The Centre Cannot Hold

Once unthinkable a mere 8 months ago, Donald Trump has presumably wrapped up the Republican nomination for president. His entrance into what perhaps was the deepest Republican field in years seemed nothing more than a joke, yet here we are with only three candidates left standing. Mr. Trump is a product of right wing rage against a system they feel is stacked against them, and represents a radical pivot to an America first ideology that is sharply different from the policies pursued by the current administration.

On the other side of the aisle however things are not much better. Front runner Hillary Clinton has been unable to put away Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist (which used to be an insult tossed at left leaning politicians and was the kiss of death politically a mere decade ago), who has built a so called “political revolution” on the idea of economic equality. His persistence and success has dragged the Clinton campaign ever leftward, creating a vacuum in the political center where many people find themselves unwilling to support either candidate. When one candidate is an isolationist right wing demagogue, and the other is a leftwing firebrand of social justice flirting with many democratic socialist ideals, then those in the middle are left without a port in the storm.

No matter your opinion of Mr. Trump, violence certainly seems to follow his campaign either in the forms of his supporters or those protesting him and what they believe he stands for. And while the Democratic contest has not descended into violence, it is hard not to imagine a general election escalation of the conflict between both sides. Moderates face a dilemma, and one that will not be simply solved by sitting out the process, for then the election is truly ruled by partisan passion. Either way, things are falling apart, and it seems the centre cannot hold.

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