Tensions mount as candidates press their advantage or continue hijacking media space with their antics (Trump) and frontrunners decidedly emerge from the chaotic fields of the primaries and caucuses. Candidates enter into a sort of limbo in which they are both uniquely susceptible to criticism and yet oddly untouchable. Those that realize the futility of their positions in the eye of the public hang their heads in defeat and withdraw, choosing to instead fight another day for another position, or at least give some deference to those deemed more desirable than they. Yet, even as the champions step forward to accept their laurels, both rival camps coalesce into blocks of support for their parties to stand on. To oppose the nominees in any manner is akin to blasphemy for the party leaders and a simple word of defiance could lead to excommunication.
Do not let a romanticized version of events lull you into a sense that this election has been all cake and rainbows. This most important of races has become as politically charged and dirty as elections know how to be. The backbiting and coalitions against certain candidates has rocked the very ground this nation currently stands on. In this time of unrest, both parties demand the unwavering support of their fellows as they enter the most trying part of the election process: the election itself. To even speak out against but one policy is to bring down the crushing might of the political party to perform political suicide. There is a strong mindset of either being completely enamored with a candidate or utterly opposed– there is no in between.
This simple act of defensiveness stands out most with the democratic frontrunner, Hillary Clinton. A single comment against Hillary seems to spur a slew of negative responses as individuals accuse the opposition of being disciples of Trump, fascists consumed with changing the United States into some sort of cult or at least an exclusive resort that will allow entry only to those that are deemed worthy. To go against Hillary’s stance on the economy is to beg the rejoinder that perhaps a certain other candidate would be better suited to serve your country with his understanding of The Art of the Deal. Perhaps another could support your elitist dreams, they seem to say, another with the hair of Johnny Bravo and the face of an upset potato. Just because one does not believe in every policy set forth by their party of choice does not mean that they would love nothing better than to get in bed with the other side’s ideals.
Hillary is much more right wing than her main opponent in the primaries. How is it possible then that one cannot disagree with her more right-wing policies without being labeled as a communist or fascist? We must begin to support candidates, not parties because it is easier and more accurate to choose from a spectrum of ideas than the two-faced finality of a coin flip. Voting for anyone should not come as a betrayal for it is you who should make the final informed choice. Do not let the parties bully you into standing behind a position you do not fully believe in or particularly care about. You must look to the candidate that is best suited for your needs and choose them regardless of biases held by those around you.