Crofton teachers said they felt let down by the first presidential debate


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President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden

Allyson Chelidona, Staff Writer

Crofton teachers said they are upset with candidate behavior during the first debate on September 29  from 9:00 pm to 10:30 pm EDT at Samson Pavilion of the Health Education Campus. 

The President Trump v.s Vice President Biden debate was moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News. The debate was not under control, and there were many times the candidates interrupted each other.

Government teacher Ms. Shelby Walker said that the debate did not follow traditional structure. “I do not believe that the moderator had control of the debate. I would not say that the moderator is at fault for the overall lack of respect for debate spirit and rules. However, the moderator seemed to have little impact in encouraging traditional debate structure,” said Ms.Walker.

Government teacher Ms. Emma Progar also said that the moderator struggled to control the debate. “I did not feel that the moderator had control of the debate. I do believe a large part of this lack of control was because of the behavior of the candidates, however, there were many moments in which the moderator could have done a better job to hold the candidates responsible for the information they were saying and the behavior they were displaying,” said Ms.Progar. 

Government teacher Mr.Smith said the presidential debate was an utter disappointment. “I think the two candidates devolved into name-calling and ad hominem attacks that diminished their own credibility and undermined whatever message they may have had. Altogether, the presidential debates were an utter disappointment when this nation needs leaders with ideas and answers. To that end, I thought the VP debate was a bit more civilized, although the strategy of interrupting was still employed in an attempt, not to educate voters, but to score points and throw the opponent off their game.”

All three government teachers said that the debate was not professional. Mr. Todd Smith called the debate off-putting.“There was a complete lack of professionalism, although one of the two presidential candidates did try to provide answers. The lack of decorum and “presidential” behavior gave the debate a coarse tone that was very off-putting.” said Mr.Smith. 

Ms. Walker agreed that the debate was not professional and that it was not particularly useful.“I did not personally get any useful information from the debate that would make a difference in who I am voting for. In my opinion, the candidates did not share any new information or exhibit any new behaviors that we have not already seen from them. Most polls conducted also showed that the debate did little to change people’s views on President Trump or former Vice-President Biden,” said Ms.Walker.

 “After watching the debate, I didn’t feel great. My first thought was that if students in my class had acted like that during a classroom debate, the school administration would have been involved and the students would be getting a phone call home. I was disappointed that our once distinguished American tradition of the presidential debate had devolved into such childish behavior.” said Ms.Progar. 

“I was disheartened at the level of discourse in the last debate. Voters deserve to have a fair and open exchange of ideas without interruptions and childish behavior I wouldn’t tolerate from a 5-year-old. This democracy only thrives if the voters are well informed; and I did not feel well-informed coming out of that debate. Muting mikes in the next debate will be a welcome addition.” said Mr.Smith. 

With the election coming up Tuesday, many rely on these debates to help them decide on their vote, and are left disappointed by the lack of new information and the behavior of the candidates.