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Latest GOP debate shows flaws in candidates’ policies

For a lack of a better description, the CNN GOP debate Tuesday night went about as well as you’d expect. That is to say it was a train wreck.

As CNN continues to use the tired-out formula of a kids-table debate for the lower polling candidates, followed by a primetime debate with the top contenders, U.S. Republicans have plenty of fish to choose from, and they’re all experiencing red tide.

Not only do theses debates show how overcrowded the GOP field is, but it has also been a waste of time to weed out the lesser of the evils.

While Lindsey Graham offered more level-headed ideas about Muslim relations by blaming extremists for terrorism, Mike Huckabee probably had one of the most grotesque policies on the stage in the smaller debate.

At one point, he denounced college students for only caring about “free tuition” and “getting marijuana.”

“We’re not giving you anything,” Huckabee said.

And, he suggested sending all college students to war.

After a tug of war between lower-tier candidates on how intense a war with ISIS should be (keep in mind, no war is not an option with the GOP) the kids table debate proved to be a staircase to nowhere.

If you had to start a drinking game during this debate, as with the previous debates, where you take a drink anytime Obama is blamed, Hillary Clinton is demonized or the liberal media is the real problem, you’d die of alcohol poisoning before the debate was over.

During the main event, opening statements were rehearsed and generic. Although Rubio added a touching anecdote about his grandfather’s cigar habit, Cruz, Trump, and Carson continually barraged the president and uttered meaningless promises to “hunt down the terrorists” and some other ephemera about keeping America safe. There was even a moment of silence for the San Bernardino shooting, issued by Carson during his opener which was surprisingly brief, and, to much surprise, he did not fall asleep on stage.

In a pinnacle moment of Bush being called out on calling Trump “unhinged,” he said Trump would be a “chaos president” and would only push the Arab world away from the U.S.

Trump was met with boos when he tried attacking Bush’s failed campaign subsequently.

The overwhelmingly heavy-handed issue of ISIS was literally the only subject brought up in length, and, honestly, it got old. Even issues like government surveillance were perverted to include capturing terrorists through said surveillance. What’s wrong with protecting Americans’ right to privacy while still fighting terrorism?

While Rand Paul, as a libertarian-leaning candidate, calls increase on surveillance by the NSA “hogwash,” Rubio suggests the government gather more information from Americans in order to protect the U.S. from terrorism. The candidates’ trite sub-debate made it clear that some of them, like the two mentioned and Christie, want to take our amendment rights by tightening security. In what kind of Orwellian universe have we slipped into where we are constantly being watched by big brother? It seems to close the door on nuance when it comes to surveillance and, instead, replaces it with a conversation of how tight security can be wound.

This leads to the comments made by Trump about “shutting down that internet,” which of course was a Segway to his complete ignorance of what “that internet” actually is. With a few too many mentions of the word “penetrate,” Trump suggests shutting down certain parts of the Internet and, by doing that, violating amendment rights.

In a question brought up by a Facebook campaign, a student from Atlanta asks Trump if families of terrorists should be killed along with ISIS participants. This of course includes women and children who may not be extremists themselves. Trump came back with the fact that we need to be “tougher,” condoning the mass killings of both women and children caught in the crossfire. This completely bypasses the Geneva Convention, and it should be seen as an abomination toward the constitution.

Pleas for more time to talk about ISIS strategies from Fiorina and Carson made the whole thing feel so childish – like kids at the dinner table during Thanksgiving desperate for the grown-ups’ attention.

Dominantly, the emotion captured during this debate was fear. The Republicans do an extraordinary job of harboring the fear of the unknown like immigration and terrorism, and they offer false protection to the majority of Americans who may not know better. The debate may have been helpful for candidates like Cruz and Rubio in order to gain poll numbers. But, for America as a whole, the debate was very telling of the GOP’s violent intentions.

About The Author

Luke Janke

Luke Janke is a super senior studying journalism at FGCU. When he’s not listening to podcasts, he’s busy producing his own podcast, Full Pulp. Concerts and music are at the forefront of his horizon, and when there’s an ounce of free time you’ll find him in his home studio laying down tracks for his music project, Bull Moose Party. As a self-proclaimed nihilist, his affinity for death is emphasized by the authentic squirrel skull found on his desk in the newsroom.

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