(This is the third and final commentary in the series dealing with the Democrat presidential debate. The previous commentary looked at the players. This one deals with the issues.)
Apart from the personalities, however, there is the issue of issues – the policies, programs and proposals set forth by the competing parties. The most recent debate further demonstrates that the Democratic Party and its presidential candidates have set their political rudder to the port side – coursing them into the frigid waters of socialism. In each and every issue, the response is to grow the federal government and consume more money from the taxpayers.
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Democrats see healthcare as one of their strong issues – so naturally, the ABC debate hosts would make that the lead subject in the debate. Every one of the ten candidates on the stage pledged their allegiance to a government-run healthcare system that would cover every man, woman and child – and the ill-defined – with guaranteed healthcare from cradle to grave.
Every candidate on the stage had a plan to greatly expand the government’s role in covering medical services. The only distinction was how much of our healthcare system would be socialized. There is no moderate position among Democrats.
I know. Everyone says that former Vice President Joe Biden is the voice of moderation – but only compared to the extreme proposals that are being articulated by most of his competitors. In pursuit of the nomination in the increasingly leftist political party, Biden has shifted significantly to the left. That is evident when his current positions are compared unfavorably to many of his past statements – a comparison that his opponents are eager to make.
Biden basically wants to improve on Obamacare and allow those who can afford a premium to buy into the government program. Those who lack the resources are automatically enrolled. Biden’s plan is still a budget-buster even though it looks good next to the ENORMOUSLY expansive and expensive plans of Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Obamacare is not sustainable and is fatally flawed. Biden’s plan does not fix that.
It seems that most of the other candidates lean to the Warren/Sanders position, but until they can break into double digits, we do not have to take them seriously.
Warren and Sanders take their genetic disdain for any corporation larger than a corner grocery store into the healthcare issue by proposing a plan that will totally eliminate ALL private insurance coverage – including those Cadillac health plans that unions have negotiated and that they have provided to themselves as union leaders.
In the true spirit of authoritarian elitism, Warren would impose the government program on everyone because she “knows” that no one likes their private insurance company.
Sanders promises no premiums for anyone. No co-pay. And a $200 per year limit on the cost of drugs. He would cap prices and profits of the pharmaceutical industry. Of course, that means the end of medical research in which America is the world’s leader. Many medical providers would leave the country and Americans would suffer a shortage of prescription drugs – especially the most critical.
Virtually every candidate would terminate Trump’s tariffs – either immediately (Warren and Sanders) or at some point in the future (Andrew Yang). They argue that tariffs are not the right way to negotiate with China over the theft of intellectual property, money manipulation, unfair trade practices, and dumping products below costs to crush competition.
This must be a symptom of Trump Derangement Syndrome since the Democratic Party – and its strong union supporters – have long favored tariffs to “save American jobs.” Suddenly, they are all free traders. I say welcome to the club.
Beyond their dislike of anything Trump does, none of the candidates explained just how they would solve the decades-long China problem. Minimally, they say it should be done through negotiation. But, isn’t that what has failed these many years?
Like Trump, every one of the Democrat candidates want to withdraw from Afghanistan. As usual, Warren and Sanders take the most extreme position. They would pull out all American troops – which would also precipitate the withdrawal of NATO allies – with or without any agreement with the Taliban.
That would turn Afghanistan into a petri dish of international terrorism, which would make post-war Iraq look like the junior varsity – as President Obama once said.
Democrats like to say that they are for secure borders and legal immigration, but nothing … repeat, NOTHING … they do lives up to that claim. Rather, they have opposed building the wall, funding more security personal and funding more immigration judges. They support the sanctuary movement, offer more benefits to illegal aliens than are available to American Citizens and the elimination or curtailment of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.
They have now proposed that illegal border crossers be more quickly released into the general population, that illegal border crossing be de-criminalized and that illegal aliens be provided with free healthcare.
One of the worst-held secrets in the world is that the far left that currently guides the Democratic Party would like to take away virtually all guns from law-abiding citizens. Despite all evidence to the contrary, they seem to believe that most violence in America is CAUSED by the existence of guns – when, in fact, the gun is merely a tool of violence.
Thanks to Beto O’Rourke, the dirty little secret was exposed when — in a fit of rage – he declared (emphasis added), “Hell yes, we are going to TAKE away your AR15s and AK47s.” Incidentally, that is exactly the opposite of what he told the people of Texas during a radio interview when he was running for the Senate. He specifically supported the right to own AR15s and AK47s.
Democrats are pushing political and symbolic proposals under the rubric that “we have to do something.” They fall short when asked to explain how their proposals would have potentially prevented hardly any of the hundreds of mass shootings that occur in America each year.
Media and Democrats focus on a very few tragic shootings while demonstrating heartless disregard for most of them. Perhaps it is because so many of the “unnoticed” mass shootings – and even those below the definition – are occurring in minority neighborhoods in cities ruled over for generations by … Democrats.
The Surging Economy
(Nothing to write here because they did not talk about it.)
To the extent the candidates addressed President Trump – with Senator Kamala Harris being the most focused on the guy in the Oval Office – there was nothing new. Nothing more than a repetition of the same gutter-level name-calling. Oddly, however, he seemed to be more important than any of the issues. Democrat after Democrat conceded that beating Trump was more important than a candidate’s stand on the critical issues. They would hand the presidential nomination to a Chicago alderman if he or she was assured to beat Trump.
All in all, the debate did not provide good coverage of the many important and complex issues – even worse, it was boring. That was further frustrated by the ABC moderators who failed to ask insightful questions.
To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, the world will not long remember what is written here because it will not have any reason to remember what was said on that stage in Texas. We can only hope and pray that somehow … some way … the next debate will actually be a learning experience.
So, there ‘tis.