The discourse between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump at the first presidential debate on Monday was disappointing, according to several Rowan University students who felt key issues of interest to the millennial generation were not addressed.
Democratic nominee Clinton and Republican nominee Trump addressed job creation, how to heal America’s racial divide and American security. Many major media organizations were quick to point out the candidates also did a lot of vigorous biting at one another.
“I think they focused on arguing, rather than focusing on what people want to hear, which is practical solutions,” said Jason Fisch, a Rowan freshman mechanical engineering major.
Although Fisch said he would participate in the election come Nov. 8, he said he feels the choice between the two main candidates is scary and certainly not representative of the millennial generation.
“They should have covered more contemporary issues for those who participate less in voting and toward undecided voters,” Fisch said.
Freshman electrical and computer engineering major Nikola Kosaric felt that the debate was merely bantering. For him, choosing between Clinton and Trump is choosing between the lesser of two evils. As of now, Kosaric is unsure if he’ll vote in November.
“Neither of them represent me,” he said. “[Trump and Clinton] addressed existing supporters, rather than voters who haven’t decided who to follow yet.”
Both Fisch and Kosaric believe not a lot of people their age are participating in politics, although it’s important.
Kaitlyn Gaffney said she was disappointed by the candidates’ knocking at one another during the debate and that they each should have been promoting themselves instead.
A sophomore writing arts major, Gaffney laughed as she said, “I guess that mirrors the millennial age with things you see on Twitter.”
Trump and Clinton’s vague explanation of policy, as Gaffney called it, was not enough. She hopes the two will more vigorously address social issues in future debates.
“That’s why I was such a fierce Bernie Sanders supporter. He was a 75-year-old man who still loved the kids, so much of what he promoted was the power of youth,” Gaffney said. “We are such a huge part of the voting bloc, we do matter and we do need to go out and vote.”
Gaffney believes that the two candidates tweeting about social issues on Twitter does not mean they are addressing what’s important to millennials directly and wholeheartedly.
“A lot of the debate was what was expected,” Gaffney said. “Donald Trump handled himself like a fool and Hillary was a woman who had to sit by and wait for a loud man to stop blaring [bad things] about things he doesn’t know.”
Come November, Gaffney said she will use her voice to cast a vote for Clinton. For many other students however, the choice is still unclear.
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