What impact do you hope the first presidential debate has on U.S. citizens voting in the election? – a conservative perspective

October 7, 2016

First and foremost, I believe that the largest impact of the presidential debates during election season is the presentation of the election on nearly all news networks and stations for the public to view.

The presidential debates have a way of bringing politics to the national stage, although for this election, both Trump and Clinton have been the subject of much chatter for several months. Thus, I believe the importance is placed not on the education of the public on the political issues (as the public has certainly been made well aware of the subjects of debate so far), but rather the opinions on such issues directly from the candidates.

For months, the media has informed us—the general public—of updates regarding recent political happenings, from both the Trump and Clinton campaigns. However, often our (note: I speak in the first-person collective to comment on the nature of the election from the standpoint of what I believe is the perception of the average moderate American, who compose the largest voting bloc in the United States) perceptions of this campaign are based on flashy headlines and clickbait titles, rather than hard and concrete evidence.

Especially in such a polarized election season, it is extraordinarily difficult to find objective reporting on political issues and candidates, so what we read often influences how we think and feel, whether we like to believe it or not.

As a result of this predicament, for those more moderate Americans seeking to make an informed decision, finding evidence of the candidates’ true political views and agendas can be difficult. For those radical liberals and conservatives following their respective candidates, these opinionated news articles only affirm their unshaken beliefs or infuriate them with such opposing and inflammatory language.

One of the media’s purposes is to bridge the gap between the general public and the elite politicians of Washington, and it takes on a certain degree of responsibility. However, with social media being such a large portion of consumed media today, it is also the citizen’s duty not to perpetuate such divisive articles.

But I digress. The point is, in political campaigns, the media conveys the messages of political candidates to the public, and often those messages are skewed. So the importance of the political debates is bringing the American people to look beyond the headlines and news articles and actually listen to what each candidate has to say for him- or herself when all eyes are watching.

Too often people vote based on their opinions of the candidates rather than their opinions of the candidates’ policies, and to those people I say, the best way to know whether you like a candidate as an individual is to sit down and listen to them speak.

I also hope for those looking to make an informed decision that the debates, in (hopefully) mentioning actual issues, bring awareness to the candidates’ policies, and thus spark interest in learning more about them.

These were my impressions prior to the debate, and still are after, but I do have additional hopes after having viewed the entirety of the first debate myself.

I believe that for those who feel adamantly for Trump or Hillary, the debate did nothing to change their views, and likely nothing, especially a debate, ever will. I also believe, however, that the first debate did not really bring about anything so significant that moderates would truly be pushed left or right of center.

Regardless, there is still much in store for this election and the nation as a whole, and I look forward to the next debate, and hope you do as well.

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