By former Assemblymember Steven Sanders
Some people think that this is the most consequential Presidential election since 1860. I agree.
Had Democrat Stephen Douglas or any of the other candidates defeated Republican Abraham Lincoln, it is unlikely that the “peculiar institution” of slavery would have ended three years later. The savage brutality would have continued for years, maybe decades more. Southern states that had a vested economic interest in preserving the status quo would have grown stronger. The ramifications of that are impossible to calculate or even imagine. But it would have continued to tear at the fabric of this country, our ideals, our morality and our democratic institutions. The course of American history and our trajectory as a world leader would have forever been changed.
It is 160 years later now, and the election of 2020 is fast approaching. The Republican candidate will be its incumbent, Donald Trump. As for the Democrats, well, that is a much different story. There are still a half dozen candidates who are seriously vying for the nomination. In two months, on April 28, Democratic voters from Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village along with the rest of the state will get their say. That is the date of the New York Presidential Primary. And it may be pivotal.
After the very early voting in Iowa and New Hampshire, one thing is certain. The mayor of South Bend Indiana has emerged as a major contender. His name is Pete Buttigieg. I have watched his unlikely rise with fascination.