Opinion Asks: The Party or the Candidate?

by The Dartmouth Opinion Staff | 2/2/16 7:00pm

Will you support the party with which you identify regardless of who wins the nomination? Why or why not?

I would support the Democratic party even if a banana won the nomination. Bananas can’t build walls around countries, deny the existence of climate change, be blatantly racist, flagrantly pro-gun or actively strive to deprive women of their specific rights as women and their general rights as human beings. This is not to mention that a banana would probably pick a better running mate than Sarah Palin. Hold on, you say. Reaching back all the way to 2008 isn’t fair. You’re right. Neither would labeling all Republicans as crazy be fair. But examining the individual histories of the two Republican frontrunners, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, and recognizing that what they preach is ignorance, intolerance and insanity? Completely fair.

-Ben Szuhaj ’19

Absolutely not. I think this is something that resonates with moderates of both parties. Both the center left and center right are under attack by polarizing forces. To be frank, Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz are two sides of the same coin. Both hold stubbornness and resistance to change as their strongest values­ — Sanders has spent nearly all 74 years of his life promoting the same set of radical reforms and Cruz managed to engineer a government shutdown through his dogmatic adherence to his beliefs. Both eschew pragmatism for rhetoric that plays well in the primaries. Donald Trump, of course, is a constant threat. All in all, the bias in primaries towards the most extreme candidates has been amplified by popular, radical candidates. To bring this back to the initial question, I think that most moderates see a sensible, capable candidate as preferable to extremism of any brand. That question is particularly salient for moderate Republicans, considering the strength of Cruz and Trump in the polls. If either Cruz or Trump win the nomination, then my vote will not be for the Republican party. In a election cycle that’s been dominated by everything but, mine will be a vote for moderation.

-Steven Chun ’19

Yes. I’m a Democrat and whoever the potential Republican nominee is (most likely Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz or Donald Trump) has no business running our country. I’d rather move to Canada than see one of those three become president.

-Daniel Fishbein ’19

For me, one of the most important issues in this election is who — and in particular what party — will get to appoint justices to the Supreme Court. The current Supreme Court has four liberal justices and four conservative justices, with one conservative-leaning swing voter. By the middle of our next president’s term, there will be four justices in their 80s. Even appointing just one or two new justices could lead to a dramatic shift in the court that could have long-lasting consequences. The Supreme Court will likely hear cases on abortion, gun control, LGBTQ rights and “One Person, One Vote” in the next few years and the makeup of the Supreme Court will decide the rights of many Americans. And, because justices almost always vote along party lines, the party of the next president, who will likely appoint a new justice or justices, matters.

-Jessica Lu ’18, Assistant Opinion Editor