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Political Column: The Debate About Debates

Daniel Caccavale

Before every major election, the candidates spend countless hours preparing for debates. Candidates use these debates to show that their ideas are better than their competitors’ to show that they deserve your vote. But what do these debates really do? Are they even worth having?

The answer is not clear cut. It depends on who the candidates are, what the issues are, and what kind of debate it is. Lately, it seems that these debates are doing more harm than good. In the current Republican primary, we have seen several candidates have their chances at getting the nomination ruined by the debates. We have seen Rick Perry forget his own policies and Mitt Romney make a bet in the middle of a debate. Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain have both had to defend allegations of infidelity and Rick Santorum bluntly said that he disagrees with the current birth control system and then quickly tried to apologize for it. So why do we still have these debates in the first place?

We have these debates because it is the best way to get the candidates’ ideas out there. Without these debates, it would be very difficult for people to get a grasp of what a candidate is really like and what their policies are really trying to accomplish. These debates are possibly the best impression we can get of a candidate before an election. So even though they do make mistakes, and lately they have made plenty of them, it is important to look past these mistakes for a second and actually listen to what they have to say and see which one you actually agree with. However, these mistakes can’t be over looked so easily. After you have listened to their ideas, see who has made mistakes and see if the mistakes are really a huge deal. Let’s face it, no one is perfect by any means and mistakes will happen. If you can look past them, finding the right candidate is a lot easier.

But for the candidates, they have to be careful not to let the mistakes pile up because there are only so many mistakes that can be made before they reach the point of no return and they have just “mistaked” themselves out of an election.

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