dem debate 1

Opinion columnist Jamie Hawley argues that Democrats need to unify if they want to win the presidency in 2020, even if it means supporting their least favorite candidate.


On Tuesday, the Hollywood Reporter published an interview with Hillary Clinton that had been kept in a time capsule since 2016 — or at least that’s what it reads like. 

In the interview, Clinton viciously attacks current Democratic front-runner and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, saying “nobody likes him” and he’s a “career politician.” While these are certainly biting words from someone with the last name Clinton, they are also the latest blows dealt in the Democratic civil war that will have many, many casualties.

Primary seasons are exhausting. This one has felt 10 years long and included dozens of candidates, with 16 Democrats still in the race. At this point, my vote is going to whoever’s Twitter annoys me the least.

But while campaigns are always tiresome, there are only so many times you can stomach the same ad, even if you like the candidate. This season has been made worse by the ever-increasing amount of party infighting, not only by the supporters of Democratic candidates, but by the candidates themselves and party elites like Clinton, who just want to watch the world burn.

I understand this is a competition. The United States' electoral process has been gamified past all recognition. The point is to win, and to win a popularity contest, you have to prove you’re better than your opponent.

But this isn’t a comparison of policy or experience.

US should cease aggression against Iran and withdraw from Iraq

This is Clinton attacking Sanders for his likability. This is Sanders and Warren fighting over a year-old quote. This is Twitter wars over whether moderates or progressives have a better shot at winning the White House, all predicated on the ridiculous fact that there were voters in 2016 who thought to themselves, “Hillary Clinton isn’t progressive enough for me, so I’m going to vote for Gary Johnson, who wants to eliminate the Department of Education.”

Donald Trump is poisonous. His presidency has resulted in pain and suffering for thousands of people, and his actions in Iran are a sign of much more suffering to come. His presidency has a death count. It is crucial that we remove him from the White House.

But here’s the thing: All presidencies have death counts. We live in a country that consistently puts the well-being of its elites above the well-being of the rest of the world’s population, and the presidency has as much to do with the perpetuation of this atrocity as any other aspect of government.

There is never going to be a perfect candidate. There is never going to be someone who checks all your boxes and shares all your ideals. But there will always be a better candidate. We can always take one step closer to the light.

That’s what we have to do in November, and we’re going to do it by voting for the Democratic nominee — even if it’s Joe Biden.

I’m begging all Democrats to cool it. Chill for two seconds. Don’t listen to the Clintons, the clickbait or the bots. Debate the ideas that matter: ideas of policy and morality.

Support the candidate who speaks to you, the one who you believe has the best shot at doing the best things.

If that candidate isn’t nominated in July, then support the one who is.

Jamie Hawley is a senior from Salina studying English, political science, and communications.