During the past several weeks people throughout the country have had the opportunity to witness the thoughts, ideas, and beliefs of the remaining candidates for the Democrat nomination for president. Their abilities and levels of poise have been thoroughly exposed, much to the distress of many of their supporters and financial backers.

The media has not received the performances of the candidates well, as MSNBC recently stated the results as a train wreck and The New York Times called them a disaster.

In order to have a more precise understanding of the debates, let’s examine the topics and the presentations of the candidates. Vice President Biden had been the favorite initially, but his lackluster performance was not one that ignited enthusiasm from his supporters or others, as well. Sen. Sanders, who held a slim lead prior to the New Hampshire and Nevada primaries, moved aggressively forward as a coalition of supporters melded together to support his position. However, Sanders’ opponents made many penetrating questions into the reasoning for his very far left of center proposals.

  1. Free health care, including all “undocumented persons.” This proposal alone has a price tag of between $32.6 trillion and $38.8 trillion over 10 years, with some estimates suggesting the total would exceed $50 trillion.
  2. Free college tuition at state universities, which would cost over $47 billion per year.
  3. Elimination of all student debt, which today exceeds $1.6 trillion. Keep in mind that student debt today is more than the total of all credit card debt. The total of these financial icebergs is difficult to comprehend.
  4. Then add to these proposals free universal childcare, which is estimated to cost over $1.5 trillion more. When pressured by Buttigieg as to how to pay for this massive total of freebies, Sanders could offer no coherent response. When you consider that Sanders has never signed the front side of a paycheck, this enhances the wonder of this fantasy.

Speaking of Mayor Pete (who has now left the race), one of the pillars of his platform was to legalize ALL drugs, not just marijuana. Can you imagine the chaos that would result from such a proposal? In addition, he does not consider any pro-life person to be acceptable as a true disciple of the Democratic party.

It should also be mentioned, as was done by Morning Joe on MSNBC, that he and Sen. Klobuchar do not like each other and question each other’s abilities. I assume that when Klobuchar noted that Buttigieg, who had run for a statewide candidacy in Indiana, lost by 20 points, that did nothing to cozy up their relationship.

Sen. Klobacher has made more sense than most of her competitors but her stance on most issues leans decidedly to the left and her chance to gain any significant support on Super Tuesday was exceptionally slim (and she, too, has bowed out).

Remember Sen. Warren unloading on Mayor Bloomberg. She beat on him like he was a scared, whipped puppy. She later turned on Sen. Sanders, attacking him for co-opting her proposal of Medicare for all.  Remember one of her primary proposed sources of new revenue to support her proposed new increased spending was a "Wealth Tax." This tax was originally initiated all across Europe, but has been discarded by all but four of these countries as it never was a significant driver of generating government revenue.

Here we have just one more example of someone with big ideas but no idea how to pay for them with any measure of surety. She then returned to attack Mayor Bloomberg again, this time for having sexist policies in his business and racial policies during this time as mayor of New York. Bloomberg's response was weak and not well received. His performance was slightly better than the previous debate. However, his elitist manner is a turn-off to many, many voters.

And then there was Tom Steyer, who had little support (and also has withdrawn). He announced a proposal for reparations. This went over with a thud. He then got into a shouting match with Vice President Biden. It is a fair comment to say the second debate, with all of its hand-waving and shouting over each other, was really a display of organized confusion.

Now enter VP Joe with another of his outlandish gaffes. This time in discussing gun control, he explained that over the last 10-year period, over 150 million Americans had been killed by gun violence. When you couple this with another one of his recent campaign blunders, stating that he had been arrested in his effort to visit with Nelson Mandela of South Africa prior to Mandela’s release from prison. The Washington Post fact-checked and refuted the accuracy of this statement. Poor Joe Biden, it is obvious he has lost much more than his fast ball.

Let’s now return to Sen. Sanders’ support of the proposed “Green New Deal,” which would eliminate all fossil fuel emissions by the year 2050 with a price tag of $90 trillion. Also keep in mind that Sen. Sanders has a high regard for the performance and practices of Fidel Castro of Cuba, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, and Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela.

In my opinion, any combination of the individuals discussed above is a sure thing to lead our nation over a financial cliff to oblivion. What is your opinion?

Another View is a Maine Press Association award-winning column written by Midcoast conservative citizens/writers Jan Dolcater, Ken Frederic, Paul Ackerman, Doc Wallace and Dale Landrith Sr.