Save the self-righteousness; unity prevails – an analysis of the second round of democratic debates

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Carlos Osorio/AP/Shutterstock (10351650a) Democratic presidential primary debates hosted by CNN, in the Fox Theatre in Detroit Election 2020 Debate, Detroit, USA – 31 Jul 2019

Nobody is perfect, and its time candidates start acknowledging that before they are made to look foolish when, in response to lambasting a fellow candidate’s track record, their own record is embarrassingly illuminated. 

Most importantly, for the Democratic Party and for American voters who want to defeat Donald Trump in the general election, Americans and candidates alike must realize the debates and primaries are a competition, and ultimately, the final nominee must have the full-fledged support of a united Democratic Party, and a united America. 

Competition is the very nature of these debates, which is healthy, but a self-righteous attitude will only serve one cause – the reelection of the least righteous person possible – Donald Trump.

When Tulsi Gabbard went after Kamala Harris, her own record of coziness with dictators like Bashar al-Assad came into the spotlight.

While Bill de Blasio spent his entire night as a moderator berating Joe Biden, Gillibrand questioned why the police officer responsible for Eric Garner’s death was not immediately fired.

Joe Biden is clearly the frontrunner in these debates, because it seems as though every other candidate’s only path to the spotlight was by tugging at his coattail, instead of offering and explaining their own policies and solutions.

Joe Biden needs to be more confident in himself. 

Despite his colleague Cory Booker’s invocations, serving as VP to the first African-American president of the US, Barack Obama is a remarkable feat. 

But what Biden needs to employ is an Obama-like approach — that is, more confidence in himself. This will allow him to focus more on his vision, rather than that of former President Obama’s legacy. 

It will also allow him to be more effective in rebuttals to critiques. 

For example, when asked about the deportation of undocumented immigrants, he was right when he stated that suggesting Obama could be equated with Trump was plainly ridiculous. Obama shielded 11,000,000 immigrants from deportation and granted childhood arrivals, now called Dreamers, under the DACA bill, a chance for employment and higher education. 

President Trump attempted and is still trying to dismantle this law, but the courts and democratic institutions of this country are preventing him from doing so. 

But Joe Biden could have gone even further and stated the facts — President Obama’s executive action in 2014 on immigration called for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to target criminals — not families. 

In 2015, 91% of people removed from the US were previously convicted of a crime. 

Healthcare, immigration, foreign policy, economic equality, racism and climate change are all pressing issues. They will define the trajectory of US prosperity and competitiveness for years to come. What is certain is that none of these problems will be solved if Democrats pursue a self-righteous attitude.

Kamala Harris seemed fatigued and emotionally overwhelmed. Tulsi Gabbard sounded entirely void of any emotion at all. De Blasio was itching to replace Dana Bash or Don Lemon on the moderator’s stand.  

While Cory Booker and Julián Castro were poised and composed, there still seemed to be a lack of experience emanating through their emotionally driven appeals to the American people. 

America is a democracy. Liberals are struggling to cope with the various strands of leftism within their own circle. 

Progressive politics and idealism must be met with pragmatism and realism, and approach mastered by former President Obama, whose center left approach attracted votes from people on the right side of the political spectrum. 

Healthcare is a right, but so is the freedom to choose between private and public healthcare, a point Kamala Harris struggled to grapple with.

Selective morality has no place in the Democratic Party. Whether it’s Kim Jong-un, Mohammad bin Salman, Bashar al-Assad, Recep Erdogan, Benjamin Netanyahu, or Vladimir Putin — anybody who is cozy with tyrants should be held accountable.

Saddam didn’t possess WMDs but he gassed Iraqi Kurds. Would Tulsi Gabbard have met with him too? It is not the job of the US to intervene militarily in other countries — it is neither the US’ moral position to support dictators like Assad, or any other.

American must exhibit a moral stance, but nations must be allowed to solve their problems within their sovereignty. 

It is in fact because of a disregard for sovereignty, a legacy of imperialism that continues today, whether it is lead by Russia, China, Europe or America, that these dictators exist in the first place, in the Middle East, Latin America, East or Central Asia. 

This is why Republicans protect them or, when things go awry, replace them with something worse.

Because they don’t respect sovereignty.

Acting like there is a perfect candidate is what allows for the most imperfect candidate to become president. It’s called self righteousness. Candidates must be held accountable yes, but they should be sure to also look in the mirror and to gauge by relativity too. 

This is what Joe Biden is trying to communicate but it’s a challenge when the entire stage is filled with younger, less experienced politicians that are playing the self-righteous game. Everyone has dirt on their hands. How much is the question.

When it’s all said and done, Democrats unite. This is a competition for one position. But just imagine if Biden or Warren win, and the next 4-5 respective frontrunners form the cabinet. Their good ideas would be there, but their not so good ideas wouldn’t supersede executive judgment. 

In conclusion, the winners of these debates appear most to be Elizabeth Warren, who has mastered the art of political communication and self-defense; Joe Biden, whose experience and firmness will allow him to match up against the empty brained bullying tactics of Donald Trump; & Bernie Sanders, whose diligence and consistency has kept him on the frontlines. 

Who remains on the stage for the next Democratic debates will be the greatest determinant of the effectiveness of the candidates’ performances. 

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