The Democratic Party held its third presidential debate on September 12 at Texas Southern University in Houston. The debate was broadcast on the ABC Network and was moderated by George Stephanopoulos, ABC News chief anchor; David Muir, ABC World News anchor; Linsey Davis, ABC News correspondent; Jorge Ramos, Univision anchor. The third Democratic debate was not the charm. It was a rehash of the first two, with some added extremism.
Those who for whatever reason avoided watching the three torturous hours probably woke up on Friday morning no worse for wear, and possibly with still a somewhat positive outlook on life. As for the rest of us gluttons for punishment, personally, I said an extra prayer at bedtime and lay there staring up at the ceiling and wondering how much worse it can get.
The candidates as expected were unimpressive and continued their nasty, vindictive, and accusatory behavior. There were a number of times they accused the president of racism, and white supremacy was also mentioned. The ten included: Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Cory Booker, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Kamala Harris, tech executive Andrew Yang, former Texas Congressman Robert Francis (Beto) O’Rourke, and former Housing Secretary Julian Castro.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the frontrunner among the ten, had some moments of clarity, I think. However in response to one particular question about his obligation to make amends for his past position on segregation he rambled on and then meandered off into what amounted to incoherence laced with nonsequiturs. It was something about social workers coming into the homes of the less fortunate, and assisting parents with the proper way to raise their children with the help of playing the radio or phonograph, putting the record player on at night and the television. I believe what Mr. Biden was suggesting was that minority children in failing public schools and their parents, need to broaden their horizons in venues other than playing games on their smartphones and idle chatter.
The candidates pursued their same lines of thought as in previous debates and spoke from what seemed to be the same script: Medicare for all vs. private insurance, climate change, criminal justice reform, immigration, and lest we forget racism. The moderators failed to ask any questions on the economy, the national debt, impeachment, the Supreme Court, and abortion.
There were some moments that added a modicum of excitement and I guess fireworks to what was a lackluster night. Senator Sanders, when confronted with the effects of socialism stated: “In terms of Democratic Socialism, to equate what goes on in Venezuela is extremely unfair.” In a question on healthcare posed to Joe Biden, former Housing Secretary Castro questioned Biden’s memory, insisting that the former VP had contradicted himself in his answer when questioned by the moderator. This exchange had repercussions beyond the debate; Castro was accused of taking the low road by insinuating that Biden’s memory and thus mental capacity as a 76-year-old was found wanting.
When questioned on assault weapons, ‘Beto’ O’Rourke stated emphatically his plan “Hell, yes we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.” In other words, the 2nd Amendment no longer exists. O’Rourke is in effect saying, "If I’m elected president we will come to your home and pry your weapons out of your cold dead hands." Tech executive Andrew Yang promised, as a tease for his “Freedom Dividend,” to allocate $1000.00 a month to 10 families in need for one year.
In responding to a question on her Medicare-for-all plan, Senator Warren stated: “I’ve actually never met anybody who likes their health insurance company.” Senator Kamala Harris when asked about the recent mass shootings in Texas, and what part the president played, stated: “He didn’t pull the trigger, but he certainly did tweet out the ammunition, let’s speak truth.” Senator Cory Booker attacked the president’s rationale for imposing tariffs on Canada, and added this: “I’m the only one on this stage who finds Trudeau’s hair very menacing, but they are not a national security threat.” Senator Bernie Sanders in defending Medicare-for-all in his usual fiery fashion, “I wrote the damn bill.”
The candidates did not disappoint expectations of their loyal followers, and as I expected did not in any way reach out to their critics and those of us who are skeptical and averse to their extreme agendas. This third debate, aside from occasional disagreements, back and forth exchanges among the ten, and a controversial assault on the second amendment, was similar in content to the first two; all radical socialists with costly ideas in the trillions of dollars and little if any substance. I doubt whether any of these Democrats actually believe their ideas and agendas will ever come to fruition.