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Democrats disappoint in first debate

The five democratic candidates for President of the United States of America took the stage for the first time last Tuesday. But, really there are only two horses in the race for the democratic nomination: former Secretary of State, Senator and First Lady Hillary Clinton and long term Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

The American people wanted to see a spirited debate. One filled with ideas to innovate the greatest nation on earth that has been in a rut since 2008. What they got, however, was a new radical wing of the Democratic party—something Bernie Sanders calls “Democratic Socialism.” Sanders undoubtedly wishes to make America more like the Denmark, a nation with a weak economy and an unimpressive military if elected.

Now, I imagine that average Americans tuning in that night were not expecting a debate on capitalism and the ludicrous wish to abolish it. I am no fan of Hillary Clinton by any means, but she did step away from her progressiveness when it came to correcting Sanders on freedom and the economy. Clinton stated, “We would be making a grave mistake to turn our backs on what built the greatest middle class in the history…of the world.”

Clinton’s words serve as a sigh of relief that maybe the debate still had some common sense in it, at least when it comes to our entrepreneurial freedom.

That thought was quickly lost when it came to talking about our national security, the most important issue America will ever face. After the rise of ISIS, Russia’s invasion in the middle east, China’s cyber attacks and aggressions in the south China sea—the most important shipping lane in the world—and now a deal that leaves the door open for the ayatollah of Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, I would say the next president has his or her hands full when it comes to defending our sovereignty.

When asked which of these threats Sanders thinks is the greatest to our country, he simply said none of these. Rather, he believes the biggest threat facing America today are the subtle effects of climate change.

I am pretty sure an overwhelming majority of Americans would disagree with the Vermont senator’s statement. Even Hillary Clinton did, who’s a self-proclaimed progressive.

Although I do not see how being a failed Secretary of State qualifies you to be President, Clinton sure seems more capable than Sanders in every aspect, including foreign policy.

On the other hand, Clinton did seem a little anxious when asked about her email scandal. Even President Obama has called the scandal a legitimate issue that the FBI must look into.

However, Sen. Sanders did not seem to be too upset about the thought that government and national security information could easily be hacked by Clinton’s use of a private server to send her emails as Secretary of State. Sanders said that everyone is sick and tired about hearing about her “damn emails.” Well, Sen. Sanders, yet again I think a large majority of Americans and even President Obama are not, and we deserve to know the details to the fullest extent.

Sadly, it seems likely that many Americans finished watching the debate with the feeling that in order to save our economy, we need to make catastrophic changes. Moreover, that in order to defend ourselves from threats around the world, we need to drive a hybrid. And lastly, that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders feel above the law.

Clinton may be running to the left to stop the “Democratic Socialist” in Bernie Sanders. Make no mistake, Americans will never elect a socialist. However, Clinton will pay for it in the general election when the GOP nominee has a field day pressing her on these “progressive” views that mainstream America does not want.

Peter Hinman is a senior majoring in political science.

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