Each time the nation enters a presidential campaign season, family members get some rare and valuable times to sit in front of the TV sets for hours to watch candidate debates. They expect to get a preview of the work a future U.S. president would do for 4 or even 8 years.
In modern politics, debates are the most visible events that we watch because we all want to hear what plans candidates have for building America and continuing to make America great.
Leadership is about focusing on what should be solved in regards to the life of the people, not what is screamed on stage. Due to the presence of Donald Trump, who is genius to have dominated the spotlight, the two Republican national debates that have taken place for the last few months were watered-down contests to see which candidate could charm conservatives with the best sound bites.
Fortunately, the GOP isn’t the only party we have to see and its candidates for the presidency aren’t the only group of people we have to see on TV. By watching the first Democratic Presidential Debate on October 13th, we got to see a real debate with real content for the first time since the season went underway.
Yes, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders fought each other on issues at the forefront of many American minds, like gun violence and Syria, but they were able to debate over these issues by raising voters’ awareness, not by raising voters’ emotion with inflammatory claims. They were able to let the issues that Americans care about dominate the debate and let the issues that Americans feel and experience be the subject of every argument they made from the beginning to the end.
By questioning Sanders’ record on voting on legislations regarding gun control and his ties to the National Rifle Association, Clinton vowed that she would stand up to the NRA. By denouncing Clinton’s decision to vote in favor of the resolution that authorized the United States to launch the Iraq War, Sanders assured voters that the nation would not involve itself in another war like the Iraq War. They attacked each other but they did so by attacking the causes of problems and discussing how those problems hurt the country. They might have different opinions, but they presented a sharp contrast to the GOP candidates because voters care about a president that leads them to change the country, not a president that leads them to chant a slogan.
If we had to name one dramatic event that has happened in the Democratic field this season, Clinton’s alleged use of a private email server and account to conduct government business may be the only bombshell Democrats have had to face.
I believe having a better leader to help build a better future for us is the reason we have an election every four years, and moving the nation forward is the reason we get to decide which person will match our needs and principles. Elections are about what is next, not what has passed. Elections are about how problems are solved, not just how problems are caused. We need to learn what President Clinton would do if elected, not just what Secretary Clinton did. We also need to learn what plans she brings to the table in making sure there will be less gun violence, more jobs opened to us, and more children who can go to college without worrying about paying hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“We are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails,” said Sanders who surprisingly and boldly slammed those who had used Hillary Clinton’s email practices while serving as Secretary of State at the Obama Administration as a point to upstage national discussions on what the American people actually care about. These discussions include things like jobs, the economy, and education.
Sanders did not just help Clinton, but decreased the noise that overshadowed candidates who were trying to inform Americans of what they would bring to the presidency if elected. In the meantime, Sanders’ action will help the Democratic Party defeat a divided Republican Party, as it shows he and other Democratic candidates are willing to compromise.
The debate might not have been dramatic, but it was detailed for those of us who need a leader who serves us and doesn’t just talk at us.