The Road To Iowa

The Road To Iowa
Dane La Born

Dane La Born

Editor’s note: Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul and Rick Santorum have all since dropped out of the Presidential election race since the publishing of this article. 

After a year of both sides campaigning across the country, dozens of candidates in a bunch of different televised debates, $300 million in spending and costs, and an insurmountable amount of attack ads, political think-pieces, and fear-mongering pundits, the 2016 Presidential Election has finally begun. At the time of this writing, the Iowa caucuses have just started, with Hillary Clinton having a one point lead over Senator Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side (and Martin O’Malley, sadly polling at just 3%), and Donald Trump holding a five point lead over Senator Ted Cruz.

The Republican side of the board has been jam-packed since the beginning, and that isn’t any less of a case right now. While Democrats essentially have two qualified candidates to choose from, the GOP has stacked the board, and their stances and talking points are all over the place as a consequence. Aside from Trump and Cruz, we also have Senator Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Governor Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Governor John Kasich, Rick Santorum, Senator Rand Paul, and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. Half of the candidates have taken a firm religious stance, guaranteeing to bring God back into the country, disregarding any American history, as well as the constitution in their blind zealotry.

Hillary Clinton doesn’t require too much of an introduction, especially for those of us raised in Fayetteville during the Clinton administration. She and her husband have long been a source of local pride, and the fact that not one, but two Clinton’s may end up in the White House is not a small feat, not even considering the fact that she would be the first female president. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, even with his combined 20 years of experience in the Senate, may require a little more information.

Bernie Sanders considers himself a Democratic Socialist, and has run for president before, just never on the Democratic ticket. Seemingly coming out of left field, Senator Sanders has been running a definitive grassroots campaign, with the average donation amounting to $25. He has consistently refused to take money from corporations that offered it, and has had a meteoric rise with Millennial voters. Part of the reason for his sudden rise in popularity is his appeal for programs that would make college tuition free, provide universal healthcare, and tax the fat cats of Wall Street.

Bernie Sanders isn’t the only candidate coming seemingly out of left field, or at least from a field a-typical of the bipartisan antics we have grown used to. Donald Trump has made quite the name for himself with his race baiting and general boofoonery. At this point, I don’t find it ridiculous to compare the man’s platforms and claims to that of Adolf Hitler who rose to power on similar ideas, who blamed the Jews for Germany’s problems not unlike Trump blaming Mexican and Muslim immigrants for ours. Yet, Trump’s been the polling frontrunner the entire time, save his second place finish in Iowa.

I’m going to move on to Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon from Detroit.

Graduating from Yale University after coming out of Detroit, and having served as one of the premiere neurosurgeons in the country while practicing at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center in Baltimore, Carson’s biography doesn’t read like any other politician. This is, in large part, what has made people like him, Trump, and even socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, have an edge in the current political climate. People are getting fed-up with the inactive, never-do-anything state of bipartisan politics, and even though the men in question are still serving on the respective two-party ticket, the fact that two of the leading Republican candidates have little-to-no experience in politics, and that the Senator on the Democratic side has been actively fighting for socialist government programs in the United States for years, has given them appeal with voters on both sides who want to see something new.

The election, as I said, is just now starting. It’s felt like the longest election cycle ever, and as long as the GOP have been campaigning, it may well take that crown. Unfortunately, we are far from done. We still have 10 months of this before we actually get to file into the polls, but the primaries are coming up, and the field is about to get a lot more narrow.

The Arkansas primary is March 1 this year. You don’t have to be a registered party member to vote if you’re already a registered voter in Arkansas. While the votes might not determine the next president, the results will surely boost the momentum for that candidate into the party nominee, and potentially, the White House.

Make sure you vote.


Categories: Commentary