The first Republican President Debate was hosted in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 27th, 2023. Before I proceed with this article, I would like to be transparent with the audience: I identify with she/her pronouns, I was assigned female at birth, I am both hispanic and white, and I am part of the LGBTQIA+ community. My views tend to align with the democratic party, although growing up I believed myself to be a republican.
As stated previously, I grew up listening to republican politics and believing their views to be fact. Now, when I listen to republican politics, I cringe. I do not agree with the views of the party or their plans for our future as a nation. I watched this debate because I feel the need to plan for the worst. With the current political climate, and with many republicans outwardly resenting the LGBTQIA+ community, I fear for my safety.
But I had to watch it – although I did push it off multiple times.
Before I could watch it, I had to find it first. And I didn’t want to watch a recap that was sprinkled with other peoples’ opinions. Although finding an uninterrupted viewing was a bit of a challenge. But eventually I did, for the most part. (This is the video I watched. If you plan to watch it yourself, I recommend this clip).
Watching the Debate
Watching the debate was a bit of a struggle; I watched it in multiple sittings and each time I was left feeling emotionally exhausted. A great many, many, times I was left shaking my head in frustration, baffled by the answer, or lack of answers.
Although it was hilarious that Trump was not in attendance. He says this is because the public already “knows how [he] is.” (For more information, follow this link). Which, really, was he not in attendance because he didn’t feel like it? Or was it because he was going to jail? (He was booked on Thursday the 24th of August while the debate took place on the 23rd. For more information, follow this link).
But what wasn’t funny was Vivek Ramaswamy’s desire to “drill, frack, burn coal, and embrace nuclear energy.” A statement he has made more than once as seen here in his speech.
Another incredibly worrisome matter was the push by many GOP members for a federal abortion ban. While many were guaranteeing a 15 week minimum, how many of them will push for a 6 week ban or a total ban altogether? I want my right to get an abortion protected. I want to be able to get a medical procedure if necessary. Because, frankly, with Texas having an outright ban it has left many women unable to get the medical help they need. (The state of Texas is currently being sued by a group of women that have suffered under the complete abortion ban. For more info, read this article).
And when asked about climate change, many of the republican candidates walked around the question, put the blame on other countries, or even outright said it was a hoax (thanks Vivek Ramaswamy).
My Thoughts on the Candidates
Some candidates thrive on attention, good or bad. We’ve seen it with Trump, we see it with Vivek Ramaswamy. So when writing this article, I struggle with the need to take apart their actions and the knowledge that doing so will just give them a platform to stand on. So to balance this out, I will talk positively about some of the other candidates.
During the debate, Chris Christie showed a level head. He does not support Trump’s criminal actions. And he understands the need to work with the other political parties. When I ask my friends that are republican what they want, they often say a less politically controversial candidate. I propose, if this interests you, taking a second to look at Chris Christie policies. What can he bring to the table? (For more information on his political stances follow this link).
Nikki Haley was also a strong candidate; she showed poise and stood tall. When the topic of inflation was on the table, she did not hesitate to say that the republican party needs to look at themselves instead of shifting all the blame to democrats.
And Doug Burgum made it a point to say – when the federal abortion ban topic was discussed – that he will respect states’ rights when push comes to shove. He understands that what works in one state will not necessarily work in another.
Feelings After the Debate
I don’t know what to feel after the debate; I’m frustrated, anxious, tired, worried, etc. Politics are exhausting, but we need to pay attention to it because it affects all of us. We have the ability to vote. We need to exercise that right.