Justin Pinard | firstname.lastname@example.org
Perhaps the biggest point of discussion about the first of six Democratic presidential primary debates was how rigged and laughable it seemed to be.
The five big contenders fighting for the spot of Democratic presidential nominee took to the stage on Wednesday, October 14th, in the first of six planned debates – compared to the Republicans’ twelve – to showcase the track records and policy positions of the five candidates. Since the debate, however, two of the candidates – former Virginia Senator Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Senator and Governor Lincoln Chafee – have already dropped out. The reasons for this are many: from consistently low polling numbers to accusations of blatant bias that have been leveled against CNN and even the Democratic National Committee itself. Frankly, the whole debate was one big farce.
The debate started off with the five candidates – including Senator Bernie Sanders, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Governor Martin O’Malley – introducing themselves. As if that wasn’t enough of a bore, Clinton immediately dodged Anderson Cooper’s question, “will you do anything to get elected?” by describing herself vaguely as “a progressive who likes to get things done.”
This was followed by Sanders’ typical response to a question related to his socialist identity and policies: basically, Scandinavia is awesome! “We should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway.” Maybe we could, if our population was 5 million (and not 320 million) and 85% blond-haired, blue-eyed Caucasians (and not the most ethnically mixed Western nation in the world). Perhaps it would also be possible if we relied almost entirely on Sweden for defense, allowing us to spend most of our budget on welfare and other social programs.
The next great crux of the debate came to guns – great! Now we can see just how anti-2nd Amendment some of the candidates are – oh, or you can attack the NRA for no reason. That’s a great stance too.
Eventually, after Webb became frustrated with being asked the fewest questions, Clinton was asked about her e-mails – but was suddenly defended by Sanders, who, being a socialist, obviously speaks for all Americans. He declared that “the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails.” In radical left-wing echo chambers, perhaps. I myself, however, tend to like to know if presidential candidates are actually liars and potentially law-breakers.
She similarly refused to answer a related question from Chafee – interestingly making herself look more defensive than if she had simply answered it in a confident manner. But everyone applauded her anyway, so that’s fine.
Then, possibly the most important question of the night: do black lives matter, or do all lives matter? It seems the Democratic candidates, save Webb, are all interested in pandering by all declaring that “black lives matter”. What ever happened to “the people” or the egalitarian principles the United States was founded on? With total respect to the “BLM” movement, all the Democratic candidates seem to be able to do is talk only about specific groups (be it “the middle class”, “Wall Street”, women, or some other distinct group of Americans), only seeking to further divide rather than unite. Either way, the question and its associated answers seem to be the most blatant pandering of the whole debate – and the most unnecessary, as well.
The last jaw-dropping question of the whole debate asked how each candidate’s presidency wouldn’t simply be “Obama’s third term”. Sanders, Webb, Chafee, and O’Malley all basically echoed one another in vague statements about “fighting for the middle class” and the like (with Sanders tacking on how electing him will somehow be a “revolution”) – but Clinton didn’t even try to hide why she thinks she’s the best candidate. “I think being the first woman president would be quite a change,” she said proudly. Apparently, pandering to one gender over the other is not only acceptable; it’s the only qualifier for being the leader of the country with the largest economy and military in the world. Who knew that would be the most important factor in choosing the leader of a meritocracy?
With the Democratic field now just limited to Clinton, Sanders, and O’Malley, it will take a miracle if the next five debates don’t just come down to the three (probably soon-to-be two) candidates pandering to the Democratic party’s base instead of actually trying to bring Americans together and end the divisive political bickering that has been so prevalent for years now. Either way, it will definitely take a huge amount of commitment to last through any more Democratic presidential debates for this election cycle.