The pivotal shift in the presidential debates
April 27, 2016
On television stations across the country, the new wave of presidential candidates stand before wooden podiums wearing business attire and masks of confidence. Nearly every American history buff could go on for hours talking about presidential debates throughout the years, both during and before their own lifetimes.
Americans naturally crave the friction and frustration between opposing candidates during a heated debate, yet this year it seems that the debates have jumped from political discrepancies to a plot resembling a melodramatic soap opera. The integrity of several news logos look more weary each day as the potential presidents fuss over inappropriate nicknames for each other and their wives. The current tug-of-rope game is between Trump and Cruz, but it is easy to forget that “Little Rubio” was previously in Cruz’s shoes – the early precursor to the melodrama that continues to evolve between the candidates, all the while revolving around Trump.
America knew that this year’s debates would be entertaining. Fine. America knew that Trump running for president was somewhat far-fetched. Originally.
The brunt of it is that the campaign is now a full-fledged reality television show that was never intended (at least as far as we know). In Florida alone, the voting results showed that Trump led the Republican Primary at about 40 percent, proving the undeniable fact that Americans bought into the endless entertainment.
But entertainment is for television shows; movies; live theatre; concerts; shows. Entertainment at the hands of two professional men’s wives should not cross the boundaries into the presidential debates. We should be able to evaluate the candidates based on their goals for the country we ultimately share. Does it not mean a thing?
Plenty of us would admit that some humor in the debates helps alleviate the serious nature of the race for office, but the focus has shifted too far off track, away from the politics and the goals for the country. While the media relishes in its buffet of needless drama, the White House sits in anticipation. They have our attention; now we need to get theirs.