and Utopian. Sanders seems more capable in the realm of domestic social change, but in the realm foreign affairs his experience is limited. That is where Hillary Clinton’s strengths lie. Her forte will bein creating realistic visions and understanding that America first has to be stable as a whole before entering idealistic utopia.
At this point it seems that Hillary Clinton is the front-runner of the Democratic Party. Many voters want to see an actual race and competition between the candidates, not the coronation of a nominee. Many voters also seem to be hesitant while supporting Hillary Clinton since they don’t seem to find her trustworthy due to the recent issues of her official emails storage. While being the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton had a personal e-mail server at her home where official e-mails were being directed and stored. Thatlends to her credibility issues among many voters, particularly among the younger generation. Some also don’t want to witness a Clinton dynasty in the White House. Very recently there are rumors flying that Vice President Joe Biden may also throw his hat in the ring. That for sure would change the dynamics of the race and will create a very interesting playing field. Joe Biden has huge name recognition, he is a phenomenal foreign relations specialist; and more importantly his simplicity and candor may prove to be Hillary’s nemesis. Who knows, the next few weeks might change the excitement index for the Democratic camp as well where the Hillary campaign’s juggernaut may face a hurdle after all.
(Priya Sarma is a rising sophomore in Sunset High School, Portland, USA. She is very politically aware and is a young political analyst in her own right. Priya is also a debater, a tennis player and a stellar student with ambitions to get involved in Economics and International Relations in the future.)