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Sun Nov 8, 2015, 03:49 PM

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MSNBCís ďFirst in the SouthĒ interviews with the three democratic candidates for president was outstanding. Martin OíMalley, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton all provided the types of answers to Rachel Maddowís questions that demonstrated they would be intellectually fit to serve as President of the United States. These three candidates have significant areas where they agree upon goals and values, although there are differences in how each believes that, as president, they might move towards achieving these goals.

There are, of course, also differences between the three. Each has had a unique life-experience, and that impacts their perception. This obviously involves the way they understand the wide range of problems confronting the US, both domestically and globally. Thus, each has a different belief in how to approach these problems. More, because each one is a human being, they have both strengths and weaknesses.

The contrast between the three democratic candidates and their republican counterparts is stark. While no matter who is elected next November, he or she will have some common features. Some of these include the self-evident: that person will reside in the White House, deal with a broken Congress (indeed, both the House and Senate are damaged institutions), and be confronted with an unstable global reality.

That person will be dealing with the synergy of inter-related problems that include the environment; an economy that exploitís the poor, and threatens th middle class; and the Balkanization of ethnic and religious groups, both domestically and globally; In my opinion, the democratic candidates each have a far more rational and ethical approach to what their role as president would be, but also display a far superior of character -- including emotional stability.

When we look at that curious characteristic -- emotional stability -- the candidates from the two major political parties provide an intensely distinct choice. While the three democratic candidates attempt to engage the nation in an honest conversation rooted in logic and rational thought, the republican candidates display dishonesty in their appeal to negative emotions: anxiety, fear, prejudice, and hatred.

It should be crystal clear to thinking people that one path offers hope, and the other promises destruction. It should be obvious to all conscious people that the republican approach can only add new problems that add to the crisis that we are already deeply entrenched in. This is not a closely-held secret, nor is it a great mystery.

This makes the third presidential primary season that Iíve been participated in on DU. In the 2004 and 2008 primaries -- at least in my opinion -- there was a combination of insightful debate and destructive arguing on this forum. Indeed, I found the Ď08 season had a higher level of toxicity than the previous one, although there were enough meaningful discussions to make it worthwhile to participate.

This year, although I have read numerous OP/threads, Iíve generally avoided taking part in them. Itís not that Iím somehow less interested in the primaries, or think the current events are somehow less important. Quite the opposite: I believe that the 2016 elections -- presidential, congressional, and those at the state and local levels -- are as important as any in our nationís history Ö..and far more important than the majority of those in the past.

More, because of Donald Trumpís ability to manipulate the manner in which the internet influences peopleís perceptions, similar to Reaganís ability to convince people that lies were truth, and truth lies, the negativity that saturates so many OP/threads on DU:GD Primaries is troubling. It is as if many people have willingly stepped into the stream of Trump consciousness, and are becoming carried away by its undercurrents. Insults are Trumpís tongue, and acrimony his language Ö..just as delusional thinking defines this fellow Ben Carson.

Each of our life experiences and current situations will result in our interpreting the democratic candidates differently. If we then take the stance that our opinion is right, and represents the entire truth, and is the only truth, it makes meaningful discussion impossible. It leads to OP/threads that, by no coincidence, mirror the televised republican debates, with cheap shots and insults.

Iím not foolish enough to think that one brief essay being posted by an old man from the margins of society will change the tone here. But each and every one of us can adjust the manner in which we take part in discussions and debates here.

I can dream, canít I?

Peace,
H2O Man

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Old Codger Nov 2015 #11
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