Democalypse 2016: The Democrats

Before I get into the real subject matter of this article, I need to address the recent push for defunding Planned Parenthood by the majority of the Republican Party. While the Republican Party as a whole is determined to defund Planned Parenthood, I do not support this effort to any degree.

While I do have personal issues with abortion, I fully support a woman’s right to chose because it is not my body and I am in no position to decide for someone else how to go about their health based on my opinion. I am also very aware of the health services Planned Parenthood provides to millions of women nationwide which I find very beneficial to our society. This is in response to an email I received criticizing my views on the issue so I felt the need to respond by simply stating I go against the Republican Party on this one. I highly encourage emails questioning what I write. I like hearing opposing viewpoints because differing opinions allow me to learn more about an issue. I’m sure this week’s subject matter, especially the next sentence, will draw up a little of that opposition.

Hillary Clinton is wrong for America. I do not trust her and while acknowledging her impressive resume of political service, I do not believe she has a mandate to lead. While the “entertainment factor” of the Republican contest has been talked about a lot in recent months, I feel the need to take a look at our friends on the left: a conservative’s take on the Democrats. Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and self-described “pantsuit aficionado,” has dominated headlines about the 2016 election since the day after President Obama won his second term. For months, her popularity soared and her run seemed imminent. Democrats and even some Republicans were emblazoning stickers to their dorm walls and Macbooks identifying themselves as “Ready for Hillary.”

At this time, fresh from a surge in popularity following Hurricane Sandy, the Republicans were rallying around Chris Christie, amongst a few others, but none had the name recognition and “presidential status” of Hillary. When a politician can be clearly identified by only their first name, they have done something right and her potential Democratic challengers were relative unknowns. Lincoln Chafee, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, Bernie Sanders and even Vice President Joe Biden couldn’t come close to the national presence of Hillary.

The problem with Mrs. Clinton’s early rise to 2016 stardom was that her narrative became tired and one problem after another began to affect her campaign. Benghazi, while a national tragedy and still questionable on who knew what and when, did not seem to hurt Hillary amongst supporters. On the other side, the closure of the George Washington Bridge and questions of who knew what and when tanked Chris Christie. The Republicans were in disarray and Hillary still dominated.
It wasn’t until the summer of 2015 when the election actually became more ingrained in American life. Often ignored by pundits and given little to no chance of victory, a grassroots movement particularly amongst young progressives thrust Bernie Sanders into the national spotlight. He was answering the questions Hillary would not. The Keystone XL pipeline, his voting record on Iraq, civil rights support back in the 60s and long time support of same ­sex marriage ignited a fire in the public; soon enough, even Hillary loyalists were “feeling the ‘Bern.’”

So let me go back to my earlier statement: Hillary Clinton is wrong for America. One of the key reasons for my dislike of the former Secretary of State stems from her trustworthiness and integrity. Incidents like Benghazi, where transparency was hazy at best, began these sentiments but the recent issues with her email at the State Department raises more questions. I’m sure you’re sick of hearing Republicans mention these emails but I think it’s important to note how easy it would have been to just hand over the records when questions were first raised. It would have been less suspect to just turn the emails over immediately. If it was too much work, which I’m sure it was hard to sift through thousands of personal and private emails, it shouldn’t have taken this long. She also shouldn’t have used a personal email for official State Department business in the first place but that’s now history.

The wait for an answer on the Keystone XL pipeline was another example of my discontent with someone who wants to be President. Originally when asked, Clinton vowed to have an answer “when she was President.” While I’m thrilled she announced her opposition before taking office, it took months for a simple yes or no answer. Side note, the student at Drake University who got the official answer from Clinton was Clio Cullison, member of my senior class of 2014 at Minneapolis South High School.
Mrs. Clinton also only recently came out in support of same sex marriage after publicly opposing it years ago and supporting DOMA. While I admit the party I identify with is way behind on this issue, to quote Kate McKinnon on Saturday Night Live this past week: “[you] could’ve supported it sooner.”

I love Bernie Sanders. Interestingly enough, I, as a Republican, really liked the self-described socialist in the race. Politically speaking I disagree with him on most policy but personally, there is something about him that I like. His genuine desire to work with and help the people is inspiring in a time where it seems like all politicians are tied to money and major corporations. He has raised a significant amount of money from small donors while everyone else, including Hillary, relies on major corporations and the super PACs.

From an outpouring of grassroots activism and a surge in the polls, Bernie is now easily identified by only his first name as Hillary championed years ago. Bernie’s a great man and I strongly encourage my Democratic friends to support him in this primary process. With Hillary shrouded in FBI investigations, the honesty and integrity of Bernie Sanders has never been questioned. Best of luck to you, Bernie, and let’s hope more will soon feel the Bern.