Last Night’s Democratic Debate: What We Saw—And Didn’t See

Nov 21, 2019

photo: Homeless tent city in Skid Row, Los Angeles. The 2019 count found
60,000 homeless people. (Photo Theodore Hayes • CC BY-SA 4.0)

In solidarity,  Alan Minsky for Mike F., Dan, Janis, Deb, Dr. Bill, Mike H., Donna, Kimberly, and Bryan—your PDA national team.

Progressive Talk About the Country As It Really Is?
Not The Case With The DNC-Approved Moderators


There have now been five Democratic Presidential debates, and still not a single moderator has uttered the word “poverty.” Yet, nearly half of the country lives near, or below, the poverty level. This begs the question: what country are the moderators asking questions about?

Again, only one candidate broke the mold as Bernie Sanders loudly proclaimed that we need wealth to be distributed more justly in this richest of nations when half-a-million people are homeless.

Bernie had another great night. Every word was well-chosen and powerfully delivered. Every idea he presented clearly addressed the real concerns of average Americans. His message came through loud and clear: he wants a just society from the Mid-West to the Middle East.


Tell The DNC And The News Networks:
We Need Debate Questions About Poverty


Support PDA’s Justice Or Bust Organizing


After the 5th debate it remains clear: the DNC-approved moderators—all from the mainstream media—want the conversation to remain in the comfort zone of the “moderate” centrists. Thus, the difficult realities of American society are given short shrift.

This, in itself, is unacceptable; but compounding the problem is the reality that in 2016 the unwillingness of Democratic centrists to address the concerns of half the population ceded the key issues re: economic populism to Trump.

Trump took advantage of this failure with relish—masking his right-wing agenda with jeremiads against the political establishment’s contempt for working people.

Thus, we must demand that the Democratic Debates address the true realities of American society, including the undisputed fact that half of America lives paycheck to paycheck, at best.

We need to know that the Democratic nominee has concrete plans to address the really-existing crisis of American poverty; and that it will be a priority for him or her when they assume the Presidency.

Please sign this petition, which I’ll be delivering to the debate hosts—along with poverty activists—before the sixth Presidential debate, scheduled for December 19th in Los Angeles.

Sign the petitionIf you’ve already signed, please pitch in to support our work to eradicate poverty from our society—the richest in human history.

We have more than enough wealth to go around. No one should be homeless, hungry, or poor.


P.S.: The 2020 election cycle is already underway. PDA is supporting exciting progressive candidates. Join us investing to recruit and elect the best progressives in 2020.


  1. Cheryl A Osborn


  2. MA Beck

    Economic inequality has gotten far worse since my childhood in the 50”s and 60”s. When our soldiers came back from WW ll, the country helped them find housing and trainng and education to resettle in their country. Not so for soldiers returning from Vietnam and Iraq and Afganistan. We abandoned our military. We left them to fend for themselves and now many are ill and homeless. We need to redirect our resources away from benefitting the wealthy to assisting our most needy, particularly our military.