Sept. 29 will be remembered for a historic presidential debate, not because of great one-liners or nuanced discussion, but because of its chaotic nature. Many spectators did not take the debate seriously, given the attitudes and mannerisms with which the candidates approached each other. It was likely the first time many Loyola students watched a presidential debate, which is why it is important to consider that it was not as useless as it may have seemed. Instead, the debate was a unique opportunity to provide viewers, especially Loyola students, new perspectives about the candidates.
The televised presidential debate was useful in revealing to the public the candidates’ personalities, as they were forced to be authentic to the millions of viewers throughout the country.
Sophomore Joshua Casilas explains, “I believe the presidential debate was extremely important. I think it allowed for the candidates to show their true colors.”
Senior Pranav George added, “I learned about the president’s stances on the topics from his spontaneous reactions to the questions asked. You can see how they react to the questions live, rather than from a website or campaign rally. Actually seeing them debate against each other allows one to weigh each candidate against each other to formulate their own opinion.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has limited the opportunities for the candidates to make appearances and state their opinions, increasing the importance of a debate between the candidates.
The debate also provided a small solution to a large problem: the lack of conversations about politics. For a long time, politics had been a popular subject in conversations, providing individuals of all ages with valuable information about pressing issues. However, due to the pandemic, students talk more about the Lakers’ championship win or episodes of The Office, rather than possible fiscal policies that could benefit small businesses, for example. The presidential debate provided a unique opportunity for people to engage with pressing political issues.
Throughout the debate, many important details about problems in our society were discussed. However, many just focused on the outrageous moments.
Sophomore Kevin Hamm added, “Most people look at the viral moments, but they don’t pay attention to the actual policies and important details being discussed.”
As we get closer to election day, the two presidential candidates are likely to be associated with more controversial events. As Loyola students, it is imperative that we understand that the most recent debate provided opportunities to view the candidates’ personalities and hear about social issues. The uniqueness of this debate introduced new perspectives for the viewers of the candidates and the topics discussed. This debate helped so many to make the significant decision of who the next president should be.