Democratic Debates Thoughts & Opinions

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Did you watch any of the Democratic debates the last two nights? I watched and thought I’d share some of my thoughts and opinions. Most of my feelings of who I already somewhat liked (Bernie, Yang, Gabbard, Warren) haven’t really changed, even though I think some of them did better than others at the debates. Yang didn’t get to speak much and wasn’t high energy, so didn’t stand out to me in the debates, but if you listen to his longer interviews or read his book, he has some very important issues to bring up whether you agree with UBI (universal basic income) or not.

Bernie was Bernie as he always is. I think he did ok, although I’m not sure I entirely agree with just scrapping all medical insurance at once and forcing people onto Medicare. I think most people would choose Medicare over their high priced commercial insurance, but I don’t like the idea of forcing people to give up their insurance if they actually do like it.

I personally prefer the idea of a public option beginning the transition to (hopefully) a single payer system eventually. If you try to force Americans to do something, even something for their own good, many will likely hate it. Getting medical insurance off the backs of companies would be a good thing though and hopefully lead to higher wages if the companies don’t have to shoulder the health insurance burden.

Warren did ok too. I like Warren some, but she often comes across to me as one of the weakest leftists who too easily bows to the pressure of the system. I don’t trust she will fight for us like Bernie would, although I hope I am wrong, especially if she does somehow end up with the nomination.

I thought Gabbard and Harris both came across well in the debates. I like the show of strong women. I do have issues with Kamala’s past record on poor criminal justice reform and her support of the private prison system. If it weren’t for those things, I would likely warm up to her more. She does seem intelligent and confident, which is appealing.

Biden didn’t do himself many favors, at least in my opinion. Part of the problem of having such a long history in politics is being held responsible for your past actions and words, which can often make Biden look pretty bad. The accusations of past support of racists were especially interesting (coming from Kamala). Biden’s involvement with the Obama administration can be both good and bad, depending upon the subject, but since I don’t buy into the “Saint Obama” narrative, I see some issues there too.

I did feel bad for a few of the candidates that barely got to speak, but I know they try to give the most time to those who are polling higher (or who the establishment wants to push). Do you have a favorite of the bunch?

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Why I, In Good Conscience, Cannot Vote for Hillary

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I have been struggling for a while about what I should do on voting day. Part of me said that I needed to vote for Clinton because I live in an important swing state (Ohio) and there is a reasonable possibility that the unknown loose cannon that is Trump might be even worse than Clinton. Not to mention the fact, that since getting the nomination, Trump has been surrounding himself with establishment right wing Republicans, which definitely don’t represent my own point of view. Also, I couldn’t help but think of those all-important Supreme Court vacancies that the next president will undoubtedly fill. Surely Clinton would pick people at least a little better than Trump, since I am personally against theocracy in any form and don’t think religious beliefs should be used to form law.

However, I do have some major issues with Clinton. #1 – Her ties to the establishment, big banks, and corporations. #2 – She has made some horrible decisions (voting for the Iraq War, NAFTA, initial support of the TPP, her email stupidity, etc.) #3 – She is often described by those who know her personally, or have worked for her (such as secret service agents) as narcissistic, angry, cold, vengeful, and calculating…aspects it is definitely easy to see in her. However, I could look past these aspects, as they still didn’t make her necessarily worse than Trump. What I can’t look past, is her hunger for war and destruction.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a complete pacifist. I definitely believe in protecting ourselves and others whenever possible, but not in being a bully or trying to force our rule on the entire world. I support our individual troops, but I do not support our current Military-industrial Complex. Hillary’s obvious intentions to continue or even escalate our current conflicts, engage in war with Iran, and now her threats to further combat with Russia, make me feel that I can no longer vote for her and just hope for the lesser of two evils. If we enter into a war with Russia and/or China, there is a good chance things could end up literally going nuclear and I can not willingly play a part in putting people into place that I feel might intend to lead us that way. I am no fan of Putin, but I do wonder why he has been so adamant that if Hillary becomes president, there will be no turning back and there WILL be all out war between the US and Russia. What does he know that we don’t?

For this reason, I will likely vote third party (or maybe just write in “Turd Sandwich”), even if it is “throwing my vote away” as some accuse. I would rather vote my conscience than vote for the same status quo or even worse that is leading us towards what may look like the destruction of our entire planet if we aren’t careful. If I seem a bit crazy or conspiracy-minded for being worried, please take the time to check out some alternative media, since the stuff we are being spoon fed by the mainstream media is little more than propaganda for the establishment and their cronies.