The very first Democratic Debate was entertaining and informative, with a twist of propaganda thrown in to spice things up! With all due respect, there were other candidates on the stage beside Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton but, clearly Bernie and Hillary stole the show.
The “Democratic Socialist” vs. the “Progressive Capitalist”, played out so eloquently on stage, it felt like a lesson about where politics is headed in America. Now Democrats must classify themselves, and decide if they are more socialist or capitalist. Bernie Sanders wants nothing to do with Wall Street Capitalism and Hillary claims to be progressive in her capitalist views.
Bernie Sanders proudly proclaimed to be a “Democratic Socialist” who has a major beef with Wall Street, and wants to make them pay! Bernie’s biggest problem with Wall Street is that they have too much power over congress; he even told Hillary at one point that the government works for Wall Street. So what is so wrong with capitalism in America, according to Bernie? Roughly in his words: Being a Capitalist means nothing if 57% of all new income is going to the top 1% of earners. Flashbacks to the Occupy Wall Street movement, Bernie may have just sealed and delivered the votes of the Occupy crowd, by stating that one statistic. Basically, the American version of capitalism is out of control with fraud and Bernie wants to pave a new path to Democratic Socialism.
According to Google Dictionary, Democratic Socialism is an “ideology advocating a democratic political system alongside a socialist economic system”. Otherwise, he is not too socialist to be borderline communist but, socialist enough to give free college tuition for all. Bernie’s idea of where to place the financial burden for free college will somehow be put on Wall Street.
His plan on how this would be done was a little unclear. The reason free college tuition is necessary is because a high school diploma is no longer of any value when it comes to acquiring gainful employment, according to Bernie. Democratic Socialism sounded wonderful as presented, including an expansion of social security, and guess who will pay for that additional burden? You guessed correctly, the 1%, aka Wall Street. Other tidbits from Bernie are that he would have no ground troops in Syria, and he would get rid of the gun show loophole, in regards to gun control. He made it clear he also intended to uphold the Constitution; which I believe does not contain the word socialism one time.
Hillary on the other hand, decided to attempt to pave her path as a “Progressive Capitalist” who does not agree with giving Donald Trumps’ kids’ free college tuition. (Side note to Hillary: I’m certain Donald’s kids went to private colleges, which I highly doubt would be free under Bernie’s plan; and Donald Trump has never asked for anything for free.) Hillary’s plan to help college student’s was also confusing but, includes free tuition to those who qualify, refinancing of existing student loans at a lower interest rate, and requiring those student’s to work 10 hours per week; illegal immigrants would be included. However, when a student owes $65,000 in student loans for a Bachelor’s Degree, I doubt that lowering the interest rates will help much. Something I found quite interesting was Hillary’s constant references back to war, making herself out to be personally in charge of the current United States’ foreign affairs within her “State Department”. She called Putin a “bully” that needs to be stopped and also expressed her concerns that Isis is currently gaining more territory. Her attempts at making herself look in control failed in my opinion, by contradicting herself almost in the same breathe. Putin is currently bombing Isis to pieces so how does this make any sense to anyone?
According to Google, the definition of a progressive is “happening or developing gradually, or in stages”, so I think she is absolutely a progressive in that respect! Don’t give up on Hillary yet, she wants to enhance the benefits of those on Medicare, especially for women, and we must address the issue that 90 people per day die from gun violence. She says it is extremely difficult to balance civil liberties, privacy, and security in a Democracy. Hillary did a great job of raising her voice and sounding authoritative. When asked what the difference is between her and Obama, she simply said she is a woman.
In fairness and comedy, there were other candidates, which quite frankly I didn’t even get their correct names, I gave them nicknames in my notes. “Baltimore Dude”, spoke about Freddie Gray (a young black man whose spine was severed by police), and that got my attention. When asked about the many settlements Baltimore had to pay out because of police misconduct he re-emphasized the word “settled”, as if they were notable accomplishments. Next, in my debate notes was, “Lincoln Femme”, who wants to bring the gun lobby in to find common ground, because he firmly believes in the Second Amendment. He wants to change The Patriot Act so a warrant is required for phone tapping, and he made sure everyone knew that Hillary made a poor decision by voting to approve the war in Iraq. There was also a guy on stage named Jim Webb, in my notes I simply called him “Huh?”, his most memorable statement was “Who should be kept from owning firearms?” and his answer was, the mentally ill. Therefore, taking an anti-depressant may prevent you from owning a firearm.
If this debate is any clue as to the direction America is heading, I feel we are in really big trouble, but, I’m no expert, ask Hillary, she seems to know it all!