In the current: Debate nights imperative to election process

Pay attention to presidential debates

Alison Booth, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief

Wednesday’s presidential debate spurred several interesting views and opinions, all of which I believe to be relevant and valid. As I scrolled through social media that night, however, it seemed to me that words were being put into each candidate’s mouth, words that were usually untrue and shed each candidate in an increasingly negative light.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly thrilled that we live in a society where politics are so frequently talked and argued about because I find politics to be an extremely important aspect of today’s society. However, we need to listen to the candidates very closely on these debate nights, because this is the platform in which each candidate states his or her views directly and clearly (at least, most of the time).

The first televised presidential debate, held in September of 1960 between candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, was an extremely important event in American history. Having the event televised allowed for the American people to physically see the two presidential candidates interact, thus giving citizens a more accurate and just description of their personalities. Sixteen years later, in 1976, presidential debates became a regular event during election seasons.

These debates are imperative to fully comprehending and understanding the positions of each presidential candidate. Debates act as an opportunity for the candidates to almost directly address the American people as a whole. Therefore, it is important to engage in these debates; whether you’re directly watching them or keeping updated by social media updates, pay attention to them. Furthermore, pay attention to candidates’ exact wording while answering questions. If you want to make a claim about a candidate, it is extremely important that this claim lines up with what that specific candidate actually believes.

That being said, candidate performance on debate night should not ultimately determine either your support or disapproval of him or her. It is important to take into consideration past experience and political performance, ultimately combining a plethora of factors to determine your stance on a certain candidate.

Ultimately, we’re in the era of an election, and we need to take advantage of this. Get involved in the debates and the election season, but make sure that when you do get involved, your facts are substantial and authentic.

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