The South Carolina primaries on the evening of Feb. 20 marked the end of the road for Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who announced that he was dropping out of the race.
Another one bites the dust, as they say, but this particular dropout from the Republican primaries is a special one. For those who haven’t been following the election cycle since the beginning, here’s why: No one expected this to happen.
At the dawn of the campaign, the vast majority of pundits and other spectators were anticipating a Bush/Clinton rematch. There were a few outliers trumpeting Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz or Bernie Sanders, of course, but those proponents were pretty much laughed out of opinion columns and talk shows across the nation.
“I’d vote for Bernie Sanders, but there’s no way he’ll beat Hillary” and “Donald Trump is a joke that’ll be over in three months” were commonplace sentiments, even among students at Case Western Reserve University.
Yet, here we are, mere months away from the election, and there aren’t many people on or off campus saying things like that anymore. Jeb Bush is out of the race, a distant fourth in the South Carolina primary behind, of all people, Trump.
Writing that still feels wrong to me—like a joke—yet it’s the world we’re currently living in.
I’ve always been against the notion that experience in politics is a bad thing. However I also feel that being an insider is, in fact, a bad thing. The distinction can be blurred at times, but I think it’s one that people can recognize and appreciate.
Bush was one of the biggest insiders we’ve ever seen in American politics. Not one, but two, of his relatives have been in the White House, and he’s related to countless others who have been influential in politics on the local, state and national scales. Now, though, he’s out for good. This is honestly groundbreaking.
At this point, we’ve achieved a sort of victory. Regardless of your party or your general political affiliation, you probably realize that it’s a good thing that we’ve averted that “predetermined” election of Jeb Bush vs. Hillary Clinton. The whole point of American-brand democracy is that we’re supposed to avoid and prevent that whole dynasty phenomenon, and it very nearly happened. Luckily the American people have had enough; for better or worse, Trump and Sanders are real possibilities for the nomination.
That’s making history, and at the very least, that’s something we can be proud of.
Danny Miles is a second-year student.