Last night I sat down with some friends to watch the first DNC primary debate. We had beer, mocktails, wings, and Debate Bingo to make up for the fact that having 10 people on stage in a 2 hour debate was surely just going to be a circus. Luckily, we were pleasantly surprised and the debates mostly went smoothly. We got a good sense of the candidates views, got to know some of the less well established candidates, and some of them even stuck to the question they had been asked.
Who stood out?
Despite what I’ve heard from a lot of other people, I think Warren stood out the most of all the candidates. She dominated the debate in the first half, and then refused to be drawn into squabbles in the second. Most impressive was her answer to the moderators question on gun control; instead of the appeals to emotion that we’ve all become accustomed to, her answer was to support funding research into the issue. In a world where a prohibition on the CDC prevents them from doing any research into the topic and getting real data to inform policy, this seems like the best possible answer.
Boring politics is my favorite kind of politics, and having a voice that doesn’t need to shout to be heard made me think Warren is easily the best candidate that we’ve seen so far. We’ll have to wait and see if anyone can challenge her in the second debate tonight, but for now she’s easily my top choice as primary season gears up.
Aside from Warren, Castro dominated the discussion on immigration, moving him way up the ladder in my books. He cited specific provisions of U.S. law, and generally felt more focused than some of the other candidates.
What was the biggest surprise?
It was a fairly drama free evening if you ignore the technical difficulties (did everyone in the sound booth walk out to take a leak at the exact same time? Don’t they have a policy that at least one person has to be at the board at all times?). The biggest surprise was probably that Democrats don’t seem to shy away from blaming big corporations for any number of problems anymore. We’d seen this already with Warren calling to break up Ma Bell, I mean Google and Facebook, but it was refreshing to see them unafraid to take staunchly liberal positions in front of a large audience.
What do you want to see more of?
More discussion of the climate emergency, and more discussion of voter reform are the two topics that are nearest and dearest to my heart, specifically I’d like to see the candidates asked about implementing ranked voting which I think should be a bigger issue than it is. For too long the climate emergency has been ignored, and we’ve had a left wing party that’s right of center on the world stage. While it seems like that’s starting to shift, it’s also important to have viable centrist parties, and even single issue parties, that can form coalitions and encourage deal making. Having ranked voting would make multiple parties a reality and might mean that we could have a left wing party for candidates like Warren and a left leaning centrist party for the Obamas of the world. It might even give a party like the green party (or one that advances less insane candidates) the ability to engage and grow because voters wouldn’t feel like they were throwing their vote away if they vote for single issue parties.
I’d also like to see more about hardening existing election infrastructure; luckily, Warren has a plan for that.
What about the moderators?
The moderators did a fairly good job of keeping all 10 candidates in line; I wish they had the ability to cut off mics and require candidates to ask to speak, and I wish they wouldn’t ask for a 1 word answer to questions and then have no followup, but otherwise they kept everything moving as well as could be expected for such a crowded stage.
You really like Warren.
Is it that obvious? I already liked her, but after the debate last night I’m hooked (and she probably has a plan for that). 💙
Please consider donating to her campaign or reading more about her policy proposals if you’re still unsure.