Don't Go in for the Debate Hype

By, Jacob Smith

Monday, September 26, marked the first debate of the 2016 presidential election.

The candidates have stirred the media into a frenzy with memes and one-liners that made many debate moments unavoidable across social media.

Though the entertainment factor has continued to deliver throughout this election cycle, are millennials seeing the changes they hope to see from their government or settling for the personal attacks between campaigns?

We reached out to millennials from both sides just hours before the debate to find out what they had hoped to have seen on the debate stage.

"I'm hopeful that they will speak to some of the key issues that are facing our generation," said Steven Olikara, president at Millennial Action Project. "So far the negative campaigning has been a huge turn-off for our demographic."

The personal shots taken, on and off stage by both candidates have drawn away from the policy issues voters hope to see clarified throughout the debates.

Siraj Hashmi, a reporter at Red Alert Politics, says that Donald Trump's stance on foreign policy is often understated or misunderstood by many voters.

"What I think what a lot of people don't realize, that [Donald Trump] runs a little to the left of Hillary Clinton on, is foreign policy," said Hashmi. "He has talked about a Muslim ban, but he has walked that back just a little bit."

As we move into future debates, the lure of entertainment can act as a detractor to serious discussion of policy but the impact of these issues will be around much longer than that facebook meme.