Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Finally, a debate worth watching

Months ago, I watched part of the GOP debate held by Fox News (I could not stomach the entire debate after eating dinner). I found it resembled a high school debate for class president rather than president of the United States. So I am pleased to learn that the Democrats are going to have a debate tonight, and I write this post to encourage all of you to watch it.

At 8:30 EDT today, CNN will air a 2 hour debate among the Democrat candidates running for president. According to CNN, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee will all be on stage for the debate. Most of us know only about Clinton and Sanders. so we will have a chance to learn about the other candidates, but I suspect that most of us want to see Bernie or Hilary in action.

I'm excited about the debate because I'll see, for the first time in a long time, a real Democrat on air, in a debate. What I mean by that is that Bernie Sanders is the kind of Democrat that Jimmy Carter was. Carter was a true liberal, not a neo-liberal. Since the 70s, the Democrats have moved far to the right, so much so, that even our most liberal mainstream Democrats look positively conservative by 1980 standards.

I've made no secret that I'm a Sanders fan on this blog. Sanders is the only Democrat running for office that can go into a conservative den and get not only a warm reception, but applause, whoops and even a few standing ovations. One example here is where we see him speaking at Liberty University, a private school founded by television evangelist Jerry Falwell.

Sure, not everyone is enthused to see Bernie at Liberty University, but the house is packed and he does get frequent responses from his audience. You can even hear the crickets here and there. But he's there. He's willing to speak to people who may not agree with him on every issue.

That is the point of politics. We learn more by engaging in discourse with adversaries, opponents or even neutral people who are not familiar with our positions than we do by preaching to choir.

That is why I encourage you all to watch this debate. Even if you are not a Democrat, you just might find common ground. Finding that common ground is the basis for all politics. Enjoy the debate.
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