Democratic Debate: First Night

PCP

Democratic Debate: First Night

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“The battle for the heart and soul of our party.”

The Democratic Debate has ended, and American citizens have learned a lot about the presidential candidates.

The debate was held in Miami, Florida for two days, and it was jammed pack. Filled with immigration policy, healthcare for all, and foreign policy, the first night of the debate sparked a lot of emotions out of the candidates. Overall, it was a way for citizens to see where Democratic candidates stand on certain issues. T

American Economy

Amy Klobuchar: Minnesota U.S. Senator weighed in her opinion of American’s economy. She has been known to think that her rivals’ stance on free college tuition as something that “a magic gene can grant”, & questions if it is actually something achievable. She said on the debate:

“We know that not everyone is sharing in this prosperity. And (President) Donald Trump just sits in the White House & gloats about what’s going on. You have so many people who are having trouble affording college and having trouble affording their premiums. So I do get concerned about paying for college for rich kids. But I think my plan is a good one; making community college free and make sure that everyone else besides that top percential, gets help with their education. I would also make it easier for students to pay off their student loans. Because if billionaires are able to pay off their yachts, then students should be able to pay off their student loans.” 

Elizabeth Warren: Massachusetts senator has spoken about offering free tuition to state schools, and cancellation of student debt and she reiterated her point at the debate. When asked what she says about what this type of radical change will do the economy, as 71% of Americans say that American’s economy is doing well, Senator Warren responded:

“So I think of it this way: who is this economy really working for? It’s doing great for a thinner and thinner slice at the top. It’s doing great for giant drug companies. It’s just not doing great for people who are trying to get a prescription filled. It’s doing great for the people who want to invest in private prisons. Just not for the African Americans and Latins whose families are being torn apart and whose lives are destroyed, and whose communities are ruined.” 

Beto O’Rourke: The politician who formerly represented the House of Representatives in Texas’s 16th congressional district spoke his opinion on some Democrats wanting the marginal individual tax rate of 70% on the highest earners (those making over $10 million a year). He echoed Senator Warren, saying that this economy has to work everyone. He reiterated this by saying this in English, & in Spanish. Showing that he wants everyone in every race & ethnicity to be included in this conversation. He continued,

“Right now we have a system that favors those that can pay for access & outcomes. That’s how you can explain an economy that is rigged by corporations & the very wealthiest. A new democracy that is revived because we return power to the people; automatic & same-day voter registrations to bring in new voters. A new Voter’s Rights Act to get rid of the barriers; that’s how we each have a voice & a democracy & make an economy that works for everybody.”

Immigration

Julian Castro: The former Housing Secretary was very passionate about immigration policy. He cited the tragic deaths of a father & daughter from the Rio Grande who drowned earlier this week trying to cross the border, as the central problem of how immigrants are treated today, and how the American people should feel after seeing those images. He said:

“If I was president today, I would sign an executive order that would get rid of (President) Trump’s Zero Tolerance Policy, the Remain in Mexico Policy, & the Metering Policy. This metering policy is basically what prompted Óscar and Valeria to make that risky swim across the river. Óscar and Valeria went to a port of entry, and then they were denied the ability to make an asylum claim, so they got frustrated and they tried to cross the river, and they died because of that.”

Kamala Harris: The U.S. Senator from California gave her intake on immigration as well. It was mentioned how children are being held in private detention centers in the United States, including in Florida where the debate was held. She was asked what specifically what she do with the people who are seeking asylum. Her answer:

“We cannot forget our DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients, so I will start there. I will reinstate DACA protection for those young people. I will further extend protection for deportation for their parents & for veterans; we have so many who are undocumented & who have served our country, who have fought for our democracy. I will also put in place a meaningful process in reviewing the cases for asylum. I will release children from cages, I will get rid of private detention centers, & I will ensure that the President of the United States holds in her hand is used in a way in reflecting the views of our country, and is not about locking children up and separating them from their parents.”

Pay Gap

Bill de Blasio: Being mayor of the biggest city in the United States has a lot of advantages, but one of the disadvantages is the fact that New York City has one of the biggest pay gaps in the country. Blasio said that the city has been addressing this problem by raising the minimum wage to $15, having paid sick days, Pre-K for all, and putting money back to the working people. He also said, 

“Every time you talk about investing to people in their communities, you hear folks say there’s not enough money. What I say there’s plenty of money in this world, there’s plenty of money in this country, it’s just in the wrong hands.”

John Delany: former representative of Delaware says on the topic that everyone has a living wage:

“I think we need to do real things to help working people. I have called for a double income tax credit and creating a paid family leave. That gets right to workers. Then we need to fix the public education system. It’s not delivering the results our kids need. Nor is college or post-high school. We need a short term shortage where we put money in the pockets of workers, and that we’re creating jobs everywhere in this country.”

Jay Inslee: The Washington governor had brought a different perspective on equal pay & inequality for American citizens. Collective bargaining is his ideal plan on fixing the unequal pay gap, where negotiation of wages and other conditions of employment are decided by an organized body of employees:

“We can increase wages finally. It is not right that the CEO of McDonald’s makes 2,000 times more than the people slinging hash at McDonald’s. And the next thing I would do is put people to work in the jobs of the present and in the future. Donald Trump is simply wrong. He said that wind turbines cause cancer. We know they cause jobs.  And we know we can put millions of people to work in clean energy filled jobs in the future.”

Gun Policy

Tim Ryan: The Representative from Ohio brought a different approach to the gun policy at the debate. He suggested amping up counseling centers at schools, citing that 73% of school shooters were shamed and/or bullied:

We need to make sure that these kids feel connected to the school. That means a mental health counselor in every single school in the United States. We need to start playing offense. If our kids are so traumatized they are getting a gun and going into our schools, we’re doing something wrong, too, and we need reform around trauma-based care.”

Big Corporations

Cory Booker: New Jersey’s Senator was asked his opinion of Senator Warren’sopinion of breaking up big tech corporations i.e. Facebook during the debate. He said that we have a serious problem with corporate consolidations:

“We see the evidence of those indignities being stripped from labor. We have people who are working full-time jobs and can’t make a living wage. We see that because consumer prices are raised by pharmaceutical companies that mostly have monopolistic holds on drugs. You see that in an economy that is not made for small businesses and not allowing them to compete. I feel very strongly about the need to checking the corporate consolidations and let the small market work. “

 

You can watch the entirety of the first debate.

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