By MACKENZIE MICHAELS ’16
The second GOP debate allowed the Republican presidential candidates to answer questions about significant national political issues that any of them, with reason, would be faced with as president.
Although I am not particularly passionate about politics, I enjoyed watching the debate. I not only learned about the causes and goals of the Republican party as a whole, but laughed out loud at some of the comments made by the candidates.
The candidates were asked, “If elected president, what would be your Secret Service name?”
This personal question had no right answer, but some candidates took it more seriously than others.
Donald Trump answered simply by stating “Humble,” making fun of himself, as well as his abundance of critics.
Jeb Bush, governor of Florida and brother of George Bush, said, “Everready,” following up saying, “It’s very high energy, Donald.”
This was a dig at Trump’s previous comments towards Bush. In the moment, it caused laughter from the audience.
I think that Trump was impressed with Bush’s dig, and put his hand out for a high five, which Bush accepted. Although it seems to make sense, when watching it in my living room, the high five seemed very awkward.
Awkwardness ensued when Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas Governor, answered without preface, “Duck Hunter.”
This created the most awkward silence of the night. The best part was that the cameras stayed on him, awaiting a response, but he did not reply.
Another controversial highlight of the debate was when Rand Paul, United States Senator of Kentucky, called out Bush for smoking marijuana when he was younger.
When asked if he would support laws against marijuana as president, Paul started to discuss the hypocrisy in politics regarding the subject.
“There is at least one prominent example on stage who says they smoked pot in high school. And yet, the people who are going to jail for this are poor…and yet the rich kids who use drugs are not.”
Moderator Jake Tapper asked Paul if he would like to clarify, and before he could respond completely, Bush cut in, “He was talking about me…I wanted to make it easier for him.”
Then, Bush admitted to the world that he smoked marijuana “40 years ago.”
“My mom’s not happy.”
He then explained how the “serious epidemic of drugs” needs to be stopped. This made Paul snap, and he asked what would happen to “a small child…that has five hundred seizures a day…failing on nontraditional medications, [who] is not allowed to use cannabisoil.”
This heart-wrenching story caused many to empathize.
Adding sadness and seriousness to the debate was candidate Carly Fiorina, who said, “My husband Frank and I buried a child to drug addiction.”
Drugs are obviously not a light subject, but the overall mood swing from accusatory of Bush, to joking about his past, to stories of child sickness and death due to restriction from and abuse of drugs, sent powerful messages to the audience at a rapid-fire pace.
Many audience members debate about who won, sometimes just as much as the candidates themselves.
Presidential debates serve as ways for people to learn about the candidates, and for major is- sues to be addressed and discussed openly between people who are in the same party, but seldom have the same opinions.
With all of the excitement that comes from these debates, the public can lose track of their point: one of these people has the chance of running our country.