With the Democratic Party now possessing a significant amount of power at the national level an issue very near and dear to their Big Government hearts — universal healthcare — has come front and center. If not for the debate over our continued police action in Iraq this would be the predominant political hot button topic. Not only does it permeate political discourse and day-to-day conversation, but it also receives rather phenomenal media coverage as well, highlighted daily by the print, broadcast and internet media.

The constant coverage and the discussions that follow are facilitated by the Democrats' presidential debates, which, after closer analysis don't appear to be presidential debates at all. Instead, these debates seem to be a sly method employed by the left's congressional leadership to expose the masses to their train of thought which could control the flow and direction of public opinion and therefore public policy. This can be surmised from an observation that these get-togethers are too soon, too often, and too left to be an appropriate paring down of the candidates.

The early and constant scheduling of these debates lends credence to this conspiracy theory. Yes, many of the candidates have had it in their minds for quite some time (if not their whole lives) that they want the presidential throne, so, they've probably been pressing the flesh for a while. But never have we seen so many candidates take their battle to the podium for direct conflict so soon in an electoral term. The first of the debates occurred over a year and a half before the actual election which just so happens to be quite soon after the Democrats took control at the start of this year. There have been more debates since and there are many more scheduled in the coming months. By doing this the Democrats have and are saturating civic discussion and media coverage by getting their message out early and often.

Were it at this time to be an actual presidential drive the earliness and frequency of such events would prove to be a monumental waste of a candidate's money and time. Human beings don't have memories like figurative elephants. A voter, no matter how good of a voter he or she may be, would be unable to recall in September or November of 2008 what occurred in a presidential debate in the Spring of 2007. But, with these debates instead being a means to subconsciously influence public thought and force policy the true-blue Democrats look at it as a worthwhile investment.

This is emphasized by how left-specific the topics du jour are in these debates. Rather than having the “candidates” talk about issues pitting left versus right or factors that are appropriate to the executive requirements of the presidency the moderators chose to have them expound upon — and essentially educate the masses about — topics that dominate the Democratic platform: limited warfare (the broken promise of their win in this past November's election), universal healthcare (an issue that has had relatively limited exposure until now), immigration (“this isn't amnesty”), abortion (and their pro-choice stand) and any of a variety of anti-capitalistic attitudes.

We see this directed team approach in the debates' lack of fireworks. These debates are so atypically civil as compared to standard presidential debates that they seem forced if not contrived. The teeth and nails aren't shown because the Democratic Party is using these debates to discuss and iron out its master plan in public rather than behind closed doors in Washington.

This in itself has the potential to be a great concept. It could almost be identified as a form of open government by which a party's principle players could talk openly about its side to the people. But, nonetheless, it is flawed in its presentation. By calling these meetings something else — presidential debates no less — the Democrats are lying to the populace about their intent and, therefore, are secretly and subliminally indoctrinating people to their brand of politics.

Bob Confer is a Gasport resident and vice president of Confer Plastics Inc. in North Tonawanda. E-mail him at bobconfer@juno.com.