What do bayonets, binders and American flag lapel pins have in common? They were some of the many sensational topics to dominate this year’s presidential debates.
The first presidential debate, which focused on domestic policy, included a more visual representation of sensational topics. Many undecided voters jokingly said Gov. Mitt Romney’s American flag lapel pin was larger than President Barack Obama’s and that thus Romney was the winner of the first debate. And during the candidates’ back-and-forth banter about the federal budget, Romney mentioned he would stop the subsidy to PBS, but that he likes PBS and Big Bird, making it the most remembered moment of the first debate.
The most discussed moment from the second presidential debate was not their scheduled topics of the economy, Libya and immigration, but rather “binders full of women.” This phrase, spoken by Romney when he talked about successfully hiring women, went viral on the Internet as soon as the words left his mouth.
Obama was the culprit of the sensational topics in the third and final presidential debate, from telling Romney soldiers do not use bayonets anymore to telling him that the 1980s called and they want their foreign policy back. For the casual viewer, there was no lack of entertainment.
What does this obsession with sensational topics say about our country and our community? As the most powerful country in the world, we should set an example for other countries. It appears we are taking the political process as a joke, while we are the leaders for promoting democracy around the world.
In an election year where the young adult vote will yet again be critical to the election’s outcome, we college students should begin focusing more on the information and stances of the candidates being discussed rather than the sensational topics.
I know the vast majority of students at Virginia Tech do not pay attention to the sensational topics at all. We should all try to be a little more like that.
By focusing less on the memes of President Bill Clinton with the caption “binders full of women,” and more on the essential details of the debate, voting in November will be an easier choice, especially if one if undecided.
Politics, at times, can be stale and boring, so a little entertainment is valued as comic relief. However, when it comes to being an educated voter and a supporter of one of the candidates, understanding the crucial information is better than acknowledging that one candidate has a bigger lapel pin than the other.