Co-author Jakob Possert
The United States has started casting its votes for its presidential frontrunners for the 2016 US election. There are currently a solid half dozen candidates to lead the Democrat and Republican contest, you can freshen up on who those candidates are here. Soon only two of these people will matter to anyone and the US election will really start. Before the rest end up consigned to history, we take a look at the full spread of candidates to see what we can tell about what’s going down in America right now.
The righties are a lot more righty, and there is much more support for the lefties than expected in this US election.
The US election on the right:
– Donald Trump has made headlines all around the world when he suggested that the US would not let in Muslims. He also wants to build a wall on the US-Mexican border that, of course, Mexico should pay for. His tone has shifted the field considerably to the right.
– ALL Republican candidates are climate change deniers. You might remember McCain was not.
The US election on the left:
– Bernie Sanders – the main opponent to Hillary Clinton – classes himself as “democratic socialist”, and he is said to be the Occupy values personified – against Wall Street high earning corporations and all that. In all honesty, it’s a surprise that there is so much support for such left-wing thinking. Some, including the big political commentator Robert Peston, are describing his “surge” in popularity as America’s Corbyn moment.
— Robert Peston (@Peston) February 2, 2016
– Sanders has had a similar effect to Trump in the Democratic party, forcing Hillary Clinton’s position to adjust for more policies of the left-wing.
Even Obama spoke out about the extreme polarization of this year’s US election stating that his “singular regret … is the fact that our body politic has become more polarized.”
Explore: Need an opinion on Hillary Clinton? Read this and you’ll have one in 5 mins.
Who’d want to follow Obama?
– In terms of being Obama’s heir, once again we can see extreme polarization in the US election. We have Hillary Clinton wanting to keep up Obama’s work and expanding on it, while Marco Rubio, a Republican candidate frontrunner, constantly talks about the damage that Obama has made which “needs to be reversed.”
– Obama has for example invested extensively in the healthcare system with a programme called “Obamacare.” This programme is a sticking point on both sides. Again it is Marco Rubio who wants to “repeal every word of Obamacare”. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, emphasises how millions of people are still without medical insurance.
– While the Democrats are fixed on the health and wealth of American middle-class families, the Republicans like to talk more about foreign policy and immigration laws.
– For the Republicans this means discussing the armed forces is pretty high up on the agenda. However, during his presidency, Obama has downsized the gigantic US-military with the intention to “quit being the world’s policeman”. The Republicans are more than unhappy with these cut backs and with the US having “the smallest military since pre-WWII.”
Simply put, you could say it’s all in the language of this US election, the Democrats want to elect a President and the Republicans want to elect a ‘commander in chief’.
To sum up: Is the US the Kanye West of world politics?
Like Kanye, it claims to be the greatest country on earth and that the President is the leader of the free world, but again like Kanye it has so many awkward moments that we’re completely transfixed by, no matter how much we’d like to look away.
Jakob is 17 years old and from Austria. He’s a self-confessed ‘politically concerned global citizen’, who likes to ponder about the world at large and more specifically the state of international politics. Find him on twitter @JPossert.