The Separated States of America

Thomas Willert - 3A Mechanical
Posted on: May 20, 2016

With only 5 states left in the Republican GOP primaries and under 100 seats left for Donald Trump to ensure victory, it is almost guaranteed that he will represent the Republicans in the upcoming general election. So, what’s going to happen after the convention and in the lead-up to the election? Will the current Republican officials back him? All bets are off at this point, but from viewing interviews with elder members of the Republican Party, a significant number of the lead officials have chosen to stand against Trump or abstain from the convention entirely. This not just a stand of solidarity against the new party leader, but it goes to highlight much more than this. Since they can’t publicly sabotage his campaign without splitting the party and losing even more face, it looks like they are willing to sacrifice the 2016 election in order to show the party that new and radical ideas are not what the Republicans are about. To have this new leader crash and burn by a lack of internal party support is the best outcome they can potentially have, as anything near a victory shows a change in heart of the American people and will change the Republican Party as we know it.

On the Democratic side, things are just as exciting. With Sanders supporters throwing chairs during conventions and Hillary Clinton’s civil case still on the rocks, who knows which runner has to put out more fires? With Hillary’s lead of just under 300 pledged voters and 900 seats still up for grabs, the race is still closer than it seems. If we include the 500 super delegates that Clinton has over Sanders, the difference becomes quite large, but considering there are those changing their vote during convention, a swing is still possible—though a huge shift in those votes is very unlikely. Hillary is going into the last 10 states with an 800 seat lead, and there’s not a lot of time for Bernie to catch up. So what should he do? Currently, his main shtick is to drive Hillary further right. Forcing her to match his ideals in a game of political catch up, all in order to ensure that if she wins the primary, he can hold her to these large promises she would have never made if running unopposed. But by doing this, he isn’t gaining any more voters; instead, he is splitting the party further and further apart, the difference between the right-wing Democrats and the new “Socialist” Democrats is huge.

Overall, as the GOP primaries are coming to a close, there are a few things that are certain. There is almost guaranteed to be another election as exciting as the one we are witnessing now. Here, we have the only two parties in the United States entirely divided. Half the Republicans love Donald Trump, while the other half can’t stand him. And again on the Democrat side, the split is huge between Sanders and Clinton—the Democrats have not been this segregated in ages.  Is this the end of the two-party system in the United States? Do the people want a change? The old “American Dream” died 30 years ago, so what’s the next step for our great neighbour?