Thursday, September 17, 2015

Second Round of GOP debates

September 16th from 5 pm to 8 pm Western Time at the Ronald Reagan Library at Simi Valley, California was the second round of GOP debates from the top 11 highest polling Republican nominees for president of the United States hosted by CNN. Needless to say, a lot of drama ensued during the debates. The nominees were Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Scott Walker, Rand Paul, John Kasich, Carly Fiorina, and Chris Christie.

One thing I would like to note about the debates is that the moderator, Jake Tapper, was completely incompetent at his job. Most of the time he would dismiss the lowest polling candidates (Rand Paul and Carly Fiorina) and would ask the other candidates about Mr. Trump and not on policy positions that they had. They gave Donald Trump the most speaking time, clocking in at 19 minutes, twice as much as Rand Paul's measley 10 minutes. One takeaway that people should get from this is that most of the time, establishment media will lift up those in power and marginalize those that do not. As for the actual debate itself I will break it down by every contender.

Donald Trump as usual made controversial remarks such as making fun of Dr. Paul on his looks, adding onto the anti-vaxxer movement, making fun of Jeb Bush's wife, etc. Most of his policy positions have not changed since his announcement for running for POTUS. Even though Mr. Trump dominated the debate, he still took a couple shots from Governor Walker, Carly Fiorina, Governor Bush, and Senator Paul. Many insulted him for his juvenile actions and claimed that he should not be in the highest office because he has never been in government before.

Ben Carson stayed very consistent and soft spoken at the debates last night. He also raised some eye brows when he added onto the anti-vaxxer conspiracy and did not challenge the idea despite the fact that 1) he is a doctor and 2) the Center for Disease Control has debunked this myth. Dr. Carson consistently spoke about individual responsibility and as usual he went against Planned Parenthood.

Carly Fiorina also told a flat out lie about how a fetus was on the table in the Planned Parenthood and how the doctor said that they had to keep it alive in order to preserve the brain. Ms. Fiorina however, stood up for women at times and challenged Donald Trump on his comments on women's looks and even got him to say that she was "beautiful".

Jeb Bush took shots at Mr. Trump as usual and even got frustrated about his comments about his Mexican American wife. Even after the debates though there was little sympathy for Mr. Bush since he is still polling at 8%.

Rand Paul and John Kasich seemed to be dismissed many times throughout the debate even though they seemed to be the most moderate and in some aspects outliers. Mr. Kasich is not a huge fan of the ACA however, since the law is very popular in his state, he still voiced support for it. Dr. Paul voiced his support for the repeal of the PATRIOT ACT in order to protect people's individual liberties. Despite these outliers, the two still have the same standard GOP talk points.

Christie, Rubio, and Walker were mostly forgotten during the debates and also got shot down while trying to take jabs at the Donald.

Cruz and Huckabee as usual had Christian fundamentalist viewpoints that they shared with the rest of the world.

Of course no GOP debate is complete without name dropping the Gipper; he was mentioned 23 times throughout the debate.

Your thoughts on the debate?



Grant Hillman said...

Since, at least according to our results on the Political Compass quiz, I'm the only solid right-winger in my class period, and possibly throughout all of Mr. Silton's AP Government classes, I hope I can provide a point of view on the candidates that is less skewed towards the left compared to my fellow classmates. After all, I'll likely end up voting for one of the candidates that stood on that stage Wednesday night, so I think a conservative opinion is needed here for more balanced discussion.

In regards to the actual debate itself, I thought it was lightyears ahead of the FOX debate in terms of quality and presentation. Unlike the FOX "debate," which was really nothing more than a glorified Q&A session based around who could rattle off the snappiest one-liner, we witnessed the Republican candidates challenging one another on major issues, face-to-face, without the moderators getting in the way like they did on FOX. As a result of having more freedom to discuss and debate, we got to witness a few differences in opinion bubble to the surface on certain topics, such as Dr. Carson, Senator Rand Paul, and Donald Trump revealing that they were against the war in Iraq, and the contrasting viewpoints of Paul and Governor Chris Christie on law enforcement regarding marijuana use.

I won't go into an in-depth discussion of some of the candidates; I'd take up way too much space on the page. I will, however, discuss the performance of everybody's favorite billionaire, Donald Trump. I'll say this about Trump: I love the guy as an entertainer - so far, I can't stand him as a politician. He got exposed at the debate on Wednesday, and deservedly so. He was dragged by Carly Fiorina after he was questioned about an atrocious comment he made about her in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, and his low blow directed at Senator Paul just seconds after he was granted his first opportunity to speak proved what many people, even some hard-right conservatives, have been thinking all along. This man's campaign is nothing more than a circus; it has just been him one-upping himself to see how outrageous he can get. Trump is an enigma of a candidate, because he benefits and hurts the Republican Party at the same time. He has certainly helped in regards to media attention, as the whopping viewing numbers of the FOX debate proved. However, he has also been severely detrimental to the party in numerous ways. Not only does he reinforce the "greedy and racist" Republican stereotype, he takes up valuable time that should be spent on much more worthy candidates. If it were up to me, I'd lock Trump out of the building, and I'd throw Paul, Cruz, Rubio, Carson, and the others up onstage and let them debate over the issues facing our country for as long as their hearts desired. I'd much rather watch that than witness Trump pump out sarcastic and derisive facial expressions at the cameras every three seconds.

Emily Shen said...

First of all, the debate was incredibly long and I didn't get to finish my homework. I felt like, towards the end, the candidates were no longer performing as well as they could've – and this was evident when they were asked the women on the $10 bill question and most of them responded with either the names of their family members oR WOMEN WHO AREN'T EVEN AMERICAN.

Some of the most memorable moments from the debate:
- Jeb Bush's "sorry, mom" when he talked about using marijuana. I LAUGHED SO HARD.
- Also, him defending his brother was kind of sweet
- Fiorina's "I buried a child to drug addiction" was hardcore
- Fiorina's response to the $10 bill question
- Trump getting KILLED by Fiorina's response to the Rolling Stones question
- The petty little exchange between Trump and Bush about casinos in Florida – that was immature. Also, Trump's argument about how he would have been successful was hilarious.
- Trump trying to burn people who speak Spanish – that was just RIDICULOUS. I like how Bush and Rubio defend themselves, though
- Awkward handshake between Carson and Trump - what was that?

Comments on the candidates that stood out to me:
- Rubio is an absolutely brilliant speaker.
- Trump is painful to watch.
- Fiorina is super sharp, but I definitely feel like she's not likable.
- Carson has the opposite problem.

I'm looking forward to the first Democratic debate! Especially because it's hosted by Anderson Cooper :-)