The tone of Wednesday night’s Democratic primary debates was decidedly leftist, as candidates embraced policies that displayed how liberal the party has become in recent years.

Since the 2016 elections, the Democratic party has appeared to veer to the left, with the election of far-left candidates such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) shaking up the political establishment. Many wondered whether that apparent leftist change actually represented the party as a whole, or whether a few new progressives were receiving so much media attention that it seemed as if they represented the entire party. The Democratic primary debates on Wednesday put those musings to rest, as the 10 candidates on stage displayed the liberal bend that the party’s leaders have espoused.

While Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) answered most questions with her usual brand of radical liberalism, what was surprising was the way in which the other candidates either agreed with her or stayed silent, providing no centrist opposition to her plans. When Warren advocated for single-payer healthcare and the abolition of private insurance, the only candidate to object to her plan was Rep. John Delaney (D-Maryland), a contender who has failed to earn significant support. The other eight debaters, including top names such as Beto O’Rourke, either championed similar healthcare plans or remained silent on the issue, allowing Warren’s leftism to become the party mainstream.


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On the topic of college and student debt, the debaters had similarly liberal and economically wishful plans, with no candidate willing to play the financial devil’s advocate and question the feasibility of free college. Even Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), one of the night’s more moderate contenders, refused to attack her opponents’ plans, instead choosing to focus on her plan for free community college instead.

The second night of the debates, set for Thursday, is likely to be more divisive, as frontrunners and ideological opponents Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and former vice president Joe Biden face off.

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