Democratic debate: Pragmatism against idealism

The first Democratic debate was held the evening of October 13. The obvious winners, namely the candidates that prevailed and gained the impressions were Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders.

As has been shown and it would be almost impossible to be reversed as an impression, these two politicians will prevail in the battle for the nomination of the Democratic Party.

The importance of this evening is that new axes, on which the policy of the new era for Democrats will be structured, has raised. The legacy left by Obama, particularly on issues of rights, minorities and social policy is important and decisive for the next steps of the party. Society over the last 8 years has been trained in a different quality in policy. During this period taboos of previous years, on issues of equality and social rights were eliminated. If anyone watched the Republican debate, will understand that it has reduced greatly the range of issues of social axis, on which they can be juxtaposed with the Democrats.

However, we should not overlook that, though inactive is still visible a conservative wing of the Democrats, which seems merely on issues like gun legislation, the national stance towards terrorism and now against Syria, on gender issues of same-sex couples and on extending or not the government spending.

Mutatis mutandis within the Democrats, Barack Obama is a charismatic leader, formidable orator, able to communicate through technology and he managed to support his politics by a large percentage through building an extremely attractive public image. It will be very difficult to find a similar candidate inside the Democrats. Indeed, except for Hillary and Sanders, the other three candidates for the nomination, not only are not charismatic politicians, but also they remain inconsistent with the requirements of a modern standard leader.

Beyond communication, there is also the politics. Obama was a paternalistic political leader, who in front of an enormous economic crisis storm, with uncertain economic subsequences, set the market in motion, giving the state the role of the main lever of economic movement. This practice was inconsistent with US economic policy of previous years.

However, he, seeking to keep up with the inherent skepticism towards Wall Street, that the very large part of the Democrats feels, placed the state at the heart of economic policy. He fought the consequences of Lehman using the state as a shield.

In conjunction with the temporal demands of Democrats on extending government spending on the issues of healthcare and education, Obama had to some extent the image of the politician who permanently spends money. However, the emergence of social issues as of capital importance, together with the tragic consequences of the economic crisis in the US, largely legitimized the intervention policy of Barack Obama.

A major supporter of this policy is the socialist candidate Bernie Sanders, who stresses the need for more public support. Hillary Clinton represents the complex effort to reconcile opposing views within the party of Democrats. She thinks with less aversion Wall Street demands, seeking an economic orthodoxy for state economic policy, a redistributive taxation system, but, at the same time, she wants to protect the healthy capitalism and the profitable US economic capital.

The difficult synthesis of the views, that Clinton is characterized by, is stated in foreign policy as well. Hillary Clinton may occur, as it did in the past, more active in the field of foreign policy and towards the need to bring peace to the troubled Syria.

The debate seemed to pare already the predicted political data for the Democratic Party. Hillary Clinton is an undisputed favorite and Bernie Sanders, the political expressing a mid Democrats of the government of Obama. Pragmatism against idealism.

Veni Mouzakiari
Veni Mouzakiari
Phd Candidate at the department of International and European Studies, University of Macedonia. Political consultant