TM debater examines Democratic performances

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Democratic debates were held July 30 and 31. National debate qualifier Ivin Lam ’20 discussed what he thinks of the Democratic candidates and their policies.

Out of the democrats that debated July 30 and 31 which ones do you think presented the best arguments?

“The one thing I don’t like about the Presidential debates is that they always dodge the question. There was one question where one of them was asking Kamala Harris about how are we going to prevent the next water crisis and then she goes off on a side rant about like ‘oh well you want to know what the real problem behind that was? It was racism. We have to stop racism and then we solve the water crisis.’ But what are we going to do about it? All of their arguments are just like that. Additionally, a lot of them have the same general views so a lot of them are arguing about the same things, but if I really did have to pick one of them it’d probably be tag team Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren. I’m not going to say I entirely support them yet, but I feel like they had this sort of coordination thing going on in terms of going against the rest of them. I just feel like maybe they were a bit more prepared.”

What were some of the things Berny Sanders and Elizabeth Warren said that made you think they were more prepared?

“Whenever they really got into the more social policies that they were talking about I feel like they were able to say more and refute more of what their opponents were saying because like I said before, a lot of what they believe in is generally the same thing, but there are little smaller differences here and there. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren I think are one of the exceptions were they’re basically saying the exact same thing. I don’t think I could really say a specific thing to make me say that, but their ability to refute and talk about why they are better than the rest just felt better because they were able to provide a decent answer for each one rather than just skirting around the question.”

What could their opponents do to possibly match their ability to refute and answer questions?

“Well for one thing a lot of the candidates are younger or first timers trying to make into presidency. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have been at this game for decades. Elizabeth Warren went from lawyer to Harvard professor to senator and then Bernie Sanders went through a lot of the same things verses people like Pete Buttigieg who is only a mayor of a small town in Indiana. And then there’s Beto (O’Rourke) who while also a politician has only gone as far as almost state. A lot of them only go as far as being a relatively young senator or representative for their state. In terms of more experience, it goes to people like Bernie Sanders, like Elizabeth Warren even Joe Biden even though he didn’t do that well. Joe Biden is just too nice of a guy. I just think that it’s not really about how they could do better, it’s about the amount of experience that they currently have.  That’s what their lacking.” 

Which candidate do you favor most?

“I don’t really have a preference right now mainly because a lot of the democrats are basically arguing the same thing with the smaller differences between every other plan and so forth. I think that a lot of what they’re composing is very interesting, like how one of them wants reparations for people connected to slavery. A lot of them want free college and I think that’s not that good unless they can have a plan to do so. I especially don’t like Andrew Yang because his economic policy is even more out of whack. However if I did have to pick one, it would either be at this point Elizabeth Warren or John Hickenlooper who I originally came to like because he had a funny name, but he’s a lot more in the middle than the rest of the other candidates who can be very far left. I consider myself to be independent which i s right in the middle of democrat and republican so I feel like I can agree more with what John Hickenlooper is advocating for, but I feel like with Elizabeth Warren while advocating for the things that I don’t necessarily really like, like free college, she’s someone that I could trust.”

What are some of John Hickenlopper’s policies that you agree with?

“Well for one, as far as I know he’s the only one that’s wanting to tax methane gas emissions as well as other types of gasses. And this is pretty controversial, but a lot of people believe that humans are the sole contributors to global warming which isn’t inherently true. The real truth behind global warming is that it’s natural to earth, but human involvement does make it worse. The earth naturally goes through these cycles of heating and cooling, but human interaction makes it a lot more dramatic and more dangerous than it actually could be. So I feel like having a tax on methane gas would incentivize companies to actually reduce it because now they actually have to work with all the regulations to keep their companies running. Another thing is that his other policies regarding the environment are pretty nice.I could be wrong about this, but he doesn’t exactly support the (Green New Deal), and I think the green deal is inherently bad, but I think he does support the U.S joining the Paris accords which I do think is a good thing. The other thing is that he’s not as far as I know he’s not really supporting free college, which is one of the things that I said I don’t agree with, but if it did pass I guess it’s whatever. He has less socialist policies. Socialism in the past has been good, but it’s starting to get to the point where we’re becoming more socialist than ever and that’s not inherently a good thing. An only socialist nation in my opinion would never work.”

Is there a candidate you favor the least?

“As of right now, you would expect the answer to be Donald Trump, but socially he’s less than OK, but not uber terrible because at this point, yea he does have his Twitter and can do whatever he wants, but in terms of actual speeches, he’s being told what to say is the right thing, and so sometimes he’s fine. It’s more of the economic policies of Donald Trump that are like doing well as of right now, so he’s not that bad of a president. If I had to pick one candidate that I really don’t like it would be the one with the most whack economic policies which is Andrew Yang. Andrew Yang wants something called a universal basic income. That basically means that no matter what your status, no matter whether your working or not, whether you’re homeless or not, no matter what condition your in, the government will pay you an income every month or so. It could be anywhere from a thousand dollars to three thousand dollars to even ten thousand dollars. And how does he want to do this? By raising more taxes. Don’t get me wrong, every Democrat wants to raise taxes to fund whatever plan that they have, but if you have a universal basic income it becomes even more ludicrous. That on top of the fact that he already wants to add even more taxes for free college which is something he also believes in as well as multiple other social plans he’s trying to implement. But our tax rates are already pretty high. We have something called value added tax which adds tax in between every time you sell an item and I’m pretty sure it’s terms of sales tax because it only counts whenever you’re buying it from the store, but if you buy it from the farmer which goes to the manufacturers which goes to the store which goes to you. There’s now a tax that goes in between every place, so our taxes before that process are already to 30 to 40%. To raise that to anything over 50% would be crazy.”