News

History teachers weigh in on postponement of Democratic National Convention


May 12, 2020

By Anthony Paolazzi
Staff Writer

The Democratic National Committee announced on April 2 that the Democratic National Convention that was originally scheduled for July 13-16 has been rescheduled for Aug. 17-20. The convention is to be held at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wis. However, there is also a chance that the event will take place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.

History teacher Mr. Tessalone said there is a distinct possibility that the convention will move online.

“Think about this from a public health perspective and a political one. From a public health perspective, it would be very difficult to remain socially distant at a political convention,” Tessalone said. “People travel to these conventions from all around the country. These people would then travel back to their respective homes and could potentially spread the virus.”

Tessalone said it makes sense for political events to be shut down during the pandemic.

“Politically, think about the negative impact on a presidential campaign if hundreds got seriously ill at a convention supporting one of the candidates,” Tessalone said.

“Because of how big the impact the coronavirus is having and will continue to have on our economy, people will vote for whomever they feel will bring back their job(s) and allow them to live a normal life.”

He said it is even more likely for the convention to take place virtually now that Vermont senator Bernie Sanders dropped out of the Democratic race for president.

“At the end of the day, the Democratic primary is over, and [former vice president] Joe Biden will be challenging Donald Trump for the presidency. It might have been a whole lot messier if Bernie Sanders did not drop out of the race for the Democrats,” Tessalone said. “Candidates have to be careful during times like crises. They obviously want to campaign and win an election, but they cannot overtly campaign in the face of a pandemic. Hopefully, both candidates handle both sides with tact.”

History teacher Mr. Marcus said the coronavirus will have a major impact on the presidential election in November.

“Our country’s political history stems primarily from economic factors. Because of how big the impact the coronavirus is having and will continue to have on our economy, people will vote for whomever they feel will bring back their job(s) and allow them to live a normal life,” Marcus said.

He said he does not believe Biden’s chances of being elected in November will be affected by the convention’s delay.

“He will be the nominee [anyway] since Bernie Sanders dropped out of the race for the presidency,” Marcus said.

Advanced Placement government and politics teacher Mr. Clifford said he believes Sanders dropped out of the race because he realized it would be extremely difficult for him to earn enough delegates to win the nomination.

“Due to the COVID-19 social distancing measures, it would be almost impossible for Bernie Sanders to hold rallies and attempt to gain support,” Clifford said. “His campaign felt that without the grassroots campaigning techniques, it would be an impossible task to defeat VP Biden in state primary elections.”

Clifford said Sanders made the right decision by ending his presidential bid.

“The Democratic Party needs to unite so that they can work together to win the general election in November,” Clifford said. “It was the right move to make for the party.”

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