I typically don’t watch the Democratic debates. Democrats are all similar enough for me to know that I’m never, ever going to vote for one (unless, of course, they completely change course and become something other than Democrats), so I don’t waste my time. There was nothing else on TV last night, however, and, since I’ve not been feeling well these last several days, I decided that laying on the couch watching a couple of Dems go at it was better than anything else I could think of doing. So, I tuned in to the CNN Democratic Debate.

I was expecting, I guess, to be as irritated with the Dems as I was with the Republicans the night before. Much to my surprise, however, it was darn good TV.

There was no fighting. No silly name-calling or smirking. Barack and Hillary acted like grown-ups. Huh. Not what I expected.

I also had the distinct pleasure of watching the debate as an uninformed voter would. Because I don’t pay a lot of attention to the Democrats, I am fairly ignorant of their positions. While watching the Republican debates I am overcome with anger as I hear lie after lie coming out of the mouths of men who I know don’t have records to reflect what their saying. The Dems, on the other hand, seemed in my simple mind to be telling something close to the truth.

I feel I have to say that, if I didn’t know what I know about government, I would have been won over by the Dems last night. If I was your average, run-of-the-mill American voter, with no knowledge of what it means to have the government running your health care, economy, property, etc., etc., etc., then I would have become a Barack-star last night. These two are good. Dang good. And it’s scary.

Barack and Hillary, as I mentioned before, were civil. They applauded each other, called each other friends. Unlike the cage fight I saw during the Republican debate the night before, this was a breath of fresh air. They politely pointed out differences in policy positions and then moved on. It was amazing and a little bit beautiful.

The issues were presented in such a way that they didn’t really sound all that bad. Hillary talked about health care in terms of “choice.” Barack presented his health care plan in terms of making it affordable so people could buy health insurance if they want. “Shouldn’t everyone have a choice when I comes to their health care?” “If you’re paying too much for your health care, I just want to make it so it’s more affordable!” Gosh, as someone who pays as much for health insurance as I do groceries, that sounded dandy to me!

Then there’s the war in Iraq. Barack and Hillary misrepresented the Republicans by saying that they all want to continue along the same path as President Bush (conveniently forgetting Ron Paul’s position on the war), but I can’t say that I disagree with their desire to get the heck out as soon as possible. Hillary especially sounded quite diplomatic in her speech about getting the troops out of Iraq as soon as reasonably possible, and making sure the Iraqi government knows that they must take responsibility for their own country. Her talk of Bush’s desire to have permanent bases in Iraq made me cringe.

Finally, there was the audience. Every time the camera panned the audience, I saw a celebrity or someone who looked much younger and hipper than myself. This is also unlike the Republican debate the night before, where most of the audience looked like made-up corpses.

Again, if I was ignorant of government, the Dems wouldn’t be looking so bad (in more ways than one).

I think I understand now why so many people vote Democrat. It’s not because they have any sort of understanding of Democracy, Socialism, or the Nanny-State. It’s because the Democrats know how to talk to average folk. If your only exposure to theories of government was in your public high school’s American Government class, you probably have no idea that what the Dems are saying means drastic loss of freedom and a one-way ticket to a Communist America. You probably think that they don’t sound so bad.

Then you watch the Republicans and think, “those dirty, dirty liars.” And I can’t blame you for that, either.  Not to mention the fact that even Ann Coulter has said she’ll campaign for Hillary over John McCain, and you’ve got yourself in quite a political pickle.

It makes me sad to occasionally call myself a Republican (although I embrace “Libertarian”).

Advertisements