The Debate – What to Watch For

The long-awaited Democratic debate will be held on Tuesday. What should you be watching for? What should you be pointing out to those friends you’ve invited to watch the debate with you?

This is not a normal presidential election. This is a referendum on whether our country will continue down the path of oligarchical rule or whether the American people will finally stand up for their own rights. It isn’t about whether it’s a woman’s turn to sit in the White House or whether long service should be rewarded.

It isn’t about saying whatever is needed to win and then going about business as usual. It isn’t about using big money to get elected and then trying to appease the sources of that money afterward.

It really isn’t even about electing Bernie Sanders as president. It is bigger than that. It has to be bigger than that.

Bernie Sanders has talked about a “political revolution.” You understand what that means, right? It isn’t just a political slogan.

photo by Gage Skidmore
photo by Gage Skidmore

Sanders primary focus has been on income inequality and the influence of corporations and big money in politics. That’s crucial because it is the root of a great many other problems that many want you to see as separate issues.

Right now the gun violence conversation has resumed a top spot in the media limelight. Various ideas have been put forward to help solve this problem, but the only reason that gun violence has not been addressed in the past is that big money interests have threatened lawmakers who work to pass gun regulation legislation. It’s that simple. Some who have supported such legislation have faced re-election campaigns where the gun lobby poured huge resources into their opponent’s coffers and they lost. Lesson learned in congress. Stay away from gun regulation.

In order to make significant progress to decrease the number of gun deaths in this country – which everyone agrees is out of control – you have to get big money out of politics. You have to overturn Citizen’s United one way or another. You have to limit the influence of lobbyists on elected officials.

These are all things that Bernie Sanders talks about all the time.

But to DO that, you will have to go beyond a normal presidential election. You will have to go beyond business as usual. You will have to go beyond 37% of the registered voters at the polls. You will have to create a movement so strong that no one can stand against it. You will have to throw out politicians who have been firmly ensconced in their offices for decades. You will have to return both the house and the senate to the party of common sense behind a president who can motivate them to make the needed changes. You will have to get rid of governors and state legislators who have been bleeding their states dry. And you will have to do it by such a huge margin that there can be no doubt about what direction the country should take.

That’s what a political revolution looks like.

People will tell you that’s naïve. Ask them about the alternatives.

So when you watch the Democratic debate on Tuesday night and talk to your friends about it, ask yourself this: which one of these candidates do you think might motivate enough people to create a real political revolution?

Because nothing short of that is worth talking about.

Educate yourself.

Educate your friends.

Enough is Enough


Roger A. Shipley - The Willowbrook Curmudgeon

Roger Shipley, AKA The Willowbrook Curmudgeon, spent forty years teaching in the American educational system and emerged a grumpy old man. Ensconced in the Pacific Northwest, he writes, carves, and chides people for bad grammar. You can also find his grumblings at The Curmudgeon's Lair or follow his nonsense on Twitter or Face Book

One thought on “The Debate – What to Watch For

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    October 11, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    We need an involved, informed electorate. We need everyone to vote.
    I’m sharing EVERYTHING on Facebook, which is probably driving all my friends and family bonkers. My hope is that by sharing, they will, too and spread the word!

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