What You Need To Know About the 2020 Democratic Debates

Madison Harris, Staff Writer

While many Neshaminy students are unable to participate in the 2020 elections, it is important for registering voters to be paying attention to the democratic debates happening now. 

There have been 5 democratic debates as of October 10th, 2019 and the number of democratic candidates may be overwhelming to young and inexperienced voters. Students of Neshaminy High School just registering this year may struggle with deciding which candidates they should support. That’s why if voters choose to vote for a member of the democratic party it is critical that they watch and listen to these debates. 

Candidates this year have similar platforms but each are trying to differentiate themselves from the others. Many democrats are trying to attract younger voters as it seems they will play a key role in the upcoming 2020 election. So how does someone decide which candidate to vote for? A voter must prioritize with candidate’s platform best aligns with their own views and take into account if you fall on a more conservative or liberal side of the spectrum of voting for democrats. 

There are also everyday issues that young voters must pay attention to while deciding a candidate to elect. Many senior students graduating this year plan to attend college after graduation in the fall and carrying the crushingly large debt of taking a student loan. However, some of the candidates have plans to make student loans an issue of the past. Tulsi Gabbard, Julián Castro, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, and Bernie Sanders all support free community college, which could save future generations from the crushing, cycling debt from student loans.

Almost all candidates have a platform of education based on gentrifying school districts and raising the salary of teachers. Pete Buttiege, a democratic candidate, supports clearing all student loan debt for teachers who have worked in the public school district for 5 or more years. All the candidates are advocating for  a higher pay for teachers in their campaign.

Students will also be directly affected by the view on standardized testing which may be increased or decreased concerning the candidate. For example, if Andrew Yang is elected we may see a spike in testing because Yang is a CEO of a test prep company, Manhattan Prep.

Democratic debates may carry too much weight, however. When asked of the importance of these elections, Mr. Stoner, a social studies teacher at Neshaminy High School, says, “They matter more than they should, and debate critics are too concerned with the spectacles.” 

Stoner reminds us that while debates are important to the grand scheme of the election it is extremely important to read speeches, listen to interviews, and look at campaign plans. In fact, when asked of his thoughts Stoner states, “Interesting. Kind of funny… The amount of candidates is pushing running mates farther to the left.” 

Debates are an important tool for choosing a candidates but for voters it is important to exhaust every possible option before making a decision. However, young voters voices can only matter if they are registered.