The Elephant in the Room and the Party

By Bryan Mackay

Disunity in US politics.

Disunity in US politics.

American politics have become quite a spectacle for the global audience. From Black Lives Matter interrupting a Bernie Sanders rally to Hillary Clinton facing a committee, something vaguely entertaining seems to be happening everywhere. Of course, the biggest name thus far is Donald Trump. A businessman-turned-television-icon known best for his catchphrase “You're Fired,” he has gone on to fulfill his life-long dream of angering absolutely everyone possible - and running for president, I guess. His infamy has reached the point that it has made Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes, major figures in the Conservative Right, call him out.

With Trump as the star of the show, the Republican Party finds itself at a strange impasse. Their most popular candidate is essentially a jester in the eyes of many, and he's managing to overshadow all other candidates. In contrast, the Democratic Party has two major names at the forefront of its race: Hillary Clinton, who has built up her pedigree for decades, and Bernie Sanders, a smaller name who has built up a surprisingly large following. Eight years after America's Conservative Right found its candidates overshadowed by the rising star, Barack Obama, it finds itself in the same situation.

The Republican Party, as it is now, is in a rut. After years of political dominance, they find themselves unable to get a solid footing in the presidential seat. Any goodwill is lost by the increasing radicalization of their members. Now what? Will they spend the next few years decrying a liberal government and radicalizing further?

Between this and Justin Trudeau’s recent successful campaign in Canada, it seems like conservatism is in decline in North America. In an age of social media, the right has been unable to impress youth. Programs like The Daily Show push them even more towards the left, as they begin to see the right as somewhat insane.

This all isn't a good thing for the American left either. Unlike in Canada, the Senate in the US is separate from the Cabinet of the Presidency, and is elected separately. In the Obama years, despite a successful campaign, he found himself hamstrung by a Republican Senate that decried his rule in every shape, way, and form. While I do not blame every failing of the Obama administration (i.e. drones) on an unwilling Congress, it is undeniable that the mismatch hurt his rule, and by extension, the country.

Such a mismatch happens due to the separate voting system. Youth are simply less likely to vote in the seemingly unimportant votes for Congress. Seeing as that age group is what pushes the Democrats so far, this leads to Republican victories across the country. So, with barely any conservative presence beyond a TV personality disliked by his own party, what happens? Will we see another Democratic win, and then eight more years of a stubborn Republican Congress?

America's political climate is in trouble, to put it simply. Its current status will lead to no sort of unity, only disorganization. This will only serve to wound the country further, when it needs healing.


Bryan Mackay is a recent graduate from Carleton University. At his time at university, he minored in Film and thus learned a lot about the film medium and industry. He started this blog in order to post his thoughts on films made before 1970 that caught his eye for thematic or stylistic reasons, hoping that others may be interested in his thoughts and opinions on several films.