What was once an election between political dynasties—the Clintons and the Bushes—has now turned into a complete free-for-all with both parties in search of a hero and a message that will translate to the masses. While one party is struggling to engage a critical voting block, the other is in an all out civil war, with the party leadership and rank-and-file members holding mutually opposed positions.
Let’s be real, none of our nation’s political parties are perfect, and Democrats and Republicans are having extreme problems keeping their respective bases in line.
Democrats need young Black voters to win. Blacks aged 18 to 44 made up 48 percent of the Black voters who turned out in 2012. Also, a recent analysis found that if Black support for Democrats drops from the numbers we saw in 2008 and 2012, it could cost the party a net loss of 2.8 million votes.
Reaching young Black voters means more than going to a couple of historic Black churches or appearing with civil rights-era leaders. It means engaging them in a substantive debate on policy solutions to issues of racial injustice, economic stagnation, and how the party plans on dealing with the issue of state-sanctioned police violence.
Don’t get me wrong, both Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have issued lengthy speeches and policy planks to solve many of this issues, but young Black voters aren’t looking for the broken promises that were handed down to our baby boomer parents. We are looking for action, and the both campaigns are coming up a little short.
Now, the Democrats aren’t alone when it comes to problems. The Grand Old Party is in a Grand Old Mess. What was supposed to a coronation of the fourth Bush presidential term is now a race to the bottom on rhetoric and a nomination contest that more closely resembles a scene from Mean Girls.
Thanks to Donald Trump, the reality star and entrepreneur turned hate spewing GOP candidate; the Republican Party has slowly shrunk its pool of potential voters. By alienating Latinos, blacks, and working families, the party has made its chances at the White House improbable.
There are many candidates in the GOP primary that are running really good ground games in Iowa and New Hampshire, like Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Marco Rubio. But none have been able to overcome Trump’s ability awake the silent majority, a group of Americans who have pushed out of the formal economy, silenced by society, and who espouse the feeling that someone has stolen the privilege right off their backs.
To win the presidency of the United States, one must create a big tent that includes as many voters as possible. Not just white voters, black voters, or Latino voters, but a large cross-section of all voters. So far, thanks to internal party struggles, no candidate has been able to get this done. Whichever party manages to get out of its own way and achieve that large cross-section will be awarded the White House and all the powers that come with it.