By MohammadReza Farahzadi

Democrats concerned over candidates' age in 2020 election

December 20, 2019 - 13:9

Five debates have so far been held among 20 Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential election, who their number have been reduced to 10 people. The point of the debates is that no plan has yet been presented in the political, economic and social field that can be considered as a strong point for the Democratic campaign. The candidates failed to provide effective and integrated solutions in the field of health insurance and environment, which used to be the strong points of the Democratic Party. The plans offered by the candidates are mostly obscure and impractical.

The major concern of the candidates in the debates is that the lobbying and money of the capitalists largely determine the result of the election. However, no mechanism and law have been predicted to do not allow unofficial capitalists’ money be entered in the election.

U.S companies in the field of oil, pharmaceutical industry, insurance, and technology are one of the most important indication of lobbying. The companies are trying to stand next to their intended candidate to meet their interests through political investment.

Overall, the Democrats have not acted very well during the debates, so Michael Bloomberg took part in the election campaign by using his money.

Bloomberg is a billionaire and the sixth richest American, who the Democrats hope to be a serious rival for Trump.

The focus of the debate has so far been on questioning Trump's individual personality. The result of the polls have shown that people’s relatively agreement with the impeachment of Trump, and provided a political opportunity for the Democrats.

Democratic candidates in their discussions referred to some actions by Trump, which they considered as national security threats and an important reason for the impeachment. The cases stated by candidates include: building a case against Biden’s son in Ukraine and publicly requesting China to build a case against Joe Biden, refusing to enforce the law in Muller and Ukraine’s cases, escaping the law in domestic and foreign policy, the issues related to the withdrawal from the JCPOA and the Paris Agreement, and meeting with the North Korean leader.

In the case of economy, all has been stated in the debates was in the context of the socialist economic system. It seems that the social Democratic base has been turned toward socialism, focusing on removing inequality and the economic gap between poor people and rich.

The tax on wealth is one of the hot-button economic topic in debates, which can trigger a movement by poor class against rich one.  By taxing wealth, universities are supposed to be free and student debt be removed. The plan cannot be carried out and in fact is a more of political maneuvering.

Contrary to the plan, there are Trump’s tax changes, which have been among the most significant changes over the past 30 years and ware approved as the Tax Cuts and Job Act in December 2017. Under the law, corporate taxes were reduced from 35% to 21%, a change that is to be permanent.

Economic experts have predicted that the tax changes will add more than $ 2 trillion to the US national debt.

Another topic in the debates is "income inequality" or "raising the minimum wage", which has not changed during the Trump presidency. In July 2019, the House of Representatives approved a bill to raise the hourly wage from $ 7.5 to $ 15. The bill failed to be implemented, since Trump opposed it and threatened to veto it in the Senate.

In order to eliminate inequalities, a subsidy of up to $1000 a month was suggested to be paid to each American, which was not faced acceptable feedback.

Reinforcing trade unions was a common topic among candidates, believing that unions should have a representative in government economic bodies in order to preserve the interests of workers in economic policies and foreign economic negotiations.

Another important topic is the future of businesses. It is predicted that one-quarter of all the U.S. active businesses will be eliminated by the next 10 years because of more advanced technology and automation.

In the field of technology, the candidates show concerns about reaching modern technologies by rivals such as China and Russia and proposed the establishment of an international organization such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) in the field of technology to control and manage metadata.

Technology-based developments in the military have been also considered by the candidates, who argued that the U.S. should cut any ties with China in this area and punish the country for stealing U.S. inventions.

In the case of foreign policy, the Democratic candidates opposed the withdrawal of the U.S. troops from Syria, despite the fact that the Democratic Party has always been against military deployment in the Middle East.

Candidates see Kurds as the U.S. main ally in Syria, considering that the U.S. has turned its back on its ally by the military withdrawal.

The candidates insisted that with the U.S. pullback in northern Syria, countries like Turkey, Russia, and Iran along with the Assad regime will be the main winners of the vacuum of power. Following the pullback, the Kurds have to ask for Iranian and Russian help in the absence of the U.S., so the influence of these two countries will be increased.

The debates argued that one of the major U.S. blunders was using terrorist groups in Syria to overthrow the Assad government. It also was discussed that U.S.-led wars, which mostly aimed at changing the regime in the Middle East, have caused devastating consequences in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and Syria, and resulted in heavy casualties and military costs for the U.S., in the context of the wrong strategy of regime change wars.

The candidates described Russian intervention in the 2016 U.S. election as a very provocative act, which if repeated, would be considered as a "war action".

In the debates, China was referred to as the most important rival for the United States.  All candidates agreed on the need for confronting China, maintaining and reforming tariffs on trade between the U. S. and China, observing the intellectual property by Beijing, and supplying standardized goods.

Some candidates believed that the U.S. policy toward the Middle East depended on militarism, describing the “war on terrorism” as a strategic mistake. They insisted that the U.S. should redefine its foes, and as a mediator prepare the ground for Saudi-Iranian and Israeli-Palestinian direct negotiations.

Biden, a leading candidate in the debates, claimed the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman responsible for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi and called for the punishment of the Saudis for violating human rights.

In another part of the debates, democrats talked about the change of the health insurance system, which is a controversial plan to be further discussed.

The Democrats' first plan for health insurance is totally socialist that should create a revolution in the health care system and form a state health system. The strong points of this plan are the dramatic cut of insurance and health care costs and the coverage for all Americans.

Currently, 87 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured. The weaknesses of this Democratic health plan are the heavy financial cost, which is estimated at more than $ 30-40 trillion over 10 years, and its four-year implementation. One of the most likely ways to fund the plan is to raise public taxes on the middle class. Experts believe that the plan can only be implemented theoretically.

Another weakness of the plan is the disregard for the opinion of the 160 million U.S. citizens who are partially satisfied with their insurance and play a determining role in the 2020 election. Another problem facing the plan is that it is less likely to be passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The Democrats' second proposed health plan is a supplement to the ObamaCare that the U.S. government will take control of the health system. The disadvantage of the plan is that it does not predict the insurance coverage of 10 million uninsured Americans.

Candidates have had heated debates on issues related to race, minorities, and gender. Women’s rights were gravely pursued, especially there is not a desired relationship between women and Trump. Majority of American women are not willing to support the U.S. president. On the other hand, women in the U.S. also suffer from economic discrimination. Based on the statistics, on average, a woman working full time earns 81 cents for every dollar a man working full time earns, which this number is 61 cents for a black woman and 58 cents for a Latino woman.

In the case of racism, the debates emphasized that the most important issues for black youth are racism and judicial discrimination. Statistics show that punishing students of color is three times more than white students. Wealth distribution is 10 times more for white people in comparison to black ones, which is a serious issue. The number of black prisoners who are being tracked down in the U.S. is now higher than the total slaves in the 1850s.

As a conclusion, if Biden wins the 2020 election, he will be 80 years old by that time. Bernie Sanders is 79 years old and has undergone a heart attack, and Elizabeth Warren is 71 years old. It seems that the problem of the leading Democratic candidates is their age, and one cannot be sure that whether they will survive until the end of the election campaign.

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