Contrary to the tone of both Republican debates, the first Democratic debate hosted by CNN and featuring the five major democratic candidates this past Tuesday showed what a real, topic driven debate should look like. While I do not mean to ridicule the Republican Party, nor their candidates, this debate was simply better - in every way.
On Tuesday night we heard actual policy proposals from the five candidates in solving the problems facing our country. This was very much the overall theme for the debate; how to solve several key issues which each candidate agreed needed addressing.
For what seemed like the first time, there was no name calling or criticizing of others reputations and no long-winded arguments on past reputations that took up long segments of time.
Now, Anderson Cooper must be given a lot of credit for the way in which he moderated the debate. He was strong-handed in making sure candidates answered the questions, similar to that of fellow journalist Jake Tapper. Cooper asked hard-ball questions aimed at creating division between the candidates and distinguishing them from each other, but the candidates largely rejected the opportunity to make personal attacks.
Now I have made a point on both of my debate editorials to not give my support to a single candidate, but I think that former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley summed up the debate best when he said in his closing argument, “What you heard on this stage tonight was an honest search for the answers that’ll move our country forward.”
The most important aspect of last Tuesday’s debate that made it so much better was that the candidates all spoke on issues that matter to everyone. Topics ranged from ways to lower the cost of higher education to how America ought to act to decrease or reverse the effects of human caused climate change.
I am of the belief that to gain my vote and the millennial vote, all candidates, Democratic and Republican are going to have to start acting in a manner similar to that of the candidates participated in the debate on Tuesday.
We don’t care about the past reputations of candidates nor do we pick our president based upon the quality of their ads on television. Millennials are likely only going to get excited enough to become active in our political process if candidates can share with us an optimistic plan to drive our country forward. One that they truly believe in and one that they can clearly describe to us where we fit into their vision for the future of the United States of America.