By Jordan Cozby
As Democrats move forward following both a bruising 2016 primary and general election cycle, it’s important that we learn from our mistakes and improve our message. However, we should also be cautious about ignoring the nuances of the 2016 elections. In many Democratic races shaping up for 2017 and 2018 elections, journalists and activists alike have often framed potential primaries within an oversimplified Clinton-Sanders dichotomy. This paradigm does a disservice to the Democratic Party’s big-tent ideology, its candidates, and voters as a whole. For instance, Yale alumnus Tom Perriello is running in this year’s heated Virginia Democratic gubernatorial primary. Though Perriello is attempting to garner support from progressive voters, he’s disputed comparisons between himself and Senator Sanders, instead believing himself to be more of an Obama-style reformer. In other races across the nation, similar competitive, healthy primaries will be taking place. We should encourage all candidates and evaluate potential Democratic leaders on their own merits, not by simply comparing them to Clinton or Sanders.