We learned a lot from the Democratic Debate
The 1st Democratic Debate of 2016 was very informative in contrast to the reality shows masquerading as Republican Debates.
Much was learned from the Democratic Debate. Firstly, the cast of characters running on the Democratic Side is a serious bunch. It is a sharp contrast from the clown car represented by the Republican cast.
Any real progressive or liberal should have no problem voting for any one of four of the five candidates on stage. Yes, Jim Webb may be in the wrong party based on the visible discomfort he showed toward more progressive topics.
There are five big takeaways from the first 2016 Democratic Debate.
- The American corporatocracy is scared of Bernie Sanders. By all empirical measures, Bernie Sanders won the debate. He won it on Twitter. He won it in polls on most of the TV websites and on blog sites. Immediately after the debate there were no scientific polls. There were just reactions from focus groups on Fox and CNN. Sanders won them both. So why was there a blanket acceptance by the national punditry that Sanders won? Why were they all talking in unison? They had to. Sanders held his own and immediately became plausible to millions who had no clue who he is or what he represents.
- The Democratic Party is no longer in the throngs of the DLC. The Democratic Party on stage at the Democratic Debate was not a centrist party. It was not a center left party. It was a populist party. Even Hillary Clinton did her best to dispel her infatuation with pleading guilty for being moderate and centered as she boldly claim she is a progressive.
- The Democratic Candidates are a serious bunch. There was a lot of substantive issues discussed at the Democratic Debate. Some that are important but that generally aren’t discussed. Glass-Steagall, banking, healthcare, and much more actually took center stage. Of course silliness had to be inserted somewhere. The traditional mainstream media did its job in showing their shallow disregard and lack of seriousness.
- Americans are very interested in what Democrats have to say. Many expected a lackluster viewership of the Democratic Debate. Why? Many accepted the narrative that the outcome is a far gone conclusion, Hillary Clinton will be coronated the Democratic nominee. The punditry lead by the pronouncements of their darling Donald Trump were proving wrong. North of 15 million Americans tuned in. That is the highest viewership of any Democratic Primary debate ever. It is true that it did not match the Republican Debate. It is understood that the Republican Debate would have gotten entertainment type numbers giving its clown cart nature.
- Democrats are very satisfied with President Obama’s path for the country. There was not one policy critique of President Obama. In fact every candidate tried their best to be as close to him as possible. Better however was that they all wanted to expand on his policies from healthcare to immigration to education assistance and more.
The debate was a big win for the Democratic Party. The debate was a big win for Black Lives Matter. The debate was a big win for college students. The debate was a big win for our Social Security and Medicare systems. The debate was a big win for healthcare. Why? Because all of these issues were brought up not in some tepid checklist form, but dispatched with full throated support. The populist economic message Bernie Sanders has been expounding for decades has gone mainstream. The social justice message Black Lives Matter forced into the Democratic Party's lexicon has gone mainstream.
Even as Hillary Clinton went out of her way to make the 'glory glory hallelujah statement' when she stated that we are not Denmark, she virtually endorsed Democratic Socialism even if not by name. She calls it protecting capitalism from itself as she supports most of Bernie Sander's populist agenda in some 'less drastic' form.
Chris Hayes said it best when he described one of the best exchanges between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. "It was effectively a coming out for a Democratic Party that is massively different than it was 20 years ago when progressive ideas were anathema to many Democratic candidates," said Chris Hayes. "In fact when Democrats running for high office often did everything they could to distance themselves as much as possible from the party's left flank. On the notion of a serious exchange involving the relative merit of capitalism and Democratic Socialism, involving the two front runners of the parties nomination would have seem pretty laughable."
So what does all that mean? Just like Obamacare is the bridge, whether some believe it or not, to single payer healthcare, Medicare for all, so will the Democratic Party's new embrace of populism be the bridge to America's form of Democratic Socialism. One can support either Democratic front runner guilt free as long as it is acknowledged that the grassroots will be required to keep the pressure on whoever becomes the next Democratic president in order to ensure they effect their promises, .