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HORIST: It is the issues, stupid

HORIST: It is the issues, stupid

(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.


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.

World Trade

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.

Second Amendment

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.)



President Trump

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.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Kurt Walker

    I believe the democrat candidates have successfully exposed themselves. To see Senator Booker, “the fantastic four”, Elijah Cummings, and the rest continue to scream racist when they have been elected to this high office by those they call racist, drawing huge salaries, and having unlimited expense accounts, which they exploit, would be humorous if not so seriously lies. Racism comes in all colors and these people top the heap.

  2. Marti

    I hope America pays attention!

  3. Andrew Gutterman

    Got news for you. If you have no insurance, or your insurance doesn’t quite add up, then you face medical bankruptcy or worse. See the scandal it UVA, where they took wages, cars, houses and whatever else they could get to make sure they got their money. I have been waiting uncountable years for the Republicans to come up with a solution, but they do not care about people who need help. They only care about enriching themselves at the expense of the bottom 90%. Witness Trump’s tax cut, where most of the money went to the 1%.

  4. Mike Salloum

    Every morning, I look forward to reading your articles while I’m having my coffee to kick start my day. Ive seen pictures but I have yet to watch any of the democratic debates simply because I value my time, more importantly to avoid subjecting myself to what I call “ intelligence insults”. Sad to say though there are countless voters that would stand by such so called candidates taking the cookie cutter approach to address and resolve some the challenges we face. They’re more interested in being self serving to get elected than to truly be for what is good for our society and “serve this nation” In the true sense of the word. Your readers as you pointed out in your article above know all the challenges we are facing.
    Larry, it’s been pointed out before, one has to take a good look at the stage and the background, beyond fancy words, appearances and the jokes, where is the American Flag? That alone is an obvious omission of their loyalty to our nation thus catering to the garden variety of liberal groups that are offended by our flag and that my friend is what I call lack of LEADERSHIP yet, they’re asking for my vote to lead the greatest nation on this planet.
    So there it Larry and thank you for sharing your perspective to help many of us express ours.

  5. stephen leonhard

    It is simply tragic that the democrats really believe that socialism/communism is best for our country.They have brain-washed our young people into believing it too via college professors who really know better but have to “toe the line” to gain tenure!

  6. Andrew

    Its simply tragic that the Republicans REFUSE to do the job they were sent to Congress to do: Take care of their constituents. I’ve listened to the Republicans brag for many years how they would repeal Obamacare and replace with a better health system. Can someone PLEASE show me where they have done that?