Advice from the Heartland – July 31, 2019 Debate Analysis


The second debate featured a negative focus on Joe Biden that was often unwarranted.  The major players were Biden, Kamala Harris, and Corey Booker, but the people making the most significant points against Trump were the minor players that included Kirsten Gillibrand, Andrew Yang, Tulsi Gabbard, and Marianne Williamson.  The secondary players were focused on Trump while the major contenders were busy trashing Biden and each other.

The speech by Gabbard against Harris was significant and was backed by facts later disclosed after the debates.  Harris and Booker continued to focus on Biden’s past, while Biden looked tired and sometimes was mumbling his replies.  It is hard to determine which contenders will be left in the race by the time the September debates occur, but many of the 20 won’t make the cut.

There were some zingers tossed among the candidates, and one or two against Trump.  If the next debate doesn’t focus on Trump, there is going to be a huge amount of ground to be made up.  The positions on Healthcare for All are confusing and uncertain.  Whether the Healthcare for All has its foundation as Medicare or the Affordable Care Act, failure to accommodate existing insurance benefits is going to be a huge barrier to any candidate’s election.

Tulsi Gabbard made the best case against Trump’s lack of diplomacy and unnecessary wars.  At this point, Trump needs to be held accountable for the separation of refugee children from their parents, the escalation of nuclear tensions in North Korea and Iran, the initiation of a tariff war that appears to put the grinch into Christmas at Walmart, and the cozy relationship Trump has with the Saudis, Israelis, and Putin.

There needs to be major emphasis on the failure of Congress to manage Trump’s impetuous lack of diplomacy and his cabinet that is largely unqualified and focused on dismantling President Obama’s legacy for healthcare, the environment, global climate change, and upholding the US’ commitment to the Geneva Convention of refugees that was signed in 1968 by the US.

The Senate has failed to uphold the constitutional requirements to have 2/3 approval of declarations of war and formation of treaties.  This approval should also apply to the withdrawal of support for the nuclear non-proliferation treaty signed by the US and Russia to end intermediate nuclear missiles, withdrawal from the Iran agreement for ceasing development of nuclear weapons, and the withdrawal from the Paris global climate change agreement requirements.

The polls are showing that for many of the likely Democratic candidates, voters feel little or no connection of their concerns with any of the candidates.  This was a fatal flaw in Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.  It cannot be repeated enough that the Democratic strategy is to listen to the voters and address their main issues.  Reasonable approaches for Healthcare for All, Education for All, with some adjustments to ease the interest burdens on student debt, tax cuts for the lower and middle class, and major tax increases for corporations and wealthy taxpayers are a must.  Absolute commitments to maintain Social Security and Medicare are essential.

If Trump is not impeached, his continuing alienation of those not in his “base” will continue.  If Trump is not impeached, Pence cannot slide under the tent to reaffirm his agenda of eliminating Roe v Wade, making Christianity the de facto religion of the US, and continued suppression of rights for LBGTQ people in the military and in the courts.  Nancy Pelosi has a plan to keep Trump under scrutiny without allowing the GOP to use his impeachment as a rallying point for Republicans that would otherwise withdraw support for Trump’s pet ego projects and his embracing of Putin and many other global dictators.


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