As I write this on Sunday night, I am anticipating the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tomorrow (Monday, September 26, 2016) night! This is one of the most contentious presidential elections that I can remember with no real front-runner. I am eager to hear from both candidates and to learn a lot about their ability to lead this country nationally and internationally in what anyone would describe as difficult and violent times. NBC News explores the two candidates in this recent article: click to read.
Believe it or not, debates between the Republican and Democratic candidates for president do not go back that far in history. Actually, one of the first candidate debates included the senatorial debates between Abraham Lincoln (Republican) and Frederick Douglas (Democrat) for the United States senate seat in Illinois in 1858. The debates were set up formally with no moderator. Alternating with each debate, one candidate was given one hour to present an opening speech which was followed by a one-and-a-half-hour rebuttal by the opposing candidate. To conclude, the first candidate had thirty minutes to respond.
Not until 1960 did a real presidential candidate debate occur between John F. Kennedy (Democrat) and Richard M. Nixon (Republican), and this debate was televised! Some believe a college student was the force behind this debate since a student from the University of Maryland had started a powerful conversation that the two presidential candidates should publicly debate. There is a lot that has been researched and written about the Kennedy-Nixon debate especially in terms of the effect that televised images had on people’s opinions of the candidates.Another presidential debate was not held until 1976 when Jimmy Carter (Democrat) debated Gerald Ford (Republican). That election was my first vote as an eighteen year old!
Monday night’s debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY. As a matter of fact, all three presidential debates are being held at colleges which is a testament to the honor and responsibility that college students carry for our society and our world. I hope all of the eligible Maria College students are registered to vote and plan to vote in this 2016 election!
Please share your thoughts about Monday night’s debate!
Until next time,