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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

Political candidates need to stop “ducking” and start defending their record

Nikkie Haley’s YouTube
Chris Christie points right at the camera as he calls out Donald Trump for not participating in the Republican primary debates.

The media continues to be responsible for sparking excessively polarizing opinions, and rightfully so. 

Because the media gets a majority of their profit from the clickbait they create, leading to the feeding of confirmation bias on the extreme sides, the media tends to purposefully work to create news that is controversial and puts public figures in tough spots. This is exactly what Fox News did in the second round of the Republican primary presidential debates. 

So, yes, the media is often put in a negative light, but it has also proven to be beneficial. The debates created a space for open dialogue about what the candidates think, putting them on the spot to produce as many unfiltered responses as possible. 

Still, many candidates took this chance to elaborate on their selling points, unrelated to the question. Former Vice President Mike Pence did this as he avoided the question of his plans to work with Congress to reach a solution for Dreamers. He dodged the question and was asked it again after, which he again failed to respond directly. Both times, he chose to instead attack his opponents Ramaswamy and DeSantis instead. 

While we weren’t able to hear his true thoughts, it was clear that he either did not have a plan or did not have one he felt would be favorable to the public watching. This is incredibly important for viewers to see and know as it exposes the true characters and perspectives of policymakers they might be voting into office to affect their everyday lives. 

Another thing that was crucial to hear from those candidates was their responses to their past failures. The shows’ hosts called out many of the candidates on pledges that they did not follow through on strongly. Even FL Governor Ron DeSantis wasn’t safe from this as he was questioned on his handling of healthcare in FL, which has the largest uninsured population of any state in the nation. 

Clearly, there were many benefits to having the potential candidates on stage, open for questioning. However, the Republican front-runner, former president Donald Trump, was missing yet again. And the hosts would have surely questioned him about his indictments and his reliability as a politician as well as his future plans as the front runner. However, as former NJ Governor Chris Christie pointed out, with his eyes driven at the camera, Trump wasn’t there, and he should have been. Instead, he said, Trump was “ducking.”

Nikki Haley's YouTube

In this round of the debates, the general atmosphere of the candidates was against Trump; even DeSantis took a stance against him, and Vivek Ramaswamy kept quiet about the issue. Of course, it would have been highly hypocritical of him to do a full 180 from his enthusiastically supportive stance on Trump from the first debates, but also very controversial for him to be the only one on the stage in Trump’s defense. 

All in all, the Republican primary debates have allowed for increased transparency from the running candidates, and Nikki Haley even posted the full recording of the debates, which is otherwise very hard to find online, on her YouTube channel. However, the Democratic party has not held debates for the 2024 presidency at all, nor does it intend to. 

Biden has been polling far ahead of his fellow candidates who remain much lesser known than him and haven’t received nearly the same level of support from other leading figures in the party. While this is the best strategy for him to avoid facing tough questions and maintain his popularity in the party, that is exactly the situation that voters should have the chance to see him in to defend his record like all of the other candidates and to give chance to potentially better-suited candidates from the party. 

The people have a right to hear from other candidates, with other ideas.

— Marianne Williamson

Both J. F. Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson, the other two Democratic candidates, are calling for primary debates to be held, with President Joe Biden participating. 

“The people have a right to hear from other candidates, with other ideas,” Williamson said. “This is not a time in our history for people to acquiesce to any form of control over things that will affect our lives and the lives of our children. Candidate suppression is a form of voter suppression, and the party that purports to be the champion of democracy should not be so wary of it in our own house.” 

President Gerald R. Ford was the last incumbent president to take part in primary debates, and the old custom should be brought back. Transparency and accountability of potential policymakers are needed, and the Republican primary debates have shown that.

No candidates should ever be “ducking” again. 

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About the Contributor
Saniya Mishra, Copy-Editing Manager
Saniya Mishra is a senior, writing for her third and final year on staff, busied by her many passions. She is an artist who cares deeply about the world. But there's one love she especially enjoys, loses herself in completely, only to resurface with a newfound perspective and a couple hundred words vomited on a Google Doc. Ever since third grade, she's fallen head over heels for writing. It is her escape. It is her adventure. It is her everything. Favorite writers: Ruta Sepetys, Amanda Gorman Favorite books: 1984 by George Orwell, Salt to the Sea Ruta Sepetys, I'll Give You The Sun Jandy Nelson, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins Favorite colors: maroon, emerald, navy blue, lavender Favorite songs: "hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me" by Lana Del Rey, "Can I Call You Tonight?"  by Dayglow, and "Growing Sideways" by Noah Kahan

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