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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: The DNC needs to take a step back and let Bernie have a fair shot at the Democratic nomination

The 2016 election season has been riddled with tension on all fronts. Whether through memes or “Saturday Night Live” skits; it seems every voter has something to say about the candidates and the candidates have a lot to say about one another. This influx of media, especially technology-centered media, has created a seemingly more interested young-voter base.

An important player in every election is the Democratic National Committee. Thousands of Democratic voters look to the guidance of the DNC in primary elections to find the candidate most suited for the job. However, there has been a lot of tension this election season between the DNC and one Democratic candidate in particular.

Rumors have swirled about the DNC seemingly going after Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Between keeping the Sanders campaign from important voter data after a Sanders worker accessed files from the Clinton campaign last year, to the reversal of President Barack Obama’s ban on campaign contributions by lobbyists in February 2008, there has clearly been disagreement between Sanders and the DNC.

I spoke with Joseline Mata, president of University of Arizona Young Democrats, regarding her stance on the DNC’s actions this election season. She pointed out that she believes the DNC was completely justified in punishing the Sanders campaign for its breach in security. She believes since Sanders broke the bylaws of the DNC, there had to be some push back.

“If the Clinton campaign had done it, there would have been the same consequences,” Mata said.

Many people believe that this is not the case. If the Clinton campaign would have done the same, it is unclear whether the DNC would have responded in the same way—had it noticed at all. The repeated attacks on Sanders’ campaign give the impression that throughout this election, his actions have been viewed under a microscope in a way that the Clinton campaign has not. There hasn’t been a lot of wiggle room for the “anti-establishment” candidate.

These rising tensions, however, came to the forefront once again last week when DNC Vice Chair Tulsi Gabbard stepped down from her role in order to endorse Sanders, telling NBC’s “Meet the Press,” “I think it’s most important for us, as we look at our choices as to who our next commander in chief will be, is to recognize the necessity to have a commander in chief who has foresight, who exercises good judgment.”

This clearly reveals that the DNC is trying to steer voters in Clinton’s direction during this Democratic primary. Whether it has intentionally been going after Sanders the whole election season, a representative making the judgment that the only way she can endorse Sanders is to resign from her post, is rather telling of the internal workings of the DNC.

For students going through this election season—especially those who are first time voters—it’s easy to get caught up in the dramatic media narrative being written. There is a clear reason to look to the governing body of your preferred political party for some guidance.

The DNC knows that it is looked to for such guidance, and therefore is taking advantage of a less established voter base.

“The DNC works to create a strong relationship with college-age students knowing that this is a formative time for young adults to develop their opinions and become more knowledgeable,” Mata said.

It reaches out through social media platforms and by creating, sponsoring and employing a network of students like the Young Democrats. The DNC is working to shape college students as they learn and understand their own personal political views in a more concrete sense.

Nonetheless, the bias for who the DNC believes is best suited for the role of commander in chief has been very clear this election season. Its vocal media presence with issues regarding both candidates is its way of shaping and changing young voters’ minds.

All we can hope is that the DNC has been able to teach these young Democrats that they are able to make a truly and fairly informed decision on the right candidate, independent from all the media sensationalism.

Follow Sabrina Etcheverry on Twitter.

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