This article is moderately liberally biased.
The second debate night is not as vivid in my memory as we all had dispersed by that point. That’s not to say that certain moments did not stand out to me. I think we all expected Cory Booker to come out of the gates swinging as he needed to in order to have any chance of the infiltrating “The Big Four” (Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders) arena. And given that it’s almost too easy to go after Biden, he certainly did what he needed to do. And I must add, he did not disappoint.
Those on the Biden bandwagon can say that Booker shot himself in the foot by so ferociously going after the leading candidate, but he clearly did not. Biden cannot attach himself to the Obama legacy if, and when convenient — and that seems to be his only card whenever confronted. It needed to be called out. Strategically, can we blame him? Probably not. He’s going to continue doing what he’s done since Day 1: riding the Obama coattails all while saying that he doesn’t want Barack Obama to endorse him. With no endorsement for anyone right now, it is a case where Barack Obama is essentially endorsing Biden until he doesn’t.
So yes, we’re aware of what he’s doing. Because no endorsement by an Obama is an endorsement for Joe Biden. It’s really that simple. And so, supposing Biden will not be a good fit for the presidency, then what was said was exactly what needed to be said, and Booker was the one to say it. Booker is on an upward trajectory. We’ll see what happens. On that point, there are few notions I reject more strongly than Biden being “the only candidate who can beat Trump.” There is a field of candidates more talented and more diverse than we’ve ever seen. And Donald Trump is always going to be an abnormally vulnerable candidate. We need to stop feeding into this narrative, as we otherwise start to create somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy. What is our reasoning here? That Biden is a “centrist”? For a centrist such as myself, I can confidently say that Biden is not the candidate I’m looking for.
And so while we can discuss that to the moon and back, it’s not something I’m inclined to take too much more time talking about. There’s a more pressing issue. As a young person, I will tell you that the most notable part of the second debate night was not Booker going at it with Biden.
It was not Kamala Harris giving an underwhelming performance.
It was not Kirsten Gillibrand joking about “cloroxing the Oval Office.”
It was the fact that gun violence was not mentioned once. It was the fact that you cannot make up for it simply by holding a special forum when you feel the timing is right. This is happening every day and everywhere in this country. This is bigger than Dayton or El Paso. This is bigger than Parkland. This is bigger than any specific or any combination of instances because the fact is, we are losing hundreds of lives in this country each day.
Police violence is gun violence. Suicide by gun is gun violence. We need to acknowledge that all forms of gun violence are not given the same attention, and we need to talk about all forms of gun violence. We also need to address gun violence! We cannot accept silence. And so during the second debate, watching the time tick away, waiting for the gun violence epidemic to be brought up only to be given no mention whatsoever was demoralizing.
In fact, the word “Clorox” was said more times than “guns.”
This is a nonpartisan issue. With no mention of an epidemic perpetuated by corrupt lawmakers in Washington, an epidemic shattering families and communities each and every day, and epidemic that is statistically proven to be avoidable — with no mention of the epidemic until it took two more communities to see their friends and family slaughtered, it only reinforces that this epidemic is not being treated with the urgency it not only deserves but requires.
That’s what I remember.
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