First presidential debate leaves some Canisius students frustrated and confused

Canisius students reflect on the debate and the performance of both presidential candidates

By Natalie Faas, News Reporter

Tuesday’s whirlwind of a presidential debate left many Americans disappointed and unsure of the true outcome. 

Traditionally, presidential candidates enter into multiple debates in the months leading up to the election. These debates help the candidates talk about the important points of their campaigns and enter into healthy debate with the other candidate. 

This election is no different in regards to the appearance of debates; however, many popular news outlets were critical of how the debate was carried out. CNN’s Jake Tapper compared it to a “hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck.”

When asked his thoughts on the structure of the debate Canisius freshman John Harrold said, “It was the worst debate that I’ve seen in a long time in terms of political respect. I feel like people just lose more respect for politics every day.”

Throughout the entire two hour debate both candidates often spoke over one another and cut into each other’s time. Moderator Chris Wallace often had to step in and stop the other candidate from interrupting another’s statement. 

“This year’s presidential debate was by far the most shameless display of unprofessionalism I have ever witnessed in my young twenty years of life,” Canisius senior Michael Berg said. “It is most disappointing to see that the concept of civil discourse has been lost during these divisive times.”

As Biden and Trump both tried to state their cases to the American people they often strayed far from the topics that Wallace asked about. The six topics of the debate included the coronavirus pandemic, the economy, the Supreme Court, race and violence in American cities, Trump and Biden’s records and the integrity of the election. 

While these topics are some of the largest issues in our country, and some of the most polarising, some believe that they missed the target. 

Canisius freshman Abigale DeLavalle believed they could have debated some harder-hitting issues. “One issue that I would have liked to have heard about was gun control because that is a big thing for Democrats versus Republicans,” DeLavalle said.

Another large topic missing from this debate was that of climate change and the health of the environment. Canisius freshman Bryan Aduddle was disappointed that the environment was not a larger talking point. “I feel like him [Biden] and Trump both just don’t really, truly understand what it’s going to take to fix the environment,” Aduddle said. Referring to the debate as a whole he said, everything about that was despicable” 

Social media has offered an interesting layer to this presidential race and the intense spike of activity on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook showed that the debate was very controversial. 

“The whole thing was like, incredibly meme-worthy,” Canisius freshman Jordan Juback said.

Throughout the evening many organizations including the widely popular Politico were providing live fact-checking that could be accessed in real-time. This offered those watching an opportunity to see how often they were being fed information that was false.

There is no question that this presidential election is incredibly important in regards to the future of the United States and it seems that most people are in agreement that they have already decided on who they are voting for. 

“I feel like the sides are clearly divided,” DeLavalle said. “It is black and white, there is no gray area.”

Despite the current global pandemic, the push for Americans to register to vote has never been harder. Politicians, celebrities and other influencers are encouraging their followers and supporters to get registered to vote.

Canisius freshman Elizabeth Hertz said, “After this debate, it is very clear, more than ever, people need to get out and vote”.

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