Editorial Comment

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Almost every candidate for the United States presidency who runs in the wake of political turmoil uses rhetoric that takes advantage of that turmoil. After three years of the Trump administration, candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are using this national anxiety to their advantage, although in very different ways. Should America opt for a policy of confronting political challenges head-on, or should it attempt to simply endure its problems? 

 

Sanders chooses the more radical approach to taking executive office. Sanders has enthusiastically endorsed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s controversial Green New Deal. His rhetoric is centered around major economic reform, environmental justice and a commitment to labor rights. Overall, his policies are the farthest left of all Democratic candidates. His views are controversial, yet his base continues to be the most vocal in their support of him. 

 

Biden, by contrast, is the most moderate Democrats running. Although he supports big ticket issues like a federal minimum wage increase, his focus is more on reforms rather than the restructuring of institutions. A major turn from Sanders’ politics is Biden’s support for increasing military spending, an issue that Sanders and other left-leaning Democrats have been criticizing for decades. However, as vice president to Barack Obama, Biden has been an obvious choice for establishment Democrats. 

 

The attitudes of their campaigns continue to differ greatly. Sanders opts for a more direct, hard-hitting approach to campaigning, with rhetoric that stirs crowds to support various grassroots campaigns around the country. He wants his political base to be angry at the upheavals that have occurred under the Trump administration, urging his followers to spread awareness of almost every social issue in national conversation. Sanders employs a strategy that makes his followers realize that they have a role in spreading political awareness. 

 

Biden’s campaign on the other hand, reflects that of 1920’s Warren G. Harding. His campaign slogan reflected the sentiment following World War I that America needed to “Return to Normalcy.” Although America certainly needs a new national sentiment, it should be one that invites radical opinions to challenge established institutions. Further, America needs to treat the political turbulence of recent years as a symptom instead of a problem in and of itself. 

 

This sentiment should make America question what it wants. After the Trump administration, does America feel the need to “return” to some mythical Golden Age, or does it need to be drastically altered?

 

In this next election, America must decide whether it wants a commander-in-chief that will approach our political climate with either enthusiasm or complacency. The Falcon believes that political issues raised during the past administration cannot be overlooked and should soon be approached head-on. Otherwise, the next four years will begin to seem quite similar to the years that America has recently endured.