Watching debates is a civic duty

Bhuvaneshwari Natarajan, Staff Reporter

Eighteen Democrats and three Republicans, including President Donald Trump, will be running for the 2020 election in the race for the next presidential candidate. If you are thinking about how you can choose the right candidate, watch the Democratic debates.

Debates are a good way for assessing candidates running for president. The main idea of a debate is to be precise in answering a question, such as what one will do in the first 100 days after being elected as president. The candidate should also be ready to be cross examined.

If you care where the candidate you want to support stands on issues that matter to you, watch the Democratic debates.

It is our civic duty to watch debates to closely observe the candidates on screen that we are likely to vote for. The debates can help inform us about every candidate and make an informed decision during the voting process.

Debates help us foster important issues that affect our lives.

Through debates, we are engaging ordinary citizens. Citizens who vote during elections get to know the politicians and they can better identify the person who is more aligned to them.

However, debates that happen on television today are designed to encourage conflict for ratings as opposed to getting a substantive policy discussion.

The past Democratic debate went by without one question about climate change, but there was a question about Ellen DeGeneres and George Bush watching football together and the controversy it created on the internet.

It is the most non-substantive thing. Such questions are asked because TV viewership is promoted by ratings and advertisements.

A way to improve the debates is to not have any brand sponsors. No advertisements should be shown during the debates. This can be the channels’ way of reiterating to the public that they are not favoring a corporation.

Another way is to invest more time for questions and answers by skipping introductions of each candidate. The host should get straight to the point.

Debates are good for people to know their politicians, but needs to happen with a non-profit motive so that we actually engage in substantive discussion.