To Debate or Not to Debate?

By Jessica Solari

Democrats and Republicans alike can easily agree that the presidential debate on September 29 was a nightmare. Debates tend to be a deciding factor for independents, and the debate certainly did not help anyone decide on who they want to vote for. This is a privilege American citizens will lose as a result of the October 15 debate cancellation, but should it have been canceled?

In true 2020 fashion, many people, including the Commission on Presidential Debates, suggested the debate take place on a video conference program, such as Zoom or Google Meet. While this would provide a more structured debate and fewer interruptions (thanks to the mute option), there is also a great chance for people to hack into the meeting and cause even more disruption. This would also create more structure in the debates and make them productive, unlike the first presidential debate.

I believe that there is some way for the debates to still go on (i.e. live stream) but remaining healthy during these uncertain times is the top priority for everyone, especially presidential candidates. Both of the candidates are at high risk for life-threatening complications because of their age, so I do believe that canceling the October 15 debate was the best decision, but a debate is something that can still take place even if that means it has to happen remotely.

Voters are losing the opportunity to not just learn more about the candidates’ views, plans and policies, but also about the candidate as a human. It is the responsibility of voters, now more than ever, to make sure they are making an educated and well-informed decision. Voting is a way that every day citizens can change their daily lives. Every vote counts so make sure your voice is heard on November 3.

Jessica Solari is a student in an honors “Campaigns, Candidates and Current Elections” course at St. Bonaventure University.

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