BY PRIYA SARMA
As President Obama’s second term is quickly approaching its final two years, the early stages of the democratic process of electing a president in the US have begun once again. Many candidates from the Democratic Party as well as the Republican Party have officially declared that they are running for president. However, from the Republican Party, there are 16 officially announced candidates that are running. Compared to the five announced democratic candidates, it seems like the whole Republican Party is running for president.
The major issue for the Republican contenders will be whether they make the cut-off for the debates since only ten candidates are allowed to “confront one another.” Fox News and CNN are using national polls to limit the debate stage to ten candidates. Sydney McNeal from Bloomberg Politics has stated that “Methodologically, they might as well be drawing straws.” Nonetheless, CNN stated that they “developed a format that will allow all of the Republican presidential candidates, who meet the eligibility criteria, an opportunity to discuss their visions for the future.” This action is important because it levels the playing field for the candidates. But, with 16 candidates running, it’s hard to imagine that each contender will bring an extremely different view since essentially they share the same goals of the same party. There will though be contenders who are much more competent in politics and not inept when it comes to playing the game. They will offer comic relief to the whole process.
The Republican party presidential candidate pool reflects a woman, an African American, a Latino-American, a Cuban-American and an Indian-American: all are in the race. They are adding to the quantity but qualitatively they only bring in idiosyncrasies and conservative view points and very little else.
The Indian-American, namely Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana (formerly Piyush Jindal) denounces his Indian heritage. He does not believe in hyphenated- Americanism and believes all citizens are simply Americans. There are many flaws when it comes to that logic. Not to mention, that in his “Governor portrait” he asked himself to be painted as a white person. However, Bobby Jindal only once proudly declared his Indian heritage when he fervently needed money from the affluent Indian diaspora to run his campaign.
The most discussed candidate however is Donald Trump. Donald Trump is an ignorant candidate and if somehow he won the presidential election, America will be living in a James bond film such as “Tomorrow Never Dies”, where Trump plays the villain and tries to take over the world. Donald Trump lost a string of business partners after stating that Mexican immigrants are “bringing drugs, bringing crime, they’re rapists.” After this highly offensive statement that generalizes the entire Mexican population wrongly, Trump did not attempt to repair the obvious mistake. Instead, he proudly supported his statement, and argued that he is being beaten up by media for revealing the truth. Trump did not apologize for his statement; instead he decided to sue Univision a Spanish language network for 500 million dollars for cancelling plans to air the Miss USA pageant. Trump’s sound bites and belligerence still continues with him polling at 12% on national popularity rank.
Carly Fiorina, the former HP CEO does not bring much in and against Hillary Clinton to hold her fort. Ted Cruz is brilliant but filled with untenable conservative economic and social ideas. The rest are desperately trying to hold onto the Republican right-wing base by uttering completely ludicrous soundbites and forwarding even more preposterous ideologies.
The only Republican candidate that seems capable of implementing change without too much problems is Jeb Bush who is the leading candidate of the party. The biggest problem for the voters will, however, be whether they want to witness a Bush dynasty in the white house. Anyway, the second Bush left quite an indelible mark, but not in a positive aspect. He dragged the country to a war, exhausted its coffers, created a power-void in the middle-east and royally bungled up the American economy.
The Republican Party does not offer too many promising candidates. Their biggest problem is that their views are extremely radical when it comes to social issues. They take abhorrent stands on problems such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Their religious beliefs interfere with the good of the country and they want to implement the Christian values they grew up with amongst the entire country. The republican primary election will certainly be an interesting event this year.
Priya Sarma is a rising sophomore in high school in NY, USA. She is very politically aware and is an analyst in her own right as a student. 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.