The big target, as the first Democratic debate opened this evening, was not President Donald Trump, but America's biggest businesses. Candidate after candidate used their first question to blame big business and major corporations like Amazon for any economic problems faced by Americans.
Elizabeth Warren kicked off the debate by claiming that, despite good news about the economy, "it's doing great for a thinner and thinner number of people at the top." This is not actually true. The number of people moving up from the middle class into the upper class is actually increasing. Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) said he was "concerned about corporate consolidation."
But it was New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to show precisely why he's the least popular candidate to make it into the debates. He is very clear and succinct that he simply does not believe in concepts like private property or individual rights. He bluntly said, "We are supposed to break up big corporations when they're not serving our democracy." He added that they're supposed to call for massive taxes and that this deliberate redistribution of money and property from the rich to the masses is the "heart and soul" of what the Democratic Party should be standing for.
Candidates like Warren talk about breaking up big corporations and using antitrust actions to target wealthy businesses, but de Blasio's on a whole different level. This shouldn't be a surprise. De Blasio has a lengthy history of having absolutely no respect for private property, bluntly saying that he thinks the government should decide what gets built and threatening to seize buildings of landlords in New York if their buildings fall into disrepair (never mind that New York City's only public housing authority has a terrible reputation).
It's almost as though de Blasio's role in this race is to just say the harshest, most unacceptable position against private property ownership to make candidates like Warren seem more reasonable. Later in the debate as attention shifted to immigration, de Blasio said that the American people needed to learn that it wasn't immigrants who were responsible for their economic woes (true!) but big corporations (not true!).
Make no mistake here: The Democrats decided to open this debate not by casting Trump as the villain, but America's own businesses.