I have never been one to closely follow politics; it’s always seemed filled with too many policies that would go over my head. It was intimidating to say the least. However, as a student journalist, I feel that I need to be more politically educated to truly be a good reporter in this climate.
While scrolling through Facebook Tuesday night, I saw the CNN Live broadcast of the Democratic debate in Ohio. The guilty conscience of being an uneducated person in today’s political climate set in, and I decided to watch it. At that point, much of the debate had already taken place so I was behind as is. However, I dove into it with an open mind and listened as intently as I could.
The candidates were discussing gun laws when I began watching. Almost immediately I picked up on a pattern I noticed across all candidates: they tell sob-stories before actually getting to their point.
By the time they get to their point, the moderators have cut them off because they’ve run out of time. This left me quite frustrated. I watched this debate to learn what policy each candidate supports, but all I seem to remember is who knew a person who was shot or has some personal tie to the issue. Spoiler alert: almost all of them do.
I also learned another thing while watching: they often smear one another before talking about their policies. After someone talked, the next person to follow often attacked what was previously said. I know that politicians do this, but with 12 people on stage, I hoped they would stick to their point, rather than fighting one another. To me, this seemed like a waste of the time they were given for each answer.
The debate was insightful in some aspects. I can finally put a face and voice to the names of the candidates. I also learned a little about each one’s views. However, I still feel like a lot was left out. I understand the time is limited, but it seems like a lot of time was wasted.
I want to know who supports what bill and why. I want to know who these people are, not why they hate the person next to them.
I want to hold some responsibility for not being educated about some of their views; however, this was how I wanted to educate myself, and I honestly didn’t learn as much as I would have hoped.