What to Expect in the First Presidential Debate
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What to Expect in the First Presidential Debate

A guide for novices in our political system.

What to Expect in the First Presidential Debate

The first presidential debate is tonight, beginning at 8:00 pm. For those of you who haven't been following this election cycle: I have two things to say to you.

a). I don't blame you. This presidential election cycle has been a mess.

b). Nevertheless, I still feel that we all have a civic and moral obligation to make an informed decision on what to do during this year's election day (even if that choice winds up being not voting at all). After all, determining who ought to lead the nation is not a small, insignificant issue.

Luckily for people who (understandably) don't like following election cycles, the debates prove to be a convenient shortcut. Since this is quite possibly the first election many of you are voting in, I figured it would be wise to go over what exactly will happen during the debate.

With that out of the way: here's what you can expect in the debate tonight.

1. Only Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will be at the debate:

As I mentioned in an article written for last week, Gary Johnson-- along with all other third party candidates, have not be invited to the first debate. For better or worse, only the candidates from the two major political parties have been invited.

2. Topic One: America's Direction

The topics for the first debate were released about a week ago. The first topic is nice and general sounding- the type of thing that you put into an essay to take up more space.

All jokes aside- expect there to be a broad section of topics in the first part of the debate, all of which will (loosely) reflect back on an important question: what should the United States of America do during the next 4 years? This will probably the most ideological segment of the debate.

3. Topic Two: Achieving Prosperity

One word will describe this section: economics. Expect to see questions about trade deals, creating jobs, taxation, and monetary matters discussed here. Social issues might be addressed tangentially, but the main focus of this segment is going to be about the economy.

4, Securing America

This section will likely cover the topics of defense and foreign policy. Donald Trump's wall will be mentioned. ISIS, the Syrian refugee crisis, terrorist attacks, immigration, all of these things are fair game in this section.

5. Nobody will pay attention to the time limits on individual questions.

I've been watching presidential debates since I was in grade school. I've never seen anyone pay much attention to the time limits given to answer questions. Politicians like hearing themselves talk, what did you expect?

In any case- the debates will only go on for 1 hour and 30 minutes, no matter how much each candidate would prefer for it to be otherwise. Just don't expect the candidates to stick to the allotted time they have to answer specific questions.

Beyond this... there's not much that I can say about what to expect. In any event, you can certainly expect there to be a follow up article to this one published next week.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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