Do you have to have a personality disorder to run for president?
That was the primary question that occurred to me watching the Democratic debate from Las Vegas Wednesday night.
At least for the first half of yet another debate terminal and interminable (apologies to Freud), we were back in the third grade, children endlessly waving their hands. Call on me, teacher. Call on me.
But the teachers—the supposed mainstays of NBC News—weren’t there. They might as well have gone out for a smoke, although I am sure none of them do.
The infantile behavior went on and on, the children talking over each other without break, especially Elizabeth Warren who couldn’t stop waving her hand as if she were a student who had forgotten to take her ADD meds that morning. Bernie wasn’t much better, Biden was on autopilot muttering his usual platitudes with the same vacant expression, Klobuchar and Buttigieg only occasionally made sense, when they weren’t showing their intense distaste for one another.
So Mike Bloomberg might have seemed to be the grown up in the room many had hoped for. For a moment it seemed possible because he had the intelligence to shut his mouth while the others were nattering on, vying for attention like nutty ideologues. (Where on Earth does Bernie Sanders get the figures he repeats ad infinitum, except when asked what everything will cost? Then, actual numbers suddenly become so trivial they are scarcely worth discussing or possibly don’t even exist.)
But then Mike opened his mouth too and seemed unsure and surprisingly unpracticed in answering the inevitable questions about his wealth and record.
Still, I have to say it was amusing in the first half to see these people yelling and screaming at each other for once. Finally you could see that beneath the disingenuous pledges of party solidarity they actively disliked, even despised, each other. The mask was coming off. There was drama… a reason to watch the debate… until…
The moment this hoary topic was raised, it was time to crawl under the bed and go to sleep to the lulling refrain of existential threat… existential threat… existential threat… existential threat… in unison from six people none of whom are scientists. It was the only time they seemed to agree on anything.
Thankfully, the moment ended, and they could begin to attack each other again.
At the end, for her concluding remarks, Klobuchar tried to remind all that what united the candidates on the stage was greater than what divided them.
That was nonsense. For all his attacks on Donald Trump, Bloomberg has more in common with Trump than anyone on the stage, certainly miles more in common with the president than he does with Sanders, his primary Democratic adversary at this point.
Sanders midway through took umbrage at Bloomberg for implying Bernie was a communist or, perish the thought, that socialism often leads to the totalitarian curse of communism. Sanders called it a “cheap shot.”
It wasn’t. It was the truth.
Roger L. Simon is The Epoch Times’ senior political analyst.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.