The first of six Democratic debates took place on Tuesday, October 13 and while it wasn’t nearly as hilarious as the Republican debate it was an overall strong event. The difference between the GOP debates and the Democratic debates are astounding. I don’t see how any Republican feels confident that any of their candidates can perform well in a general election; but that’s not what I’m writing about. I just wanted to give my impressions of the Democratic candidates. Also, CNN was very unfair in their time distribution. There were only five candidates on that stage, and for Lincoln Chafee to only receive five minutes of speaking time, O’Malley and Webb to barely break ten minutes, that’s an insult to democracy.
Lincoln Chafee – I was rooting for you Chafe, even though your people totally blew me off for an interview, after they said you were into it. I get it, maybe the articles about panda sex, the foul language, and overall humor of the site wasn’t your bag. But when you’re polling at 0% what can it hurt? If anything it brings attention to you for being a cool guy, who likes a couple of yuks every now and again. That being said, I still like Chafee as a person. He seems like a genuinely nice guy. He’s a goofball, but nothing he says is that outrageous. He’s the Democrat’s joke candidate, but the Democrat’s joke candidate is in last place, where as the GOP’s joke candidate, Trump , is leading the pack. Chafe, when you do eventually drop out, maybe then we can have that interview, because I really do have a soft spot for you.
Martin O’Malley – This dude is a Grade A certified sociopath. If you weren’t paying that close attention to the debate watch it again. I had to watch it twice, because by the time I got home from my friends, Nate Foster and Raquel Powell’s comedy showcase Couple’s Retreat which is once a month at The PIT in NYC , I was semi-drunk and super high. But, I watched it again, and this guy’s eyes don’t move. He is a dead behind the eyes lunatic. Seriously, watch again, he has no feeling behind his eyes, he is a drone. He also speaks in that soft manipulative tone that they train police to speak to you in.
Jim Webb – This dude would be a great moderate Republican candidate. Webb even mentioned early on in the debate that he barely chose to run as a Democrat. If the tea party hadn’t taken over the GOP, I believe Webb would be a front runner for their nomination. He sounds like what the Republicans used to be.
Hillary Clinton – She’s obviously a seasoned vet and knows how to debate. Her experience really showed and I think she came out looking really well. It has made me more confident that she would be able to beat any Republican if she gets the nomination.
Lawrence Lessig – He wasn’t on the stage for the first debate, because democracy. But, I saw this guy on Bill Maher’s show Friday night and he’s definitely a weirdo; but a weirdo fighting the good fight. He initially ran as a one issue candidate, but changed his mind after the DNC rejected him. His one issue is getting money out of politics. He is a self-proclaimed supporter of Bernie Sanders, and said that nothing Bernie or any of the other Democratic candidates want to do can be done unless corporate money is out of Congress . He is 100% right. Bernie acknowledges the same thing, and both Lessig and Bernie want to move to have publicly funded elections. I think Lessig is important to have around, because the more people shouting about the problems with money in politics the better. One piece of advice to Mr. Lessig, drop the Himmler glasses.
Last, but most certainly not least, Bernie Sanders . Bernie is my guy. The dude running who is the most genuine, and the most concerned with the future of American democracy. He is running without a superPAC, and has raised about $26 million , from about 700,000 small donors, averaging $30 a donation. What Bernie is saying, is obviously resonating with the working class people. Bernie stands for universal health care for all Americans (like the rest of the first world has). He stands for free public college and university tuition and cutting student loan interest rates by 50%. This will be paid for by an around 1% tax on Wall Street speculation; which as Bernie has pointed out, our tax dollars bailed out Wall Street when they wrecked the economy, it’s their turn to help the American people. Bernie wants to expand Social Security, paid for by lifting the cap on contributions into the program. Bernie wants to, as I mentioned earlier, move to publicly funded elections, so our representatives can spend their time governing instead of being on the phone asking for donations in exchange for favors. Many other things Bernie wants to do that you can check out at https://berniesanders.com …
Everything Bernie wants to do, is the right thing to do. But, if I’m being honest with you, the debate made me less enthusiastic about his run. NOT because Bernie did a bad job, I think he won the debate easily. But because I don’t know if Americans are ready. So much of what Bernie wants to do depends on as he says himself, “a political revolution.” Jim Webb said during the debate, “Bernie, I don’t think the revolution is coming.” I’m afraid Webb may be correct. While yes, Bernie is raising excitement in a way no other candidate is, drawing tens of thousands of people to his events, the polling shows he is holding steady around 23-30% depending on which poll you look at. Bernie’s entire campaign is dependent on the American people actually giving a shit about politics and most don’t. The vast majority of Americans are lazy, don’t read, and get their information from memes on Facebook and Twitter . A Sanders’ campaign is a winning campaign, when Americans are engaged, educated, and show up to the polls. I’m afraid 30% is all he can pull, because the people paying attention already are, and the people who aren’t, aren’t going to start anytime soon. I hope that I’m wrong, the optimist in me believes that people will just “get it. ” They will understand that Bernie is right and he is the only one up there genuinely fighting for the disappearing middle class. The realist in me is less confident.
I’m a Socialist and it is amazing to me that America has put a Democratic Socialist in second place in the Democratic primaries. That is HUGE, compared to what would have happened if he ran in any other decade. It is amazing to me that people are so opposed to socialism, when the most popular programs in the United States, Social Security, Medicare, the military, are socialist programs. Democratic Socialism is still capitalism, by the way. Sanders believes in the “free market. ” Democratic Socialists just tend to believe that that market must be well regulated to prevent the disaster that our economy has turned into. Democratic Socialists also believe, that health care and education ARE HUMAN RIGHTS. They also believe in standing up for the working class, and putting more power in the hands of the workers (who actually do all the work) and giving less power to the few CEO’s that run this country.
While, I hope I am wrong and the American people stand together and elect Bernie Sanders in 2016, I unfortunately see our course to be the one where we look back in 20 years and say, “Bernie was right.”