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A Republican debacle

It seems to me that the most productive feat that was accomplished during the Feb. 13 Republican debate was the fact that all the candidates made it on stage without missing a cue.

Unfortunately, that was probably the peak of my relief while watching the debate.

These days, it’s hard to distinguish the difference between a debate depicted in a Saturday Night Live skit and an actual presidential debate. Now before any right-winged readers get upset with my negative perspective on how the most recent debate went, let me be clear, I am a registered Republican.

I know. I’m basically a unicorn by college journalism standards.

I hesitate to state my party affiliation in this article, but my hope is that this will serve as an example of someone looking at the candidates that are up for presidency and not allowing their party affiliation to cloud her judgement.

With that being said, here is the rundown on last week’s Republican debate and my thoughts on how the candidates did.

Donald Trump surprised me in the debate prior to this one by being less on the defense and, for the most part, let Gov. Chris Christie play the antagonist role by tearing down Marco Rubio. But, now, it seems with Christie out of the race, Trump is back to his unfiltered self, slinging hotheaded responses toward the moderators, other candidates and even the audience.

Trump was the first to receive the question of if elected president what his first plan of action would be pertaining to national security. He explained that he believes ISIS needs to be hit hard and a possible partnership with Russia would be beneficial as opposed to the Iranian deal that he describes as an embarrassing disgrace.

This later led to a question answered by candidate Jeb Bush on what he would do concerning Russia. Bush contradicts Trump’s idea of forming an alliance with Russia, saying, “the fact is that Vladimir Putin is not going to become an ally of the United States; the whole world knows this.”

Resembling a timid kid brushing his knees off after being pushed down by the schoolyard bully, Bush took a moment to stick up for his brother’s decision to go into Iraq. He went on to say that his dad and brother are his role models, and he will not let Trump call them out. And, that’s all fine and dandy; however, if I were running for president, I wouldn’t waste an entire answer sticking up for daddy and my older brother.

It’s great that he is loyal to his family, but that still does not answer for me what he would do in terms of national security — unless his answer is to call dad for help.

The arguing got so out of hand that the moderator decided to shift focus and call on candidate Ted Cruz, who the moderator explained “is also running for president.”

Cruz addressed his ideas on whether we should utilize troops to defeat ISIS, but I find it so hard to look past his obviously over-practiced speech and his plastered on shock-proof face that he wears so well.

I know that it is no secret that this is politics — a practiced speech and responses that resemble those of beauty pageant contestants. But, I can’t get behind a candidate that comes across to me as such a snake in sheep’s clothing — or Donald Trump in Ted Cruz clothing.

Cruz explains that, if elected president, he will “rip to shreds” the nuclear Iranian deal, but instead, I wish he would rip to shreds his prepared answers and be real with voters for a second.

Next up to bat was Sen. Marco Rubio, who seemed to just now be figuring out how to use his bat to hit the ball. He has done away with his go-to response of “we need to get Obama out of the office, blah blah; Obama has ruined everything.” He seemed to be actively listening during the most recent debate and responding to the questions instead of dodging them. Maybe, he actually took Gov. Christie’s criticism to heart.

Two people you probably weren’t aware attended the event were candidates John Kasich and Ben Carson, which is really a shame. The most these two candidates had was probably three minutes to talk during this debate. But, if you paid attention during those three minutes, you may agree with me and find them to be the most level-headed human beings up on stage.

For instance, take Kasich’s response when answering the question of whether he thinks President Obama should select the late justice Scalia’s replacement.

“It’s not even two minutes after the death of Judge Scalia,” Kasich said.  “Nine children here today, their father didn’t wake up. His wife sad — I just wish we hadn’t run so fast into politics.”

He responded as a human first and then discussed politics by explaining he hopes that Obama will consider not nominating a new Supreme Court justice.

Lastly, we have Ben Carson. Though his may not look to be open, he surprisingly opened many voters’ eyes to the hierarchy of time constraints during debates. He even joked when he was finally asked a question.

“Thank you for including me in the debate,” Carson said. “Two questions now — wow, this is great.”

He then went on to explain that his lack of experience is not a liability. Carson claimed that, in neurosurgery, he was known for doing things that hadn’t been done before, and that is what he intends to do if elected president.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with my views on the candidates, it’s important that you keep up with what issues are important with each candidate and decipher whose views align with your own. There’s no reason for college students to remain uninformed on each of the candidates’ campaign platforms.

Whichever political party you stand with, it is crucial that we are well informed, and we do not vote blindly.

About The Author

Cait Schall

Cait Schall is a junior journalism major and the assistant opinion editor for Eagle News. She is a rollerblading enthusiast who enjoys attending sporting events and concerts. Cait is also a proud member of Chi Omega at FGCU. When you can’t find her writing in the newsroom she most likely can be found outside trying something new that’ll probably result in broken bones or at home binge watching her latest Netflix obsession. (Follow Cait on Twitter: @CaitlinSchall)

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