When watching the debate, it seems to be one between two strong candidates and three others who fade into the background due to being relatively unknown and the fact that they cannot directly compete with Clinton and Sanders when it comes to sheer public popularity. For instance, in this fracas of different opinions comes Jim Webb, who is a pretty surprising candidate due to the fact that he is even there in the first place. He is a relative unknown among the different candidates and it is unlikely that he will drum up sufficient support from the democratic party to gain even a sliver of a chance for candidacy.
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Domination by Sanders and Clinton
This debate, and the likely representatives for the Democratic Party, are Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, both of which have considerable support. One of the reasons behind this is due to the fact that their opponents don’t seem to take into consideration the implementation of relevant policies that are at the heart of many contested issues among the American public. For instance, candidate Martin O’Malley explained that he was the only candidate on stage that had plans to implement a cleaner electric grid for the country by the year 2050. He even mentioned that he would be making it his first priority should he assume office.
The main issue with this sort of proposition is the fact renewable energy technology is still in its infancy and is lacking in sufficient reliability (ex: no sun and no wind equates to no power). When taking into consideration the fact that less than 10 percent of the power generated in the U.S. comes from clean energy sources, it is unlikely that this plan can come to fruition by 2100 let alone 2050. On the other end of the spectrum is another candidate that you cannot help but scratch your head and wonder why he is there in the first place. Lincoln Chafee had the shortest speaking time at roughly 9 minutes and was barely able to make any points across regarding implementing the necessary changes to help safeguard the economy and territory of the U.S. from external threat.
Same Goal, Different Methodologies
The two true opponents in the debate (i.e. Sanders and Clinton) had opposing issues when it comes to both gun control, economic policy and foreign policy directives. In the case of Clinton, her experiences as Secretary of State definitely shows through as evidenced by her stance of having America have a greater role in international affairs as opposed to that of Sanders who advocated for a more reserved approach. On the other hand, one common theme that can be seen in the case of Clinton and Sanders is that they do agree on a vast majority of points regarding the need for changes to be implemented; however, they disagree on the methods in which such changes are to be brought about.
For instance, in the case of 2008 financial crisis and its subsequent impact on the American people, Sanders advocated for greater levels of separation between investment and commercial banks via the re-implementation of the Glass-Steagall Act while Clinton advocated more on implementing more fees for overly large banks, breaking them up into smaller enterprises and addressing issues related to unregulated banking. What these policies show is that while Sanders and Clinton both believe in the need for particular changes to occur, the way in which either candidate will accomplish this would be far different.