Do voters get a say this election?

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, December 29, 2015

By Malachi Baggett

As we get into this election, it is becoming more apparent that parties push the candidates that they want to succeed.

On the Democrat side, there is a large push for Hillary Clinton.

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On the Republican side, because there are so many candidates, it is hard to pick just one. Trump is obviously being pushed, as well as Bush and Rubio.

The Democrats protect Hillary by scheduling a debate on a Saturday night in case she has a bad performance. They also protect her by doing everything that they can to handicap Bernie Sanders. A mistake in a data program that allowed the Sanders campaign to see Clinton’s data occurred just before the last debate.  The Sanders campaign fired the staffer that accessed the data and worked to resolve this issue, and yet the DNC still attempted to ban him from his own data indefinitely.

On the other side of the aisle, as they say, FOX News is the soap box on which the GOP stands so tall.  Polls conducted by FOX News online have continually listed all candidates except for Rand Paul, leaving the last option as “Other.” As a result, Paul, who had a great last debate, may not be on the main stage in the upcoming debate, as FOX News is putting it on and he will not likely make it into the top five in their polls. In polls among other news outlets, Paul ranks in third or fourth (sometimes second right behind Trump), placing in the middle of the pack, which is a bump as a result from his last debate performance. In fact, according to FOX News polls, Paul and Bush both come in at 3 percent, yet Bush will certainly be on the main stage.

Paul and Sanders both challenge their party’s status quo. In very different ways, the two candidates go against the norms and challenge people to think about new ideas.  They do not resort to cheesy one-liners that draw the crowd in that “oh man, if I don’t clap then I don’t love America” clap.

Instead, they use logic that challenge old, establishment ideas and seek to push change. Does a change to the status quo scare party leaders this much? Both sides claim to be for the people and leaders for change, yet they seek to shut up the people that pursue real change, and both continue plodding in the same worn path.

Malachi Baggett is a senior political science major at the University of Mississippi. Contact him at