Our Viewpoint: Clinton and Sanders at the first Democratic debate, who really won?

Category:  Opinions
Thursday, October 29th, 2015 at 1:04 PM
Our Viewpoint: Clinton and Sanders at the first Democratic debate, who really won? by The Spectator
Clinton and Sanders joke with one another after the first debate held on Oct. 13.

Nearly two weeks ago, Las Vegas hosted the first Democratic primary debate of the 2016 presidential election. Five candidates, compared to the Republican entourage of 15 candidates, debated key political issues that our nation has collectively decided need revised and improved. The lack of personal attacks cavorting as political policies was surprising considering the nightmarish inability of the Republican debates to produce anything of ideological substance. Instead of waiting for the next subtle, or in the case of Trump, blatant insult, we concentrated on the actual ideals of the Democratic candidates who seemed to all, for the most part, have a sensible alternative to the problems we face as a nation. The debate was much easier to watch since there was no threat of fascistic tendencies seeping into the discourse.

Even though by Election Day the comments our elected officials made will likely be forgotten, it’s still important to reflect on what was said for the sake of keeping the record straight, as well as making sure that our politicians are not “flip-flopping” their voting record on certain issues when it comes closer to Election Day. The debate made for interesting viewing because it reviewed the ideological positions of CNN. It seemed to us that the questions Hillary Clinton were thrown were “softballs,” especially considering the questions reserved for her four running mates.

For example, Dana Bash, one of the supplementary commenters, asked a question for Lincoln Chafee, now no longer running,
on why Clinton’s apology for voting “yes” regarding the U.S. involvement in the Iraq war was not enough. And then, later in the debate, moderator Anderson Cooper questioned Jim Webb, also a campaign drop-out, on his opinion of Sanders’ refusal to cooperate with his draft during the Vietnam War. Obviously, this is a clear example of a baited question, considering Webb’s overt affiliation with the U.S. military.

CNN should have been called the Clinton News Network that evening, as it upheld a political position in the cable news world establishment. The network seems to have all but rewritten who “won” the debate. As the admittedly unscientific polls came in, Sanders was the clear victor with 74 percent of the viewership endorsing his sentiments. However, the media at large followed the impetus of CNN and emphatically stressed that Clinton had been the forerunner despite the obvious misrepresentation of the polls.

Paranoia points to the fact that Time Warner, who owns CNN, is one of Clinton’s largest financial enablers, and suggests that perhaps there is something curious about a politician being promoted into a position they did not earn. We do know that the candidate who most people viewed as the winner and is most critical of the mainstream media was basically ignored in lieu of a more favorable pro-establishment Democratic candidate.

It’s fair to assume with Lincoln Chafee’s resignation of the presidential bid and Jim Webb now leaving the campaign, the race truly belongs to Clinton or Sanders. In reality though, it always has been. For the Democrats, the race has been between Clinton and Sanders ever since the public began to realize that perhaps Democratic Socialism is not the enemy it has been made out to be by a conglomeration of biased media, a corrupt historical misconstruing, and Baby Boomers that are afraid of equality. This paper has spent time on past issues discussing the policies of Sanders, but what of Hillary Clinton? Here we have someone who could potentially become our first female president; we ought to take the time to explore her character and analyze the rhetoric of her most recent debate.

Clinton is not our favorite, especially considering her remarks on regulating the banking industry, an industry that, because of its lax regulation, played a significant role in the economic recession of 2008 that left millions
of Americans jobless with homes undergoing foreclosure. Berkeley professor Robert Reich has defined Clinton’s and Sanders’ positions
on this tricky issue rather eloquently, stating, “Sanders says break them up and resurrect
the Glass-Steagall Act that once separated investment from commercial banking, Clinton says charge them a bit more and oversee them more carefully.”

There is also an air of entitlement around Clinton that seems to be missing from the rhetoric of her fellow politicians. She jokes that

the Bush family has maintained an aristocracy in their consistent succession of overseeing our nation, yet she seems to forget that she is from a similar pedigree where politics have managed to become a heirloom. Power and prestige seem to now be hereditary.

Furthermore, throughout various points in the debates, Clinton showed how truly isolated she is from what the public is interested in. When an overwhelming majority wants to see the big banking industry reigned-in, she nods her head emphatically, seemingly forgetting that her largest donors are Citigroup Inc. ($824,402), Goldman Sachs ($760,740), and JP Morgan Chase & Co. ($696,456), all industries that play a heavy hand in American’s wallets and investments. If you continue studying the list of Clinton’s top supporters you’ll see Time Warner as the seventh top contributor. Why
is this significant? Truthfully, it shouldn’t be, but considering Time Warner owns CNN, it’s curious Clinton’s ratings were so heavily altered.

On a petty note, we wondered while watching the debate: would our physically-obsessed, narcissistic generation really go out and vote
for a man slightly hunch-backed and balding? Sanders made us realize that although our collective, superficial preference is to have a suave, smooth-talking, eloquent leader, right now what outweighs preference is necessity.

There is one thing that remains clear, if Sanders is not given the Democratic nomination for president and Clinton assumes the title, Democrats must unanimously vow to vote for Clinton and not write Sanders in on the ballot as a third party candidate. Historically, we know that creating a third category is a coup- de-grace when it comes to electing the party you wish to see reside as commander-in-chief.

Writing a candidate in will only weaken the Democratic base and increase the chances of a Republican president, who will indubitably attempt to erase the progress that has been made under the Obama administration.

Our Viewpoint is voted on and discussed by the staff of The Spectator.

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