Friday, May 27, 2016

The Sanders-Trump Debate Stunt

If you haven't heard, Bernie Sanders asked Jimmy Kimmel to ask the nominee of the Republican Party, Donald Trump, to debate him ahead of the California Primary on June 7th. Even Rachel Maddow has come out against this stunt. You can see her 3 minute take in a clip here

In the long run, I believe this entire stunt is meaningless. In the short-term, however, it exposes a great deal about Bernie Sanders and his candidacy that should concern Democrats, independents, and supporters of Sanders.

This undermines, certainly, Hillary Clinton. It only seeks to demean the voters that have participated in the nomination process and that have yet to participate. 

It also exposes Bernie’s capacity for making himself the issue, not the voters nor his policies. 

+Wonderful World
Although it is true that there was supposed to be a 10th debate between Hillary and Bernie ahead of the California primary, these extra debates were negotiated and added prior to it becoming mathematically impossible for Bernie to secure the nomination for the Democratic Party. 

There was little to gain from her debating Bernie Sanders except further alienating his voters by responding to his attacks, attacks which have become more disingenuous and extreme in recent months. His claims have, in my opinion, have created more disunity, divisiveness, and distrust within younger voters and other segments of his support. That isn’t a welcome energy to foster in our democracy.

That being said, it may have been necessary to have taken the fight to him more throughout this entire race. Anyone can second guess decisions, though, in retrospect. 
+Wonderful World

Considering that the media haven’t done an adequate job with respect for vetting Bernie Sanders, at least in my estimation, she could have offered a more striking difference between their two approaches to governance and creating policy. 

The basic difference is that Bernie’s campaign has become about him and less about the issues central to his campaign’s origins. Hillary has stayed consistent with her pragmatic vision for not over-promising policies that she couldn’t conceivably pass through a divided or narrowly Democratic Congress. Bernie focuses on grand ideas based on what people should want.

This latest effort to create a ‘messy’ convention and to promote stunts over substance won’t amount to much in the end. However, it demeans the process of nominating a candidate and potentially weakens the movement Bernie currently spearheads. That movement is important and deserves and needs to be heard. Any means necessary is not the methods to be using if you really believe in the policies and issues on which he began his campaign. 

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