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Friday, 20 March 2020 13:13

Bernie's Final Debate

Written by  Bob Serody

Only two candidates faced off with each other in the final debate. The bright lights didn’t hide the fact that there weren’t any people in the studio because of the Coronavirus guideline. One could already sense a feeling of gloom prior to the debate. With no audience, the spark to ignite this crucial debate wasn’t there. It did not appear the debate would have a significant impact on the feelings of those who hadn’t yet cast their votes in the Democratic primary. Joe Biden was on a roll simply because many Democrats, especially the older group, felt that he was the best person to beat Donald Trump with a program that didn’t rock the boat. His previous role as vice president under Obama also made many Democrats feel that he was a known quantity.

Sanders even said during the debate that Biden’s ‘heart was in the right place’, a personal admission that when looking at the bottom line, Trump was the culprit to beat. However, Sanders made the following point: Biden’s past voting record would make him at best a mediocre president who would continue to do the bidding of big business. By pointing out Biden’s dismal voting record, Sanders underscored Biden’s past support of the bankruptcy bill, his vote on the Hyde amendment and on reproductive rights, his vote for the Iraq War, and on the Defense of Marriage Act. His record repeatedly failed to meet the standards Sanders set during his own tenure as Senator. It was apparent that one of the two candidates spent the last 30 years being right on the crucial issues of the day. It particularly showed when Biden repeatedly denied that Sander’s accusations weren’t ‘accurate’. The CNN moderators didn’t even challenge Biden on his denial of these facts.

In this last debate, Bernie was trying to emphasize that there was never a greater need for Americans to use their common sense in recognizing that the real issue went far beyond simply replacing Donald Trump. It dealt with what we should replace him with. Sanders summarized his plea to his fellow Americans:

In this moment of economic uncertainty, in addition to the coronavirus, it is time to ask how we got to where we are, not only our lack of preparation for the virus, but how we end up with an economy, with so many people hurting at a time of massive income and wealth inequality. It is time to ask the question of where the power is in America. Who owns the media? Who owns the economy? Who owns the legislative process? Why do we give tax breaks to billionaires and not raise the minimum wage? Why do we pump up the oil industry while a half a million people are homeless in America? This is the time to move aggressively, dealing with the coronavirus crisis, to deal with the economic fallout, but it’s also a time to rethink America, and create a country where we care about each other, rather than a nation of greed and corruption, which is what is taking place among the corporate elite.

In the unsettling climate imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, we might expect that even more people will want to support Joe Biden over Bernie Sanders in a desperate attempt to overthrow the ‘orange menace’. Such is fate. In this case, it is Bernie Sanders’ ideas and support for a Democracy that serves all the people that we will be throwing away.

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 Bob Serody is a member of Space Coast Progressive Alliance.

*ED. NOTE: The views expressed here are solely those of the author. SCPA does not endorse candidates and welcomes commentary on a wide range of issues, including political campaigns, local, regional and national. If interested in contributing commentary, please contact SCPA.

Last modified on Friday, 20 March 2020 20:46
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