The first presidential debate broke records when 80 million americans tuned in to see Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton address the public. (Presidential candidate illustrations by Katie Groat/Lariat; Flickr/Nicolas Raymond. Used with a CC BY 2.0 license.)
Who would have thought that this year would be another record-breaking moment when over 80 million Americans tuned in to see Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump square off in the first presidential debate. In the 60 years that the presidential debates were televised, never have so many red, blue, and in between citizens been so enthralled.
“It’s like the Super Bowl but for the apocalypse #debates,” said actor Zach Braff in a tweet he posted the night of the presidential debate.
Statistical analysis of the 2014 presidential debate shows that, “2014 Youth Turnout and Youth Registration Rates Lowest Ever Recorded,” shown by The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. To put in perspective, only 19.9 percent of the 18-29-year-old demographic cast ballots that year.
However, based off the viewership of the debate, which aired across 13 major TV channels that carried it live, this presidential election may prove to show voting like we’ve never seen, hopefully influencing our younger voters.
Three days after the debate, Saddleback students in Professor Shawn O’Rourke’s Speech and Debate class, voiced their opinion amongst one another.
“I thought as much as I enjoy hearing Trump speak,” said Westley Stone sarcastically, “it felt a little biased toward him, like he was getting attacked by Lester Holt more than Hillary.”
Stone further noted that, the cause could have been due to Trump’s constant interruptions in the debate towards Clinton.
The class additionally discussed that throughout the whole debate, Clinton was interrupted about 50 times total within the 90-minute debate. Trump in comparison, a mere 17 times.
Fellow student Sean Kim weighed into this topic, stating that he thought it showed a lack of order from the fellow broadcasting team that conducted the event.
“Trump kept on talking well after the minute he was given,” Kim said “the broadcasters themselves are at fault.”
Trump’s interruptions, led to topic of discussion of whether or not past presidential debates have occurred with constant intrusions between nominees. The answer, “yes.” The detailed questions that are presented during the debate, pose for a part justification as to why there may be interruptions amongst delegates. Nonetheless, it showed Donald Trump in a way in which the class saw as defensive.
“Maybe his arguments might not have validity, or the arguments that were being made against him had validity,” said Christopher Duncan, “and so he had to dispel them as quickly as possible.”
As Westley Stone put it, a lack of respect was missing from Mr. Trump, further making his argument that Trump lacked class.
“If he’s going to be disrespectful to a fellow running opposition, what’s he going to be like with our allies,” Stone said.
Shortly after the debate, the National Public Radio released an article, fact checking both Clinton and Trump. NPR’s editorial team whom specifically cover national security, immigration, business, foreign policy and more, annotated the debate as it was taking place. The results showed that both candidates had many holes in their polices. Many either completely wrong, or contrary to what they said in the past.
“I was screaming at the TV. There was a point where he [Trump] said I’m more calm than Hillary,” said Carlos Vera “but he was getting more and more aggressive the whole time.”
Vera didn’t forget to mention that while Trump postulated lies, so did Clinton.
“They were both huge liars, and you couldn’t take them seriously,” Vera said.
Just as NPR editor’s fact checked the debate, so did Mr. Vera, expressing that he had to constantly check online if whether or not Clinton and Trump said the truth about policies such as New York’s Stop-and-Frisk practice.
“What really made it look particularly bad [the interruptions] was that Trump said I have a better temperament than Hillary,” said Peter Damgaard, “and the audience laughed at him.”
Professor O’Rourke put forth an interesting argument, leaving the question of whether or not there was a gender component to Trump’s aggressive nature towards Clinton. The fact on the matter is that, as Sean Kim professed, Trump has a demeaning subjugation towards women, and lacks respect.
Putting any biases about the candidates aside, looking at it from a “rhetoric viewpoint,” and not “politically,” Hillary may have won the political debate.
“In regards to the debate as a whole, regardless of whose policies you agree with, if you look at it from how they were debating and their knowledge and preparedness going into the debate, Hillary clearly won. Most mainstream media would agree with that,” Damgaard said.
Whether a Democrat, Republican, or non registered voter, the overwhelming concern in the Speech and Debate class was whether or not the United States is able to trust the next chief and commander to win this election. Problematic themes such as email scandals, and not releasing tax return information, pose for a characteristic devalue in our candidates, which is not something Saddleback students look for in a president.
Is this the end of times as we know it? Can you survive the notion of either candidate? Fingers crossed fellow students, whatever the outcome may be, may the odds be ever in your favor.