After “Super Tuesday,” tensions between Barack Obama supporters and Hillary Clinton supporters are high, and will likely continue for a few more weeks. In fact, it’s getting so partisan on the campaign trail, there is growing concern among Democrats that all this infighting will ultimately splinter the party and hurt the nominees’ chances in the general election. Therefore, it’s important for Democrats to put their political differences in perspective and remember the main obstacle to bringing change in America is not within the Democratic Party, but with the Republican nominee John McCain (sorry Mitt Romney).
Am I saying that Democrats should adopt Ronald Reagan’s rule of never criticizing a fellow party member? Of course not. There are legitimate issues that need to be debated regarding the candidates, such as Clinton’s vote on Iraq, or Obama’s relative inexperience. Nevertheless, I am sure most Democrats can agree that, whether we elect Obama or Clinton, both of them will bring a great deal of positive change to the White House, especially when juxtaposed with the disastrous policies of the Bush administration.
Consequently, Democrats need to remember the biggest political danger facing our country is that Republicans will put aside their differences and unite behind a single candidate, especially if it is John McCain. The reason McCain is dangerous is because he continues to deceive voters into believing he is a “moderate” Republican, even though his views are strongly aligned with George W. Bush’s.
Sure, McCain has taken opposing stances on immigration and torture within in his own party, but that speaks more to how extremely partisan Republicans are with these issues, and less to McCain’s own moderate beliefs. If McCain was really a moderate politician, then why did he vote against increasing children’s health care in America (SCHIP), even though 18 Republican senators voted for it? Frankly, McCain’s entire “moderate” health care platform eerily resembles that of the current administration’s, which puts pharmaceutical and insurance company profits before patients.
Of course, there is also McCain’s “moderate” position on Iraq and the Middle East. A few weeks back, McCain openly said that he could see the U.S. staying in Iraq for another 100 years, a seemingly hypocritical thing to say, considering McCain touted all the “progress” we’ve made in Iraq. Furthermore, let us not forget the time McCain jokingly sang “Bomb Iran” to the tune of the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann”; I am still shocked that a former soldier would handle the issue of war with Iran with such levity.
These stories about McCain serve an important purpose, because when we juxtapose the views of this Republican front-runner to either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama’s views, the true “forces of status quo” begin to reveal themselves, and they clearly do not reside in neither Democrat camp; they lay solely with the Republicans.
Ultimately, Democrats can and should argue all they want about which candidate will bring the most “change” to American politics, but let’s not get too caught up in this political horse race, obsessing about which Democrat is winning or losing. I say this because the stakes in 2008 are too high.
This election is a fight to end the disastrous war in Iraq and resolve the conflicts in Afghanistan. It is about eliminating our country’s addiction to oil, strengthening our country’s infrastructure, and providing American working families with affordable health care and education. Both Sens. Obama and Clinton have outlined comprehensive solutions for each of the aforementioned issues, while Republicans like John McCain have not.
Patrick Molnar is a business junior and a Mustang Daily liberal columnist.