Chaotic GOP debate causes concern


This past Wednesday night, I gathered with a group of students inside the faculty master apartment at Mahoney Residential College to watch the Republican presidential candidates debate.

Personally, I had several expectations for the debate based off of the previous Republican debate hosted by Fox. However, what myself and millions of people watched Wednesday night, was truly unexpected.

First off, there were 10 candidates on the stage. With so many candidates, it is hard to keep track of everyone’s stance on serious matters, such as reforming the tax code, to less relevant issues, such as the regulation of fantasy sports gambling.

But, what further complicated the already difficult matter of keeping track of all of the candidates’ viewpoints were the moderators. It became apparent very quickly that the moderators were not in control of the debate as candidates not only cut each other off, but also interrupted, talked over and even challenged the moderators.

The debate was two hours of utter chaos and the Republican candidates are not happy about it. Their discontent has been broadcast and shared on various networks and social media sites, with new reports of the candidates coming together to protest the RNC and demand control over who moderates the upcoming debates as well as what questions are asked.

While I understand, that the candidates are upset, I think it would not be a true or fair debate if candidates had the ability to control virtually all aspects of the debate. While Ben Carson believes that debates should not be a game of “gotcha” questions, I disagree. Yes, a debate’s main purpose is to allow candidates to share and explain their platform on several issues and policies affecting the country, but it is also an opportunity for their ideals to be tested and challenged in front of the public.

A debate should not be a time where candidates walk on stage and present their ideals unchallenged and unquestioned–that is the whole point of a debate. While I agree with the candidates that Wednesday’s debate was chaotic, it should not serve as the catalyst to grant candidates full reign over all aspects of a debate.