Why so many Republican candidates is a good thing

Peter Linder, Staff Writer

In early 2015, when America was preparing for Republicans to declare their candidacy, most had a vague image of the main contenders: Jeb Bush, holding a moderate stance on most issues and coming from a key swing state; Mike Huckabee, representing the Christian right, Rand Paul, representing the growing non-interventionist side of the GOP, and a few others. However, in the time between March and July, the race for candidacy exploded into a competition between sixteen candidates, and what shocked people even more was that none of the previously mentioned candidates were even holding the top positions in the poles. While many believe the stage is too crowded for comfort and believe this setting could lead to a diluted look at issues, with extremist views gaining attention in the media, I believe that this number of candidates in the GOP is more beneficial than destructive.

For one, having such a large number of candidates allows for a greater variety of new faces and ideas, and prevents the support of the party from being sucked into throwing their lot behind the candidates whose name and history may precede their ability to lead.

One need only look at the current field of Democratic candidates to see the consequences of a lack of choices. At this point, the Democratic primaries have been narrowed down to three candidates. First, Hillary Clinton, a unionist, and former first lady with an extensive, scandalous-ridden political career. Then there’s Bernie Sanders, a self-styled socialist who has showed that he is not unwilling to tax over 90% of Americans’ wealth. With either Clinton or Sanders on the Democratic ticket, almost any Republican candidate would be able to either exploit Sander’s socialist ideas as un-American, and single them out as prelude to utter populism, or anarchy, while Clinton could be extensively attacked for her track record regarding Benghazi and her email controversy, both considerable issues.

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The arena of Republican candidates is also remarkably diverse, containing two candidates of Latino descent (Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio), an African American (Ben Carson) and a woman (Carly Fiorina) to remind us that American politics is not simply a white boys’ club. This could not be said about the field of Republican candidates in 2012.

Much of the attention of the Americans toward the GOP primaries has been turned toward billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump, who has been leading in the Republican primary polls since July. He is somewhat of a controversial figure, and though his nomination as the Republican candidate is possible, it is far from a foregone conclusion. It is likely that come Caucus time, Republican voters will drift to a more politically experienced––and better versed–– establishment candidate. However, I believe that even Trump has a place in the primaries, as only he has been able to bring important issues to focus, which other candidates were too afraid to bring about because of political correctness.

The Democratic field has lost three candidates, leaving a mere two Democrats entering the nomination process, while the Republicans have already experienced five drop outs, yet leaving an astounding twelve candidates gearing up for the primaries. While many see the Republican race as too crowded for comfort, I think that this number is just right, making the Republicans that much more likely to choose the right candidate to duel the Liberal opponent in the upcoming battle for the White House.