This past week we returned to the 1980s. A group of elderly rich white liberals stood on a stage in Las Vegas, Nevada, and told the nation they intended to tax more, give more free stuff and surrender our national security. They disagreed on very little issues of substance, largely just racing to outdo each other's promises of more free stuff.
This was Walter Mondale's campaign orchestrated by Michael Dukakis. There were two really interesting things about the Democrats' debate. First, they were a bunch of old, rich, white people. For a party that values diversity, the most diverse thing on stage was the assorted array of liver spots on the candidates. Sure, Hillary Clinton was the one woman, but so? She lives in an exceedingly wealthy part of New York with a swimming pool so large it could fit Marco Rubio's fishing boat with room to maneuver.
The second interesting thing about the debate was the repeated mantra that our nation needs to be more like other nations. Time and time again, the Democrats claimed the United States is a great nation, but then insisted we adopt the policies of lesser nations. Bernie Sanders in particular insists we become more like the Scandinavian countries that are even now withering in old age and being overrun by an immigrant Muslim population. It is hard to believe these old liberals think the United States is all that great when they also think we need to saddle the nation with the social welfare regimes of stagnant, dying countries in Europe.
Contrast the Democrats to the Republicans. The GOP has both male and female candidates, Hispanics, Indian Americans, younger candidates and older candidates. Ideas, too, are different among the GOP candidates. The Republicans are having a healthy debate on immigration, tax reform, government spending and foreign policy. About the only substantive debate the Democrats had was whether government programs should be subsidized or completely free to the recipients.
The "free" programs, of course, come with a price. The Democrats have decided they will give away the government's kitchen sink and buy a new one with rich people's money. Bill Clinton worked very hard in the 1990s to move the Democratic Party beyond the tax-and-spend mantra of Mondale and Dukakis, but it came back forcefully Tuesday night from his wife.
The American people saw a group of liberals who want to take away their guns, take their money, bankrupt the nation and leave the national carcass for China and Russia to fight over. The candidates also took the position that there is nothing wrong with the secretary of state having an unsecured email server in her bathroom through which she conducts the foreign policy of the United States and receives classified information. The lack of seriousness from the candidates on that issue alone should frighten any reasonable citizen.
In Las Vegas last week, the crowd loved the Democrats going full socialist. The more the Democrats on stage promised, the more the crowd cheered. It became a crutch for the candidates. When Hillary Clinton no longer wanted to talk about emails or Libya, she would throw out red meat to the crowd on Planned Parenthood, and the crowd roared. When Bernie Sanders fumbled an answer he would throw out climate change and the crowd roared. Gun control got the crowd roaring as well. None of those issues are real winners with the American public.
Hillary Clinton might have secured her nomination last week with her debate performance. It was the first good night she has had since she took a road trip to Iowa earlier this year. But it was also a reminder that all the fresh faces and new ideas are coming from the Republicans. Marco Rubio called Hillary Clinton "yesterday's candidate." Last week, she and the four men on stage with her did a nostalgia tour for the 1980s Democratic Party. That party lost repeatedly and will lose again in 2016. It is a party devoid of ideas and covetous of the people's money.
To find out more about Erick Erickson, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.