Saturday, June 22, 2024

Comentarios from Maria: Competitive Primaries Make for Stronger Candidates


As the field of presidential hopefuls grows day-by-day, it emphasizes and reminds us that one of the greatest riches of a true democracy is that it allows for free and competitive elections. What is interesting about this election cycle is that we are witnessing two very distinct manifestations of this democratic principle within each party.

On the one hand, the Democratic Party has four candidates as of this past Wednesday, when the ex-Governor of Rhode Island, Lincoln Chafee, decided to join the presidential race alongside ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senator Bernie Sanders, and ex-Governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley. The Democratic candidates have indicated that they are ready and willing to engage in a healthy debate about the direction and prosperity of our nation.

But on the other hand, in the Republican field, ten candidates have joined the race thus far, and another ten have indicated their interest in launching their own runs. Some of these are serious candidates but others may easily convert the Republican primary into a circus, especially if the serious contenders allow themselves to move to the far-right on account of the more conservative candidates only to ensure victory in the primaries.

The great challenge of the Republican Party is that it is deeply divided in its ideology and offers very little in terms of new solutions. In its place, the GOP continues to promulgate policies that deny basic truths, like the threat posed by climate change or the socioeconomic inequality that exists in our country: a situation that puts them in an antagonistic position with the vast majority of the United States, ideologically and politically.

Among the many things that distinguish them from Republicans, Democrats on a fundamental level believe in the same principles of equality and opportunity that each American deserves. I have no doubt that each Democratic candidate is guided by the interests of our families and communities first, which unites them more than it separates them. Democrats understand that a competitive primary is an important opportunity to consolidate a united vision toward the future progress of our nation. Therefore, I’m sure that during these next few months, each candidate will offer important perspectives about how they might be able to work together to advance real immigration reform and fix an economic system that disproportionately favors our country’s elite.

I would like to conclude with an invitation to our community, to closely observe this primary process to be fully prepared and informed to make a decision come 2016. Soon they will realize that although nothing is guaranteed for any candidate, we can, at this time, highlight that there is a candidate who stands out from her positions, actions and experience. I firmly believe Hillary Clinton is the most qualified candidate and, I would venture to say, necessary to bring about a more just and balanced society and environment to confront the greatest challenges that await her.

This article originally appeared in Spanish in the Washington Hispanic.