Point-counterpoint: the Democratic primaries

Two students make their case for who to caucus for in the upcoming Democratic primaries.

It’s almost time for Iowa to become relevant again. With the Iowa primaries just around the corner, campaigns are ramping up their advertising and trying to sell people on their platforms. Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders have both led the Iowa Polls at different times during this campaign cycle and in this article two WSS writers explain why they support their candidate.

Jack Harris ’22, supports Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders doesn’t care about trying to pander to potential voters. He has made that very clear. In an interview with the New York Times, Sanders said,“I’m not good at pleasantries. If you have your birthday, I’m not going to call you up to congratulate you, so you’ll love me and you’ll write nice things about me.” Instead Sanders is aggressive with his opinions. He comes out full speed ahead, and at first you might be caught off guard, but by the time he’s finished talking you’re on his side. Sanders is incredibly ambitious and has big goals for what he wants to accomplish in his presidency.

His blunt, hardcore approach has truly captured the attention of millions, including myself.”

— Jack Harris '22

He wants to change the way America faces climate change with “The Green New Deal”; he wants to completely change the way America treats healthcare with Medicaid for all; he wants to help break the cycle of poverty by making college free for everyone; he wants to help combat the national debt and make the economy work for everyone by heavily taxing the wealthy and corporations and turning the minimum wage into a livable wage. Even though Sanders has some policies similar to those of other candidates, his blunt, hardcore approach has truly captured the attention of millions, including myself. He is clear and determined when it comes to the points that he is trying to make and his headstrong, no-BS approach commands attention and respect. While many candidates have compelling platforms, not only is Sanders the candidate that has been the most thorough and hard-lined when it comes to his policies, he also has the attitude and approach to actually get them made into law.



Ava Reed ’23, supports Pete Buttigieg

When you see Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaking, he bases his arguments off two things: facts and realistic plans. In debates, he is able to back his arguments with official and proven facts, instead of rambling with weak structured arguments. He realizes with the current system in place, which all candidates can agree needs to be changed, spending trillions of dollars towards something completely new will be a big risk. While more leftist candidates are proposing new laws, policies and changes to our whole economic system on a grand level, Mayor Buttigieg takes into account the current situation and thinks practically. For example, the Green New Deal is possible, but in its wake it will completely destroy the economy and most middle and lower class American households won’t be ready for the sudden change it would bring. The deal will knock down lower class families who aren’t ready for the new system they are already struggling in. 

He has ideas to change the warped system that hurts the ones who rely on it most.”

— Ava Reed '23

Mayor Buttigieg suggests a more slow yet effective approach to climate change, that will not just be sustainable for the environment, but will be sustainable and cause little fallout in the years to come from trying to build back the economy. Mayor Buttigieg also does lots of work on a more local level, trying to help those in smaller groups who need it. He focuses on changing the smaller things that will affect states and cities, he’s more focused, and because of this small target approach, he has everything laid out already. This isn’t to say he won’t do things on a national level, because he does have national plans as well. He has ideas to change the warped system that hurts the ones who rely on it most, to provide military benefits and to take money that’s going to the wealthier people and redirect it into local problems or other smaller issues. Not to mention the fact that Buttigieg will be the first openly gay president in office, which will open so many doors for LGBTQ rights. When Mayor Buttigieg speaks and reaches out, he provides facts and new ideas, supported by what they’ll do and how it will help America.


Jack’s response:

Pete Buttigieg is a great candidate, maybe even my number two option, but that being said he has some issues and questions surrounding him. First and foremost, his lack of experience at a national level. Buttigieg has been a small-town mayor for several years, which is likely why he cares so much about helping people on the local level. But helping small groups of people at a local level is not part of the President’s job. The President needs ambitious trillion dollar plans that are designed to alter the course of American history and improve the lives of all 350 million Americans. For example, the Green New Deal, which is not perfect and definitely requires some adjustments, but that’s the way it’s designed. The Green New Deal is a set of goals, not laws, to be carried out over several decades, in order to improve the US economy and prevent climate change. Pete Buttigieg is a smart person who always likes to stay realistic. The issue with always trying to keep things completely realistic is that you won’t be implementing the big policy changes that will help improve the country dramatically.