Mark Meets World: The Democratic debate: An actual debate

Mark Feuerborn

Donald Trump was kind enough to offer his thoughts on the CNN Democratic debate that was held this past Tuesday, Oct. 13 via Twitter.

“I expect it to be a very boring two hours,” Trump tweeted.

He is also currently facing media backlash for implying that George Bush is at fault for 9/11 terrorist attacks. It would appear Trump’s idea of excitement involves making wild allegations that greatly upset the voters of a party he’s attempting to get the nomination for. He apparently likes to live life on the edge.

I found the Democratic debate very interesting, partly because I didn’t have to sit and watch Trump make stupid faces at the score of other, equally subpar candidates. I was disappointed in the Republican debate, what with candidates still arguing ridiculous claims such as vaccinations being linked to autism, and irrelevant personal attacks appearing in abundance.

My biggest reason for enjoying the Democratic debate was that it was exactly what I expected when I tuned in to watch: a political debate. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were, of course, the big shots of the night, with intermittent high points from Martin O’Malley, while candidates Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee struggled to garner camera time.

The issues discussed included foreign policy, particularly in Syria and in dealing with Vladimir Putin and Russian involvement, gun control, economic policy and racial injustice. A brief discussion on Hillary Clinton’s email scandal arose, but was quickly shut down when debate moderator Anderson Cooper gave Sanders the floor.

“Enough of the emails. Let’s talk about the real issues facing America,” Sanders said, followed by a round of applause.

I can agree with Sanders, but Chafee did not. He explained that the email scandal could cause a lack of credibility for an American president with the rest of the world. Clinton proceeded to shut down further discussion as well.

A CNN poll following the debate asked the general public who they believe won the debate. The poll results left Sanders sky high at 81 percent, Hillary sinking at 13 percent, O’Malley at three percent, Webb at two percent and Chafee at one percent. Claims circulated online that in light of the results, CNN deleted the polls and released an article with a misleading headline that Clinton won the debate by a landslide. The claim that the polls were deleted is not true, as even Snopes has taken the liberty to check. The poll results are still available to view on CNN’s Facebook page.

It is ridiculous for CNN to release an article claiming Clinton won, based off of “expert analysis.” When the public has a 68 percent poll difference in favor of Sanders that defies the expert, I can’t take the expert opinion seriously. Snopes debunked CNN deleting polls, although it is still entirely feasible that CNN wrote in favor of Clinton due to their being owned by Time Warner, Clinton’s seventh largest financial supporter. CNN’s article in favor of Clinton did not mention viewer polls even once.

In spite of media commentary following it, the debate was a healthy one, with many issues tackled and many candidates giving a clearer idea of where they stand on these topics. Honestly, I don’t mind if CNN claims Clinton or some other candidate won, it’s up to all of us to decide who we’re standing with not based off of headlines, but from what we gathered from watching the debate.

“What you heard tonight … was a very, very different debate from the sort of debate that you had from the two presidential Republican debates,” O’Malley said. “On this stage you didn’t hear anyone denigrate women, you didn’t hear anyone make racist comments about new American immigrants. What you heard was an honest search for the answers that will move our country forward.”