What did you think of the second round of the Democratic debates? For me, it was several candidates who appeared unable to apologize and repent for past views and actions that they find objectionable. If you're a Christian, you believe people can change for the better. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus' call for people to repent and follow God is built on the belief that people are capable of change.
Sadly, several of the candidates who came under attack during the debate deflected questions about their past, made excuses, pivoted to Trump, or attempted to focus on their current beliefs. We all know Trump claims he has never needed to repent in his life. Hopefully, Democratic candidates running for president can do better.
I'm going to address immigration specifically, although there were a number of issues that came up during the debate, including desegregation, the death penalty, criminal justice reform, and votes for the Iraq War. I want to discuss immigration because it's the issue I know the best. From 2011-2015, I worked at the National Immigration Forum to mobilize people of faith for comprehensive immigration reform. If you don't know the deeply upsetting history of why immigration activists were disappointed in the Obama administration and pushed the president to take Executive Action with DACA, here's a good reminder: "Obama's Long Immigration Betrayal
Trump's immigration policies are obviously far worse than the Obama administration's, but that doesn't erase the harm done under Obama, which includes more than three million deportations. Vice President Biden and all members of the administration who developed these policies are accountable for them. The most charitable read of the Obama immigration enforcement policies was that the administration did their best at human enforcement while seeking to reform the unjust laws passed by Congress in the past. Even with that understanding of what happened, it shouldn't be hard to admit the administration's failure to pass immigration reform and the devastating impact of deportations.
While we yearn for the end of Trumpism, we must always keep in mind that Democrats reclaiming power isn't our final goal. Our final goal is a moral revolution where the common good is upheld, human dignity respected, and all people can flourish. It's hard for me to imagine a moral administration or president who can't repent for the harm they've caused as they seek to do better in the future.
I want to hear how every Democratic candidate will address migrants at our border, but any candidate with over three million deportations on their record needs to address that, no matter what we think of Trump.