Presidential elections heat up


Graphic by Tam Duong Jr./The Pioneer

Photos Courtesy of Propaula R. Lively and Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Louis LaVenture,

The presidential primaries are nearing a close, and while Donald Trump has all but secured the Republican nomination, the Democratic elect is yet to be determined.

At the moment, it seems Hillary Clinton has a firm grasp on the nomination, but not if Bernie Sanders has anything to say about it. Sanders has already gone on record saying that if Clinton wins, he will contest the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July, meaning he will not accept his party’s nomination if it isn’t him.

This means that since Trump has dismantled all of his Republican competition, he has the luxury to sit back and watch the bloodbath that will be the Democratic nomination. This leaves Clinton with two battles — an impending one against Trump and the current one within her own party against Sanders.

There are many reasons that Clinton has not received the full Democratic support, including a lack of transparency that started when she did not release all of her work-related emails to the State Department like she said she had. Also, the current FBI investigation into her illegal use of a home  server that could lead to her indictment, has led many critics to question if somebody should be allowed to run for president while federally indicted. Meanwhile, Sanders has managed to capitalize on her downfalls and swoop up the on-the-fence supporters, which has kept him in the race.

For Clinton to defeat Trump, she’ll need to win over the Sanders’ supporters, which currently seems impossible, as well as the numerous people trapped in the middle who hold no allegiance. Sanders supporters have been adamantly against Clinton for the way she has gone about her political business. Clinton’s reaction to the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attacks that saw four Americans murdered, including an ambassador, will be remembered by her response to lawmaker’s questions: “What difference at this point does it make?”

All of the controversy aside, the bigger questions for those undecided and even those aligned with parties are: Is Clinton pretending to get votes? And are Trump’s actions just acts to garner attention?

I guess we will never have the true answers to these questions and voters will just have to do their best at determining who they would like to run the United States. Trump continues to put his foot in his mouth with minorities, most recently when he posted a picture of himself eating a Trump Hotel taco bowl on Cinco de Mayo with the caption: “Happy #CincoDeMayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!”

The same man who proposed to build a wall that blocks Mexico from the United States claimed he loved Hispanics? Ironic? Many critics believe so. It is this oblivious and insensitive attitude that has led to raucous opposition to his campaign, highlighted last month when his Burlingame visit was blocked by protesters. Trump’s motorcade was forced to stop on the 101 highway and enter the venue through a side entrance.

“That was not the easiest entrance I’ve ever made,” Trump told supporters during his speech. “We went under a fence and through a fence, and, oh boy, it felt like I was crossing the border, actually.”

As if he didn’t do enough damage in the Bay Area with that comment, Trump put his foot in his mouth again last week when he was asked by The New York Times what the most dangerous places he has visited were. His initial response was Brooklyn and then he turned his attention elsewhere.

“There are places in America that are among the most dangerous in the world,” Trump told the Times. “You go to places like Oakland. Or Ferguson. The crime numbers are worse. Seriously.”

In an email to The East Bay Times after hearing Trump’s comment, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said, “The most dangerous place in America is Donald Trump’s mouth.”

With Trump consistently burning bridges with his insensitive comments, Clinton being evasive and lacking transparency and Sanders trailing in a distant third place, the question for Americans shifts from who do you want to be president to who are you going to settle for.