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Debates Amuse Yet Fail to Inform

The way people have been talking about the presidential debates, you would think they were talking about the new season of Game of Thrones.

It’s got the same blend of crude, chaotic, and violent that has made the show so popular, but in the case of the debates … not so much.

However, with that being said, in the past two months I’ve heard more political discussion among my peers than I ever had prior to this election.

It doesn’t matter who you talk to — everyone has some idea of what happened in the debates. And that would be great if it wasn’t for what they were focusing on.

There’s no discussion of the policies each candidate presented or the valuable points that were made, however few there may be.

No, the discussion, instead, is about who got in the most insults, or who interrupted the other the most, or what each candidate was wearing. Any real dialogue about the debate afterwards is interrupted by the maelstrom of tweets thrown back and forth by each party and the newest scandal added to a long list of tedious distractions. How I wish this behaviour was only reserved for the immature youth of our nation, that, surely, not everyone could behave like this.

But this small hope was extinguished months ago. You needn’t look farther than your television screen to see the state of our media. Even the most respected networks in our country (respected being a relative term) have become indistinguishable from TMZ or Access Hollywood.

What we needed in these debates was to be reminded about the issues that really matter to us as Americans. We need to pull out of the meaningless gossip and refocus on the real problems, the ones we need a strong president to fix. Yet from the first debate it was clear that the race was already too muddled to establish any real discussion. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump carried out on tangents while attempting to run through a long list of allegations and rumours, and dump more on each other. So much time was spent giving airtime to relevant but also unimportant issues.

The issue of Trump’s tax returns lasted 20 minutes, and while it is a pressing matter and speaks to his integrity it also unraveled the debate and took away from other topics.

The same went for Clinton’s emails, while important, did not warrant the amount of time spent discussing them.

With most of the debate spent on insubstantial points neither candidate ever really established concrete plans for any issues, across all the debates. Which is a problem because the most important part of these debates is to allow undecided voters a chance to compare candidates side by side, and learn more about their policies.

So after three debates with no real developments made,  for many it was just a reaffirming of their previous beliefs – neither candidate is fit to be president.

But the biggest problem with these debates and this election as a whole, is that in the past no matter what it came down to in the end, after all the trash-talking and bad-mouthing there was always respect among candidates, if not for your opponents views than for them as a person.

That’s what the political process was. Now it’s just a new season of Game of Thrones and I hope for all of our sakes it doesn’t stay that way.

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