Other than for anyone who has been living under the proverbial rock for the past few months, it is fair to say that the 2016 Presidential primary election campaign has drawn the most controversy and the most attention in our nation’s history.
There are many reasons for this, chief among them being the candidacies of billionaire businessman Donald Trump on the Republican side and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side, both of whom have expressed views considered outside of the mainstream of their respective parties and who have energized voting blocs that traditionally do not participate in elections.
Both Trump and Sanders have channeled the anger shared by a large segment of our populace who are frustrated with the current state of affairs in our nation. Though Trump and Sanders come from opposite ends of the political spectrum, their candidacies have demonstrated in stark and clear terms that the great Middle American body politic that has held our nation together for the past four generations has snapped like a rubber band and has recoiled to the far left and to the far right.
Americans of all ages and all education levels (other than the very wealthy) have not seen their standard of living rise in decades, and many have fallen far behind economically. Both Trump and Sanders have promised to restore the American Dream, though by vastly different means of attaining that end.
Furthermore, both Sanders and Trump are benefiting from the overall polarization of our political discourse, which has become a two-edged sword for all of the candidates in both parties.
In addition, this is the first time in eight years that there is not an incumbent President seeking re-election, a factor that enhances interest on both sides of the political spectrum.
So we urge every resident to go to the polls to cast their vote for the candidate of their choice. For the first time in a while, our votes in Massachusetts really will matter in the contests for delegates for both the Democrats and Republicans.
We would note that voters who are unenrolled in either party (Massachusetts uses the term unenrolled for independent) are eligible to vote Tuesday. An unenrolled voter declares a party at the check-in table at the polling location and will be given the ballot for the party requested. Unenrolled voters automatically will revert to unenrolled status for future elections.
There is a lot at stake in this year’s Presidential election. We urge every citizen to exercise their right to vote for the candidate of their choosing.