The presidential debate stage: not to be confused with an actual stage

By Kaydee Donohoo

Staff Writer

As written by most major media sources, deciding between the two major party candidates has not been between policy, but between their morals.

One reason for this is that Trump’s policies are so difficult to keep track of. His plan for defeating ISIS? Oh, he definitely has one…he just doesn’t want anyone to “steal it.” As president he’d talk to the generals and see if he’d likes their plan better. Maybe he’ll combine them. Definitely has a plan though.

What? Do you honestly think any of us are falling for this? It probably would have even been better  to admit, “I’ll just ask the experts later.” There are several examples like this. Thus on Monday, instead of a debate on policies, much of the conversation was focused on character.

Trump brings up how Hillary once used the term “super predators,” though admitting before he even really began that she did apologize for it. Wait, set Hillary aside for a second. Trump, you’re actually going to bring up a racist comment that your opponent said? You really think that you can go there? Even if we bracket every single racist thing you’ve said before the debate, you literally began the debate with racism! Then you argued with the moderator on whether  stop-and-frisk is constitutional? Maybe find something else to attack about Hillary’s past beside one racist phrase.

His other brilliant attack? Her attack ads. Her attack ads were basically just videos of you, Trump. If hearing what you just said is an attack against you (which it is), than maybe Hillary’s ads aren’t your problem. And okay, sure, go with attack ads, but with your “that’s not very nice” way of phrasing it, it just made you sound like an elementary schooler crying over another kid calling you a mean name, just after you called them a mean name.

Watching Trump fumble into getting angry and hearing Hillary quips as she stayed completely calm, made the night both exciting and painful to watch. In sort: entertaining.

One tweet really got me though, and that was from Bernie Sanders: “What we have to do is focus on the issues, not see tonight as an entertainment show. #debatetonight.” You’re right! We are so sorry, Bernie Sanders! We are all at least a little guilty of this. It is hard not too. Most of us are decided voters, without the debate being able to able to sway our minds. Any undecided voters are likely not seeing Trump vs. Hillary, but rather Stein or Johnson or not voting at all vs. Trump or Hillary.

It was hard not to be entertained when Trump said “you’re wrong” on more than one occasion to the moderator. It’s hard not to be entertained when Trump was cringeworthingly awkward when addressing Hillary as “Secretary Clinton” for the first time (is that okay?). Or when Trump showed his true colors by giving asides to the microphone such as “that’s called business, by the way.”

Or when Trump wiggles out of answering questions with phrases like, “It’s just one of those things,” or when Hillary actually wiggles in excitement before an easy rebuttal.

The entertaining tone of the debate was set once promos gave the impression that the night would be like inside a wrestling ring. Yet here we are. I doubt anyone new was convinced one way or another of anything. We did not hear more details on the plans and policies of our next president. The debate did not serve what it was supposed to do. It was entertainment. We were entertained.

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