The Rhetoric In The Democratic Party Is Increasingly Divisive
When the first half of the first democratic debate was about to commence, I remember my friend asking, “How is this going to play out?”. I remember replying, partly just to be funny, “Well, everyone is going to say the same thing, we just needs to see who is going to say it the best”.
As the Nomination Process has played out however, there was an increase in the divisions within the Democratic Party. Ten candidates still remain in the race for the nomination, at a time when historically the candidate field would have narrowed down. The opportunity to become President seems realistic to so many individuals, due to the nature of Trumps politics and the internal lack of a strong candidate within the democratic party, that we see an increase in the number of candidates seeking the nomination.
However, this was not just a ‘everyone is going to say the same thing’ situation. Although the candidates do agree that defeating Trump is the goal, they have vastly differing ideas on Domestic and Foreign Policy. Any properly functioning political party is bound to have differing ideas on the specifics of a policy. Yet, the rhetoric in the nomination race is a growing and a self destructive problem for the democrats. The peak example of this was when Hillary Clinton alleged that Tulsi Gabbard might be an Russian agent. Although she did not specifically name a candidate she stated,
“I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russians.”
These accusations without any proof goes counter to the Democratic message of ‘facts’ to combat Trump’s lies in the While House. In a similar way, when one watches the debates, one notices how candidates accuse one-another of stating ‘Republican/ Fox News talking points’ when someone suggests a centrist policy. Pete Buttigieg went far enough to state that individuals who support Trump in 2020 are, “Well, at best, it means looking the other way on racism”. This divisive language within the democratic party and its refusal to publicly campaign or appeal to republicans is going to hurt the nominee in a general election.
The divided democratic field also disincentives candidates to drop out. The lack of a powerful front runner and the polls divided on the candidates gives even the lowest polling candidate a realistic chance of seeking the nomination or raising their national profile for future races. The first three primary states (Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada) polls show that there is a virtual deadlock between the top four candidates. In an attempt to get out of this deadlock, we are sure to see the campaigns to become more aggressive towards one-another, which will cause Donald Trump to benefit.
Contrast the uncertainty of the democratic party with the chaotic, yet certainty, of Trump. The votes already know who Trump is, all his activities are becoming more and more public but he manages to raise more and more money. For example, when the House impeachment trials started, the Trump reelection campaign managed to raise $3 Million in one day and $19 Million for the month of November. Overall, the Trump reelection campaign has managed to comfortably raise money despite the domestic political developments.
As democrats continue to raise the level of rhetoric in order to gain a political edge, they risk endangering their own aim of a ‘Blue Wave’. By accusing each other, on a personal rather than a policy level, of a myriad of things; and talking about Trump and the Republican Party more than their own policies, they risk alienating voters both within different factions of the Democratic Party and the general public. This will only benefit Trump and create more internal division within the Democratic Party.