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The Blue & Gray Press | August 19, 2017

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Second round of GOP debates leaves few questions answered

Second round of GOP debates leaves few questions answered

By JONATHON MYERS

Within minutes it was apparent exactly what the second Republican Debate of 2015 was going to be. As always, the moderator, this time Jake Tapper, was there to stir up drama, plain and simple.

The focus was spent on turning the candidates against one another, rather than highlighting key issues. With everyone’s favorite Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, on stage, who could blame them?

Especially when the first question posed was whether or not the other candidates felt comfortable with the idea of Donald Trump someday having his hands on our nuclear weapons launch codes. To which the entire three-hour debate can pretty much be summarized by Trump’s face in reaction to the other candidates remarks.

An ongoing theme seemed to be that none of the candidates took Trump seriously, though the polls show him far ahead of the others.

The most talked about topic of the night was immigration. Which, Trump reminded everyone “I don’t think you’d even be talking about illegal immigration if it weren’t for me.”

To an extent, he’s right. Trump’s previous remarks sure have pushed the issue in the limelight.

Sadly, however, the candidates did not seem to have definitive solutions. Although Jeb Bush points out that deporting 11 to 12 million people at half-a-million a month is completely impossible and absurd. Meanwhile Rubio tried to come to the defense of immigrants since his own family were immigrants as well.

To which Trump argued, that assimilation, particularly of language, was necessary for the betterment of our nation. Ben Carson disagreed, suggesting that the criminals should be deported while the illegal immigrants with clean records should have their rights restricted and forced to work solely in the agriculture jobs no one else wants. Ted Cruz took this opportunity to brag, being the only candidate to have never shown amnesty for immigrants.

The majority of the debate went on the same, as the candidates focused on attacking one another and blaming Obama. The final major issue brought up was climate change.

Rubio made one impassioned speech, stating that America is not a planet, and therefore should not bear the full weight of responsibility for global carbon emissions. To which the other candidates agreed, and concluded that further restrictions would be costly and kill jobs unnecessarily when other world powers are not pulling their weight.

A ray of hope in the debate was that everyone agreed that we as a nation need to reach out to our allies because we alone cannot bear the full brunt of the world’s problems.

Overall, this debate showed us that Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio are the more serious candidates, and their increasing poll numbers in the wake of the debate reflect that.

In October, I am sure we will be treated to a similar event for the Democrats. It is still unknown if Bernie Sanders will even be acknowledged given how media big wigs have consistently ignored him.

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