Donald Trump shouts at them, enrages them, disgusts them. Words sometimes cannot express the intensity of the emotions that the president of the United States evokes in Democratic voters. With three months until the presidential primaries in Iowa, the first American state to vote in the race for the White House, Democratic voters seem to have something in common. They are paralyzed by the prospect of the possible reelection of this reviled president.
The Democratic camp has not overcome the consequences of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 defeat. And the plethora of candidates—there are still 13—has left them uncertain. Should they listen to their heart or to reason? Should they opt for a moderate candidate like former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Amy Klobuchar or the young Pete Buttigieg? Or should they bet on the ambitious and staunchly leftist platforms of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders?
On Friday, the candidates, who assembled for their party’s big rally which drew 13,000 people to Des Moines, Iowa’s capital, offered two very distinct ideological approaches. They illustrated the profound divisions at the heart of the party, divisions to which Trump has contributed. And that right there is the power of this president who does not retreat in the face of any lie, any provocation or any attack in order to beat his adversaries.
The road to the White House is still long, but it’s clear that to have a chance at beating Trump, Democrats must find a candidate capable of inspiring Americans, while also being prepared to get down in the mud, the president’s preferred terrain. And as of now, none of the hopefuls have succeeded at standing out from the crowd. That’s a worrisome prospect for all the Americans who dream of seeing Trump defeated on Nov. 3, 2020.
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