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The Democratic Debate Debacle: Part I

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Wednesday night saw the first, but unfortunately not the last, of the Democratic debates for the 2020 nomination. Ten hearty hopefuls lined up in front of 15 million Americans to explain exactly why they should be the one to fix a soaring economy. Each clamoring for that one perfect sound bite that shows they can be the one to fix the border crisis they each denied even existed just six short months ago. Each armed with their own justification for appeasing and, yes, arming Iran. And each ready to leap to identity politics like a dog to a bone. It was an event as priceless as the look on Cory Booker’s face when Beto O’Rourke began speaking Spanish for no discernible reason.


But who was the true winner of the night? There were in fact three. Capitalism, common sense, and the man who wasn’t even on the stage, Donald Trump.

The spectacle began with a very significant observation by moderator Savannah Guthrie. Addressing Elizabeth Warren, Ms. Guthrie pointed out that 71 percent of Americans, including 60 percent of Democrats say the economy is doing well. In a pivot worthy of Dancing With the Stars, Ms. Warren responded, “Who is this economy really working for? It's doing great for a thinner and thinner slice at the top.” You can read the full transcript here.

Yes, Senator Warren blew the tired leftist dog-whistle of only the 1% succeed. And she was quickly followed by the rest of the pack. The candidates’ insistence that the American economy only works for the top 1% is as tired as it is both laughable and fraudulent. Which begs the question, does anyone really want the government run by someone who can’t seem to figure out 71% does not equal 1%? 

Of course, some do better than others, not everyone succeeds, life is not fair, and ‘utopia’ has never been achieved. Anywhere.

The candidates went on, in near unison to preach corporations are evil, not everyone is rich and therefore the system is rigged, and, per Bill DeBlasio, wealth redistribution is necessary. That is the Socialist doctrine to its core. Senator Warren capped it off with, “We need to attack it head on. And we need to make structural change in our government, in our economy, and in our country.” She may be only 1/1,024thNative American but she sounds 100% Bolshevik.


Only Tulsi Gabbard, who dodged the question to tout her very truly impressive military record (it is quite remarkable), and John Delaney abstained from the 1% tripe. John Delaney, of course, holding the dual distinctions of being both the most rational candidate on stage and the least likely to get the nomination. Still, being called the most rational candidate among that pack is like saying you have the least offensive body odor in a Baltimore bus station.

Following the candidates’ condemnation of a great economy and swift assurances of free everything from health care to college to anything you like, they promptly moved on to the border crisis. Yes, the one they each spent months denying the existence of.

Through different language, each assured the 15 million viewers that open borders were the only way to go. Again, read the transcript. This begs the second question. How can a nation sustain a free for all Socialist economy with a policy that not only allows, but invites anyone and everyone to come into the country? Snake oil salesmen would be offended by any comparison.

Yet the electoral gladiators weren’t done. Each had their turn to chastise President Trump for pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal and offer their own vision for appeasing a terrorist nation that chants death to America as if it’s a national motto. Apparently, they feel the only way to deter such an aggressor is to drop pallets of billions of dollars at their feet in exchange for a pinky swear that they’ll be nice.


And finally, each and every candidate found, or forced, a reason to bring identity politics into their primetime performance. From Beto’s bilingualism to Cory Booker’s neighborhood to Bill DeBlasio’s son’s race, the pack of proud progressives once again debased themselves and their primary by finding ways to make the superficial super-important.

At the end of the two-hour experiment in time dilation, what did any candidate actually achieve? The inescapable reality is that Republicans are going to vote for Trump. Democrats are going to vote for their eventual nominee. 

The election will be decided, as always, by those in the middle. The Independents. The people that realize their economy is good, very good. Was a single persuasive argument made to alter that realization? No. The Socialist policies touted for most of the evening have 100 years of failure attached to them. Was any argument presented for why it will work this time? Not at all. Did one candidate on the stage present a single reason to change an administration that has empirical, demonstrable, successes to tout? No. And Independents won’t be persuaded otherwise.

In the end, capitalism survived, common sense endured, and President Trump, without even being present, was presented as the better option.

Well, there is always Thursday’s second debate. Maybe those candidates won’t tout socialism, open borders, identity politics, and Iranian appeasement. But not likely.


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