Democrats are in the process of staging their second round of presidential debates, with the second half taking place via CNN this evening. The party is still contending with 20 candidates and still needs to segregate the field (forgive the triggering term) into two separate evenings of discussions. And Tuesday night, once again, we were treated to the battle of the extremists.
Joe Biden, leading in the polls at this stage, will be appearing in the Group 2 debate this evening. Ahead of the night he has collected a number of endorsements from prominent Florida political names. Former party heavyweights Bill Nelson and Bob Graham have lent their support. Also offering their names are state Sens. Jason Pizzo and Lori Berman, as has former Miami mayor Manny Diaz. A number of other "formers" or those in local offices have also added their names.
These are still very early, and rather tepid endorsements. After all, at this stage in the GOP race in 2015, Jeb Bush was a clear frontrunner. Former lower-tier names are not likely to move the needle poll-wise for Biden, but it is a sign that at this early stage some may be moving to have the wide field narrowed, or to focus on names that could pose a threat to President Trump.
For many, it seems Biden is considered the most viable on the sheer fact that he seems the least extreme. The Tuesday debate opened early with discussions about how far to left many of the candidates are positioning themselves. Recall in 2016, Bernie Sanders received a heap of attention as a clear differentiation from the established Hillary Clinton agenda. Today, however, Sanders finds himself being crowded because numerous names are taking up proposals that land them in his socialist sector.
Rick Gorka, Republican National Committee spokesman from Trump Victory, encapsulated the first night of debates. "Democrats made it clear tonight: they will raise your taxes to pay for big government healthcare and enact open border policies, which turn a blind eye to the flow of drugs and crime coming into our nation. These radical platforms will lose to President Trump’s roaring economy and America First policies."
Many items of interest to Florida voters were bandied about on stage and the extremist length some of the ideas went to are stark against established common sense. A number of candidates were touting medical plans that would eliminate private health insurance outright. It was not so long in the past that the mere mention of single-payer government plans was a death sentence to a campaign; now it seems perfectly proper to tell more than 170 million citizens that their health plans will be eliminated outright.
Immigration was also kicked around, with Liz Warren attempting to sound authoritative, but coming off as rather lost. She was proposing that the best way to solve the illegalities at the border is to decriminalize illegal entry. This is a bold strategy, bringing an end to breaking in by simply removing the locks. Then it's not illegal! Laughably, she followed this up almost instantly in a rebuttal to another candidate, by saying, “Laws matter!” This is a tough policy to follow -- declare that laws are deeply important, but can also be eliminated by fiat when they are inconvenient to a narrative.
As the debate wore on, the Democrats covered a number of other subjects, including gun safety and the need to take weapons away from citizens. Another subject concerned the energy industry. Apparently we need to move away from the vile corporations that control those sources of power for our homes. This was when it the realization arrived that the Democrats are locked in a paradox. They want to move into various aspects of our lives, and forcibly make decisions on a governmental level that is a rampant contradiction to their core beliefs. As abortion still stands as one of the primary policies for Democrats think of how they are currently defying the central motivation.
Abortion concerns a small portion of the electorate, but Democrats always state the right to choose is a moral imperative. Now look at the issues they are commanding they take over at these debates: healthcare, the Second Amendment, border security, and our energy sources. Any, and especially all of those topics concern a vast majority of citizens, and yet the Democrats want to deny our access to those items. How can they tout the right to choose in our lives when they want to eliminate our choice of insurance, deny our gun selections, prevent us from electing to protect our border, and even dictate our source of energy?
Seems that when it comes to having agency over one’s life, the Democrats want to be the ones who choose what they declare to be in our best interest.
Brad Slager, a Fort Lauderdale freelance writer, wrote this story exclusively for Sunshine State News. He writes on politics and the industry and his stories appear in such publications as RedState and The Federalist.