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Dem Debate #3 Sounds Hopeful

January 17, 2016

As with the Republican debate the other day, at this point I didn’t expect new ideas.

I noted a difference of stories during the Repub and Dem debates, however. As I heard it, the R candidates told of a disastrous, potentially cataclysmic, current state of affairs, and they explained that there is one reason for it: Obama (and thus Hillary). The D candidates (especially Sanders) agree that the country is deeply troubled, in its economics and politics, but they say that the causes are racism, sexism, a rigged economic and political system (including Wall St, big banks, Citizens United) that produces poverty and disables democracy, a broken criminal justice system, pharmaceutical companies and multinational corporations.  The D descriptions of how life works are not simplistic, and they tell of people-oriented solutions.

It seemed to me that the D candidates offered some important images: a healthy American people, the corruption that is produced by individuals within a system of financial inequality, equal opportunity, the complexity and fragility of international affairs, and the good of avoiding war.

It’s hard for me to trust my judgment regarding the conversation in this debate (as I did re. the R debate), because of my bias. I tend to feel as though, when the D candidates speak, they’re speaking to me, and even that they would listen to an idea or opinion of mine. R voters might have felt the same, watching their debate. That said, I still think that my thoughts about an unhealthiness in the R conversation, and a tendency to cut off conversation nationally, is accurate. I thought the D candidates, this evening, were conducting a healthy, critical, issue-oriented conversation with each other; and I didn’t hear anything said by them that would tend to cut off a national conversation, or exclude anyone from that conversation; they seemed, rather, to invite full participation—sometimes even by the R candidates.

So, regarding the psychopathologies of our democracy, I’m thinking that the D candidates have a good handle on them.  2016 Rs, on the other hand, seem to me to either deny them or exacerbate them.

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