The DNC Shouldn’t be Afraid of a FOX Primary Debate, and Here’s Why.

It might not be such a bad idea.

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Photo via Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Not long ago the Democratic National Committee announced that they had chosen not to allow FOX News to host any of their mandatory primary season debates. Considering the track record of FOX News and how they handle democrats and their ideas, it’s not difficult to understand the rationale. It’s easy to see the concern about candidates potentially walking in to a trap, and whether their values would be portrayed fairly by the network. I vehemently agreed with the decision at first, and still see its legitimacy. While there are certainly valid reasons to be hesitant to allow a FOX news Democratic debate, Bernie Sanders’ easy handling of the FOX environment and the questions posed to him quickly changed my mind.

I doubt anyone who watched the FOX town hall would disagree that Bernie did a fantastic job making his case to the network’s conservative viewers. He carried himself with poise and refused to be tripped up by anything thrown his way, all while emphasizing shared common interests of both republican and democrat voters. In a primary full to the brim with candidates from all backgrounds, records, and visions for the future, this is exactly what we need in order to help us make an educated decision.

In my view, any candidate with a platform that can stand whatever FOX news throws at it is a serious candidate worthy of our consideration. They show bravery, integrity, faith in their message, and confidence in its ability to resonate. While I am not under the impression that the majority of the FOX news audience is going to be swayed, I’m sure there are a few that would be at the very least intrigued by the message and how the debate will play out. There is no doubt in my mind that questions to each and every one of the candidates would be posed with an agenda and questionable framing, but the underlying advantage of that scenario is the strong ones would inevitably rise above.

It goes without saying that Bernie Sanders and his platform is the antithesis of everything that Fox News represents and stands for, yet he still brought his message to their audience. That sends a clear message both to his supporters and and those who oppose him that he is not in this race to play any games. It is indicative of a candidate who feels that while you may disagree with him politically he still wants you to hear what he has to say, and that alone has indispensable value. Not only that, but maybe the one or two issues a FOX News viewer may have agreed with him on were the issues that mattered the most to them.

As voters, we deserve to see our strongest candidates. We’ve seen time and time again how leftists have gone on FOX News shows such as Tucker Carlson’s and presented their cases so strongly that interviews were literally cut short and went unaired. To go against their narrative on a scale as massive as a debate would be a clear show of strength. Not only that, but we would be able to see the candidates who have a clear understanding of the issues, and policy platforms to solve them.

I do not deny the valid concerns and criticisms of having a Democratic debate on FOX News, but I feel Bernie Sanders has shown that the benefits potentially outweigh the risks. We have a diverse and strong set of candidates, with a primary that is shaping up to be a tough one. If FOX News can be trusted with anything, it’s that they are not going to coddle or favor any of our candidates over others. Any situation that puts our Democratic nominee hopefuls to the test and makes them stand out from the crowd shouldn’t be immediately cast to the side as a bad idea.

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Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at or Twitter @xlauren_mx

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