The South Carolina Democratic debate the night of Feb. 25th was the wild west. Vermont senator Bernie Sanders came into the debate as the frontrunner, according to all national polls, and also left the state as the deserved frontrunner the next day.
A barrage of attacks towards Sanders were to be expected as the race was beginning to heat up. The night kicked off with the moderates going after Sanders. First was Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who initialized the moderate assault of Sanders by trying to convince the American people that Sanders would in turn be even more divisive than Donald Trump himself. Buttigieg would announce his withdrawal from the race just a week after the debate.
“If you think that the country is divisive now, then wait until we have a Sanders versus Trump climate,” said Buttigieg.
The approach toward Sanders by Buttigieg was met with similar sentiment by presidential-hopeful Tom Steyer, who has since also dropped out as well. Given that both of these men have since dropped out of the presidential race shows just how much that sentiment worked on those who favor Sanders.
Moreover, Former Vice President Joe Biden joined the attack on Sanders, voicing his displeasure with Sander’s voting against measures to make the waiting period longer for the purchase of handguns following the Charleston church shootings in South Carolina in 2015. This was a hard-hitter for the South Carolina crowd as it seemed Biden had gained control of the debate.
“I’m not saying (Sanders) is responsible for those nine deaths, but that man would not have been able to get that weapon with the waiting period,” said Biden.
It was not long before Senator Elizabeth Warren joined in on the fight. While the Massachusetts senator has been rather standoffish on Sanders, she decided to go after him a bit. Warren admitted that she shares many of the same beliefs as Sanders, but the main difference between him and her is that she is less divisive and polarizing of a candidate.
It is clear now, the Warren’s dig at Sanders had no effect, as she had to drop out of the race after her disastrous Super Tuesday results on Mar. 3. Moreover. She has yet to officially endorse a remaining candidate, which will only reflect negatively on her the longer she stays silent on the matter.
No matter what occurred in the debate, Sanders was not phased. He focused on the very issues that got him to where he is today regardless of what was thrown his way.
“Our campaign is about changing American priorities,” exclaimed Sanders. “Instead of giving tax breaks to billionaires, we are going to have high quality, universal, childcare for every family in this country.”
As the debate shifted to education for a rather long period, Senator Sanders showed just how much he hasn’t flip-flopped on his beliefs his whole life, which is more than any other candidate in the running can say. Instead of trying to appease others, Sanders stuck to what he truly believes from the point of view of the average American. Politics aside, Sanders cares about people first. Sanders prioritizes what is right for the American working class and looks at every single political issue with that very priority in the front of his mind.
This is the very reason why he is still standing. Despite all of the billionaire funded Super-PACS that have endorsed Biden, despite all of the democratic establishment endorsing his opponent, Bernie Sanders will forever represent the American working class. It is for those reasons that he is the candidate that is most well-equipped to go toe-to-toe with Donald Trump in the 2020 general election.