College Democrats and Republicans debate current issues ahead of the election

Amanda Plasse, Herald Reporter

RWU’s College Democrats and College Republicans participated in a debate on the night of Oct. 28 to discuss major issues surrounding the election next week. Each side was given two uninterrupted minutes for each topic, followed by 90-seconds to answer a question written by an RWU student and then time to discuss.

The debate was moderated by Student Body Vice President Tatevik Khachatryan. The students debating for the College Democrats included Connor Smith, Jason Regan and Jessica Taddeo. Those debating for the College Republicans included Christopher Troccolo, Ray Cerro and Kayla Rosengren. Topics up for debate were the Supreme Court, the economy, the healthcare system, foreign policy, immigration and the record of the presidential candidates.

The hot button topic was healthcare. The College Democrats were in favor of a single-payer system, whereas the College Republicans side felt strongly that the healthcare system is working as is. Their main argument for this was that the United States has the best healthcare system in the world and there are very few people who actually go bankrupt because of their inability to pay their hospital bills. However, the Democrats believed this to be misleading considering there are approximately 500,000 Americans a year who go into debt, according to the American Journal of Public Health, and it doesn’t matter if they’re going into debt or going bankrupt — they maintained it is still a problem.

Another important issue was the Supreme Court. Both the College Republicans and Democrats are against court packing, but the Democrats believe that President Trump has already done this by making the Supreme Court mainly conservative. In addition, they said the hypocrisy of the Republican party in terms of the guidelines for appointment to the Supreme Court is outrageous. The College Republicans agreed with the latter statement but believe the Democratic party trying to defend court packing is wrong and will just lead to an outstanding number of justices sitting on the court.

The other four topics didn’t seem to cause as much controversy as the previous two, but they are still crucial issues that this country is currently facing. In terms of the economy, the College Democrats believe that the country reopened too soon while the Republicans believe that shutting down the economy would only negatively impact this country.

On the issue of foreign policy, the College Democrats are unhappy with the way that the President is interacting with dictators while the Republicans believe that achieving world peace is closer than it may seem.

Moving forward, in terms of immigration, both sides agree that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a good program. The College Democrats, however, believe that immigration should be reformed in a way that doesn’t deport innocent immigrants and the Republicans believe that a wall should be built.

Finally, when discussing the record of the presidential candidates, the College Democrats believe President Trump has not accomplished many of the things he had promised during his campaign. On the other hand, the College Republicans believe that it wasn’t just President Trump who was at fault, but the entire institution.

This debate was extremely informative, especially for those who still may be unsure who to vote for. Both groups were able to represent their party in a well manner and convey what their parties believe in.