An oft-unused political fixture, the FSU Vitality party hosted a tri-partisan debate. With the participation of the Florida State University College Democrat, College Republican, and College Libertarian organizations, a panel of politically charged students represented their favored nominee in a six-delegate debate. The ambassadors researched and presented the platforms of senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Bernie Sanders, along with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Businessman Donald Trump, and governor and libertarian Gary Johnson. The two hour event covered topics relevant to issues in America that spurred contrasting appeals and rebuttals on tax increases, homeland security, gun control, the affordable care act, criminal justice, immigration, and paid maternity leave, while also allotting time at the end for a Q&A with questions from the audience.
Despite the entirety of the debate being insightful and educational, the more interesting scenes of the night came from the more unorthodox interactions. Firstly, the unknown (and embracingly so) Gary Johnson delivered an incredibly enthusiastic and strong platform with biting rebuttals with little to no attacks on his plans from the other candidates. The Gary Johnson character even pointed out that his party is overlooked and thanked the audience for listening and the dais for including him. Meanwhile, the student who played Donald Trump embraced his brash and glossy attitude, often referring to himself as “The Donald” and interjecting into other’s speeches to retort. Taking after Trump, the audience was unafraid to include themselves into the speeches. At one point, when the student playing Hillary was speaking on straw purchasing, a person in the crowd shouted “Bullshit!” and had to be chastised by the moderator of the event. Similar to a televised official debate, the republicans, especially Trump, were unafraid to speak over another speakers argument, at one point having the student playing Marco Rubio having to talk directly to the moderator, claiming unfair play on Trump’s part, interjecting his speech on illegal immigration. He claimed that he is given extra time because “he is entertaining,” akin to manys’ ideas of Trump’s running in the first place. Each candidate received cheers and jeers, Trump’s fans were more commonly whooping while Clinton’s would snap. The room had clearly been divided, and ultimately created an astute depiction of what a debate of this caliber would play out with the actual presidential nominees.
By ALEX KEEL / Intern Writer