First 2020 SC Senatorial Debate: Jaime Harrison vs Lindsey Graham

First 2020 SC Senatorial Debate: Jaime Harrison vs Lindsey Graham

     Well, one thing is for certain. The debate between Jaime Harrison and Lindsey Graham MUCH more palatable than the presidential debate. Judi Gatson kept a very tight ship last night. While Chris Wallace just got ran all over by Trump, Judi was able to reel in Graham when he started to go a little wild.

     But I would say this debate perfectly encapsulates the current political divide in SC, and the US. The overall tone was set from the very beginning when Harrison opened with “tonight, you will probably hear from Lindsey Graham and he will scare you to vote for him.” This proved to be fairly accurate. Graham used several scare tactics throughout the night whereas Harrison took a much more compassionate route: “I hope tonight, to inspire you to support me”.

lindsey graham

     From the very beginning, it was apparent who the more prepared and steadied candidate was. Harrison was very calm, collected, and spoke very professionally while Graham was fidgety, rigid, and as is tradition with the GOP, spoke pretty harshly. Again, this was an almost perfect embodiment of the current political divide. The GOP wants to bully everyone into submission as opposed to being capable of having a civil debate.

     With that said, there were a few moments of humanity from Graham. While he mostly stuck to his few fearmongering talking points, there were times where his honesty shone through. As much as I vehemently oppose to the GOP platform, I could see times where Graham could appeal to people on a humanity level. If he were to stick to honesty and understanding rather than just spewing pure vitriol, I believe he would win this election handily.

jaime harrison debate

     Jaime on the other hand had an almost immaculate night. One thing that I look for in a debate is how each candidate frames their answers. Do they approach the question with their constituents in mind? Do their answers provide substantive information that will actively inform the voters while also providing adequate insight to their core beliefs? And in my opinion, Harrison exceedingly exceled at both. He proved that he always has South Carolinians in mind and given his personal experiences, he approaches issues from a perspective of your normal everyday citizen, not a millionaire or billionaire.

Now let us go over a few notable moments from the debate.

  • Probably the most monumental moment of the night is when Harrison slammed Graham for his hypocrisy on placing a judge on the Supreme Court during an election year.

  • Lindsey Graham answering questions with nonsense:
    • Judi Gatson: “How has politization of the virus damaged our response federally, and here in our state?”
      • Graham: “The virus came out of China, not Trump Tower”, “We’re going to have a hearing for Amy Barrett, the nominee to the Supreme Court”
      • And the best line from this question: “And the one thing I find odd, nobody asked me ‘How are you doing Senator Graham?’ when 200 people showed up my house and broke my window?”
      • He basically droned on and on about nothing related to the virus itself. No part of his answer even addressed the question somewhat.
    • Judi Gatson: “Should we ask our teachers to return to class for 5-day face to face instruction without having access to widespread rapid testing to quickly identify and contain those cases in schools?”
      • Graham: “I think we should allow our parents to make a decision about what’s best for their children, and if a teacher doesn’t want to go back to the classroom, I won’t make them.”
      • Again, nonsense. Hypothetically, let us say every parent wants their kids to go back to school for face to face instruction – obviously it’s nowhere close to that, but still hypothetically… You are not going to have enough teachers. It is as simple as that. There are a large portion of teachers that do not believe risking their own and their family’s lives is worth going back into school for face to face instruction.
    • Bill Sharpe: “Is the Affordable Care Act worth it, do you want to do away with the ACA or do you want to keep it and expand Medicaid to help poor people in South Carolina?”
      • So up until this point, there has been general overtones of socialist fearmongering, but here is where Graham REALLY goes to town…
      • “Obamacare is a placeholder for Berniecare, they’re believing in socialized medicine.”, “This bureaucrat run healthcare is a disaster for you, socialized medicine is a disaster for America”
      • All right, so outside of him once again not answering the question at all, Graham is just completely off his rocker. The ACA is nowhere close to socialized medicine, even Medicare for All wouldn’t be considered that. Again, he’s resorted to just using typical GOP fear tactics.
    • Adam Mincer (I couldn’t quite make out his last name, could be wrong): “What national issues, if any, will you dissent with your party when taking votes?”
      • Graham: “The people running the Democratic party today are NUTS”, “Medicare for All means Medicare for nobody!”
      • Um, what? I mean, I definitely do not agree with how the Democratic leaders operate, myself… but yikes. Also, what in the world does ‘Medicare for All means Medicare for nobody’ even mean? If someone could answer that one for me, I’d greatly appreciate it.
    • Harrison in response to Graham saying the Democratic leaders are nuts: “So the first step in terms of working with other side, is not to call the other side nuts.”
      • I mean you can’t really object at all to that. He also goes on to mention that you people should still be able to get along even though they have differing opinions. That is one sentiment that people really should keep in mind these days.
    • Harrison addressing Graham regarding his disapproval of extra benefits for those receiving unemployment insurance: “You are worried about everybody else’s paycheck, but your own.”
      • Back when the phase III stimulus discussions were ongoing, Graham and many other republicans were vehemently opposed to the additional $600 per week for people who were laid off due to the pandemic.
      • But then Harrison rightly points out that Graham is completely OK with approving a raise for himself as a congressman. So, why he so concerned with other people receiving a few extra dollars?

     Again overall, the debate was much better than the horror show that was the presidential debate. But the GOP fearmongering is still ever present. On that note, I’m honestly not even sure they understand what socialism actually is. Or if they do, they are completely OK with misrepresenting it to further their political agenda. I would venture to guess that it’s a bit of a mixture of both. But either way, I believe that using fear rather than compassion, empathy, and reason is not the way to win over voters. And I hope that Harrison will be able to prove that this election.

Side note: I 100% support Jaime Harrison. Please consider contributing to his campaign via financial donation or by volunteering. The link to his website is below.

http://www.jaimeharrison.com

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