With Super Tuesday coming up, people are bracing for outcomes on both sides that will effectively predict the results of the primary elections. The establishment on the Democratic side appears to be winning out, with Hillary Clinton in a big lead over Bernie Sanders in many of the states. And of course, despite overwhelming unpopularity, Donald Trump is leading in many states as well. But what does this mean for the future of the party?
Effectively, what Trump has done is drawn a faction of anti-establishment, disenfranchised voters, leaving the establishment voters to be shared between the rest. This is a very dangerous phenomenon because it makes Ted Cruz, who currently has the second most delegates, look like a more moderate, establishment candidate. But that simply does not fall within Cruz’s platform.
For women’s issues, Trump has made himself seem far more extreme than the other candidates because apparently has no verbal filter and says some incredibly offensive things: he’s said he would date his daughter, he accused a female journalist of being on her period for asking him a tough question in a debate, he frequently reduces women to looks in his commentary. But on the issues section of the website, it doesn’t mention a stance on reproductive rights or marriage equality. Trump may be extreme to what many would call bigotry on his stances on certain issues, but his focus is on issues important to the American voters.
Cruz’s website, on the other hand, blares immediately about investigations into Planned Parenthood, followed very closely by his insistent defense of traditional marriage. These issues have both been settled by the Supreme Court, and yet they appear to be very important to Cruz’s platform. Cruz is supported by a state that diverted funds from combatting HIV to abstinence-only sex education. I believe Cruz would focus on taking away people’s rights rather than on issues that Americans actually care about, such as jobs.
On issues such as immigration, Trump is widely though to have the toughest stance. But Cruz, the son of website prominently features the words “build a wall.” The difference is that Cruz has already shown he’d be more than willing to hold Congress hostage and fight dirty for his ideals, while Trump proudly boasts his skills at the negotiating table.
The fact that Cruz has been denounced so harshly by his bipartisan colleagues in the senate should be a warning sign. This is the same Senator Cruz who almost singlehandedly caused a government shut down, and believed it was the right things to do. Now, he’s making a grab for more power, and being in second place behind Trump puts him in a good place to do that.
I personally think both Trump and Cruz would make terrible presidents. But when it comes down to it, a bad person who doesn’t have quite so bad policies is far better for us than an ideologue with very misguided ideals.