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What kind of madness will Democrats back this time?

What kind of madness will Democrats back this time?
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We have established that the Democratic candidates running for president have little compunction about taking positions that alienate moderate voters, especially when doing so is as easy as raising a hand. During the first round of debates, Senators Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenExclusive: How Obama went to bat for Warren Minimum wage setback revives progressive calls to nix Senate filibuster Democratic strategists start women-run media consulting firm MORE, Bernie SandersBernie SandersHouse Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike House set for tight vote on COVID-19 relief package On The Money: Democrats scramble to save minimum wage hike | Personal incomes rise, inflation stays low after stimulus burst MORE, and Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisDwayne 'The Rock' Johnson vs. Donald Trump: A serious comparison Exclusive: How Obama went to bat for Warren To unite America, Biden administration must brace for hate MORE, as well as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, all raised their hands to indicate that they would abolish private health insurance, even though that proposal has already sparked intense backlash from voters.

The most stunning part about the second night of the first debates is that all the candidates on the stage proudly raised their hands to confirm that they would have American taxpayers to foot the bill for providing free health care to illegal aliens. The Democrats know that these politically toxic positions are well outside the mainstream of our politics yet they seem not to care. One begins to wonder if there is any limit to the sort of insanity capable of provoking another round of candidate calisthenics.

Raise your hand if you think the government should ban disposable plastic straws. The candidates would probably stand on their tiptoes in an effort to raise their hands higher than the others. Raise your hand if you want to lower the voting age to 16. The only candidates with their hands down would be those looking to one up their rivals by calling to extend the right to those under the age of 16. Raise your hand if you favor making abortion legal until the end of the third trimester. The candidates would not hear anything past “making abortion legal” so hands would shoot up across stage before the moderator even had a chance to finish the sentence.

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Debate moderators ask these types of “raise your hand” questions in order to create conflict and generate headlines. Politicians are notorious for loathing to go into specifics, particularly during debates, but raising hands puts pressure on them to prove their radical left bona fides. Peer pressure is a real factor. It is tough to be alone, and if you are the only one with your hand down, you can count on the moderators to make you explain your heresy before a national television audience as the camera cuts away to your laughing or exasperated rivals. For the shrewd candidate, however, herein lies the beauty of the hand raise. A lone hand pointed towards the sky or a defiant palm left planted on the podium brings with it that all important currency in politics, which is attention.

Now that rivalries have started to develop between some of the leading candidates, the moderators might even take advantage of the chance to incite some verbal sparring with their “raise your hand” questions. The next round of debates this week will offer some prime opportunities for that, with Joe BidenJoe BidenNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors Biden celebrates vaccine approval but warns 'current improvement could reverse' MORE and Harris sharing the stage on the first night and Sanders and Warren appearing together on the second night. Will the moderators ask questions designed to give Harris another opening to attack Biden or hand Biden a layup opportunity for a counterattack?

Perhaps they will ask about prison reform, forcing Harris to keep her hand down and defend the draconian criminal justice policies she oversaw in California. Biden could then explain why he now supports releasing the long serving nonviolent offenders who have been locked up under laws that Biden helped write as a senator. Both would have to be careful about how they approach the issue, lest they accidentally endorse the policies President TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE has already started to implement with the First Step Act.

Sanders and Warren will likely be jockeying to see who can propose the most radical economic policies, so the moderators of that debate should ask the candidates if they support a $15 minimum wage. Sanders would have no choice but to raise his hand, given that he had to run damage control following reports that he did not even pay his own campaign staff that much. Warren could then exploit that question to one up Sanders by keeping her hand down and endorsing the $20 minimum wage that has recently been proposed by Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib.

It will be interesting to find out which questions the moderators decide to ask during the “raise your hand” segments of the next debates because the Democratic candidates have already shown us a remarkable aptitude for keeping one hand in the air while putting one foot in their mouths.

Lara TrumpLara TrumpWhy Congress must invoke the 14th Amendment now Trump-McConnell rift divides GOP donors Graham: Lara Trump is biggest winner of impeachment trial MORE is a senior adviser to the Donald Trump 2020 campaign.