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Thursday, June 1, 2023


Third democratic debate was not effective

The Democratic debate did not discuss the important topics enough for it to be effective. | Trevor Nolley/ The Cougar

This past week, the third Democratic debate was held in Houston at Texas Southern University with a paltry 10 candidates, as if the Democratic National Committee (DNC) could not find a way to shrink the field to a terrifying five.

Truthfully, the debate just came across as a group of lower-tier candidates punching up at the front-runners. 

There is no demonstrable reason why Sen. Amy Klobuchar or Julian Castro were on that stage, as they both hover around 1 percent in the polls. Perhaps it is a prank played by the DNC for ratings.

It also defies belief that Sen. Cory Booker, who is stuck under 3 percent, talked longer than a majority of the field, including Sen. Bernie Sanders.

You might think Sen. Booker had more impactful things to say than the others, given the fact that multiple candidates were dismissed while awkwardly raising their hands in an attempt to earn a speaking turn.

You might also feel the established format of the debate did not allow for fair discussion times among candidates. There is a severe disparity in the fact that people want to see what these candidates offer yet the networks are more concerned with zingers and clapbacks.

The debates could have been entertaining if they were comprised only of candidates that were polling at 10 percent or higher. Instead, the debates were nothing but a crowded cavalcade of non-movers and also a cheap attempt at recreating the 2016 Republican primary.

For a base of voters that is worried about the future of this country, the debate felt purely like a petty, tasteless punching up contest.

Many of the candidates were more occupied with snipping each other or quoting movies than with tackling multi-million dollar campaigns that attack the same policies many of them claim to support. This is no surprise considering the fact that none of the candidates, with the exception of Sen. Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, have actually shown the initiative to fight them even when given the keys to high positions of power. 

To describe this field as progressive in nature is wholly disingenuous while taking into account that a majority of these would-be presidents are at best incremental in rhetoric and offer nothing more than half-step solutions similar to what the newest iPhone offers. Yet I won’t argue with your favorite late-night comedian role-playing as a news anchor. 

The next debates should be condensed and also abandon the time limits if they want to allow candidates of the Democratic Party to actually present their cases for superseding the current mess of a presidency. This is what most Americans are hoping to see because in every head-to-head matchup the front-runners make a strong case for the White House.

We deserve to hear how this country is going to be effective in one of the most perilous times of our lives. As Sen. Warren said on stage, “Scientists keep coming back with less and less time for the planet.”

This is a moment of high importance as the clock ticks closer to irreversible damage caused by climate change and other extreme issues. So let’s actually work together to uplift people so we can fight a party that’s only purpose is to contradict the real-life consequences of our actions. 

Opinion writer AK Almoumen is a media production junior and can be reached at [email protected]

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