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Opinion: What is the future for the 2016 general election?

Back in March, I wrote an article about how absurdly entertaining the elections have gotten, and that we weren’t judging the candidates on their policy. However, as the remaining contenders gather their delegates for the general election, it seems that I may eventually get my wish. Why? Because the no longer hypothetical Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton scenario would require a civil war to function.

Let’s think about this logically: Hillary Clinton is going to win the democratic vote. She beat Sanders in the recent Apr. 26 primaries, adding to her 1,650 delegates and 519 superdelegates, outshining Bernie Sanders’ 1,348 delegates and 39 superdelegates. Furthermore, the superdelegates are designed to ensure a clear winner, and she is clearly in their favor.

Now, the media coverage on these two has been drastically different. “The rallying leader of today’s youth” and the “email scandal,” the former being a source of cries for change, a new wave in America’s politics that most millennials are attracted to and, despite the grim foretelling, are still overly supportive.

But with Clinton’s inevitable win, Sanders’ eccentric following will die out and the Democratic voters will need to judge the qualities in their representative. This is especially true since her views are not as socialist as Sanders’ and the most controversial thing surrounding her is negative.

Come general elections, Democrats will have to sit down and evaluate their future with Clinton and become convinced of her abilities, if she wishes to arouse as much support as her former competitor.

As for the Republican vote, Donald Trump, the sole republican candidate, was leading with 954 delegates (no supers on the Republican side), while Ted Cruz and John Kasich were trailing behind with 546 and 153 delegates respectively before dropping out. 

Originally, it could be said that Kasich would lose beyond the shadow of a doubt, However Kasich tried to team up with Cruz to deny Trump the general election, but as we all know, it didn’t work.

Both of them had rather different policies, such as Kasich’s agreement to hiring women and minorities and not expanding the military. These were complete opposites to Cruz’s wishes. Furthermore, Kasich and Cruz lacked the appeal that Trump has.

Like Sanders, Trump’s more radical take on his party’s’ policies, complemented by his fluent ability to speak his mind, has divorced him from the “corrupt political system” that candidates like Clinton and Cruz belong to. This brings no surprise regarding Trump’s response to the Kasich-Cruz alliance, stating “it shows how weak they are, it shows how pathetic they are,” according to a report from CNN.

Of course, calling them “pathetic” isn’t very sophisticated for the presidential race, especially when general elections arrive. We started this article with the fact that Trump beat the Kasich-Cruz pact and will be taking on Hillary Clinton for a seat in the Oval Office.

So how is that going to play out?

If Trump wants to win, he’s going to have to tone down. It’s not incredulous that Trump’s supporters love his uncensored expression, but it is equally apparent that this is the source of people’s dislike. The past months have been filled with obscene Trump comments, from his infamous claim thatMexico sends us rapists” to his punishment” for women who don’t uphold a potential outlaw of abortion.

I believe that if it weren’t for his Sanders-esque differences to his party, Trump would have been weighed down by his prejudiced remarks a long time ago. But it has harmed him, and in this fight against Clinton, it could easily be the end of him.  

The truth is, Trump has the negative track record of Clinton and the radical appeal of Sanders, so when facing off against the more disadvantaged half, he has to behave civilly and politely to shift our attention to Clinton’s mistakes. Otherwise, his infamous, unpopular rhetoric will prove what many fear to be a potential president.

Do I think that Trump is capable of treating the general election with sophistication? I can’t say, but he will need to if he wants to defeat Clinton: no name-calling; no personal attacks. Just debates that give insight into the future of America.

However, Trump continuing his normally behavior does not automatically give Clinton the win. She isn’t well-liked either, and we are unaware of potential surprises. But if Trump wants to play it smart, he will need to be cordial and discuss politics, not berate wildly.

Hopefully, now that we have ended up in a Trump vs. Hilary election, the former will try to exploit Clinton’s flaws by not approaching the general election as the finale of a reality TV show. That way, I won’t have to wake up next morning to another buzzing entertainment (not political) update.

–William Flannery

Illustration Credit: Joel Mayorga / The Foothill Dragon Press.