Presidential debates lack policy talk

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Illustration by Madison Moore

The presidential debates are a joke.

Candidates glaze over policy details, meanwhile most voters are poorly informed when they go to the polls. 

Mudslinging during presidential debates isn’t new, but we believe it has reached an detrimental level.

According to a National survey conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, only 36 percent of Americans can actually name the three branches of government the Constitution created. It is troublesome that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump spends too much time talking about Bill Clinton’s alleged infidelities during the debates instead of talking about his tax plan.

His tax plan consists of cutting the business rate to 15 percent, reducing individual rates to three brackets of 12, 25, and 33 percent, with a 0 percent rate for many and adding above-the-line deduction for childcare costs, including for stay-at-home parents, according to his campaign website.

Meanwhile, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton seems too busy coming up with insignificant terms like “trumped up trickle down” to go into detail on the economy and jobs.

Her campaign website, like the other candidates, is an alternative way to get detail about policies that aren’t being discussed during the debates.  

We need to raise pay, create good-paying jobs, and build an economy that works for everyone—not just those at the top,” Clinton’s campaign website states. “I’ll cut taxes for the middle class, raise the minimum wage, and ensure the wealthiest pay their fair share. I’ll invest in infrastructure, clean energy, and education. And I’ll help parents balance work and family.”

Besides Trump and Clinton who are the only candidates allowed on the debate stage, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are also in the running, however unlikely they are to win the election.

Many may argue that presidential debates are necessary to inform voters, however little that may be. Unfortunately, they are filled with factual errors that will only confuse voters and without proper knowledge about the policies the presidential candidates will try to enact when in office voters can be mislead.

Luckily, there are alternatives to relying solely on the debates, like reading up on their issues and looking at the candidates’ past to see what kind of legislation they are likely to back up.

Voters need to be informed if they are to hold the government accountable.

We hope that the final presidential debate, which is scheduled for Oct. 19 at 6 p.m., will enlighten voters with the information they deserve as American citizens to make a logical decision not an emotional one.