Remove how well- scripted Hillary Clinton was, or how the candidates “lacked diversity.” Instead, focus on the drastic difference between the Democratic and the Republican presidential debates. There was no name-calling, petty fights or male bravado in Tuesday night’s debate, unlike the Republican debates. The Democratic candidates answered tough questions on policy and the pressing issues that America faces today, and that’s precisely why the real loser is the Republican Party
By no means was it the Lincoln-Douglas debate of 1858, yet this debate captured perfectly what’s wrong with the Republican Party today. The two GOP debates were purely entertainment without discussing issues in-depth. Instead, the candidates were asked senseless questions such as “What would be your Secret Service code name?” Similarly, they avoided their actual stance on issues by squirming around topics like climate change, income inequality or the minimum wage.
Sure, much of the blame could be on the moderators’ lack of worthier questions, but that does not justify the Republican candidates not engaging in policy discussion. On the contrary, they took the less complex route by bickering and pointing fingers. This simple difference is what made the Democratic debate compelling.
In the Democratic debate, topics ranged from climate change, equity pay for women, institutional racism, the Middle East, student debt and immigration, to name a few. These are all issues that millenials are most in favor and concerned about, according to a Pew Research Center survey. Why should this matter? Millennials consist of a quarter of the U.S. population, outnumbering Baby Boomers, according to the Census Bureau. They are also the most ethnically diverse generation and widely considered a more progressive generation.
The Republicans ultimately lost in Tuesday’s debate by refusing to engage or accept these progressive views. In sharp contrast with the Democratic debate, all we have seen from them is childish posturing and extreme conservative stances that do not align with today’s generations.
So, the next time you hear the intensity in Bernie Sanders’ voice, ask yourself, “Do the Democratic candidates have more to offer than the xenophobic rhetoric the GOP proposes?”