Students engage in political debate

Jason Franc, Staff Reporter

A debate Tuesday between the EIU College Democrats and EIU College Republicans included a lot more agreeing than debating.

Many questions addressed what each party thought of the Affordable Care Act, whether President Barack Obama should elect a new Supreme Court justice, if the minimum wage should be raised, and if the U.S. should keep taking in refugees.

John Morris, a political science professor, mediated the debate and said the conversation was “well respected.”

Morris said no problems occurred concerning the debaters respecting one another. In fact, they had so much respect for one another that a lot of the questions that were being debated ended up being agreed upon.

Juan Nevarez, a Democratic debater, said the debate was thorough.

“Each side had good points displayed in a civil way, but the democrats brought their game,” Nevarez said.

Even a sense of calmness persisted for the majority of the debate, certain instances occurred where tension could be felt between the two parties.

The main voice for the Republicans was Jeremy Lynch, who also had a few things to say about the debate itself.

“All participants in the debate were very well prepared and made excellent points,” Lynch said.

The focus of the debate dealt with issues more related to the political topics that are relevant to citizens and how the government is directly involved with them. The first hot issue discussed was the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

This acted as an icebreaker for the debate because both parties almost immediately agreed that it was not a very good plan.

Democrats poked fun at the Republicans by saying that the Republicans gave them the idea for Obamacare.

Jonathan Williams and Juan Nevarez, members of the College Deomcrats, deliberate during a debate between them and the College Republicans Tuesday night in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.
Cassie Buchman
Jonathan Williams and Juan Nevarez, members of the College Deomcrats, deliberate during a debate between them and the College Republicans Tuesday night in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

The Republicans then conceded from the question. The question arose of if Obama is obligated to select a new Supreme Court justice due to the recent death of Antonin Scalia.

Both parties agreed Obama has the obligation to do so, but the difference was that the Democrats emphasized it should not be entirely up to him alone.

The Republicans’ rebuttal was that when President Ronald Reagan was in office, he was in a similar situation and still elected a new Supreme Court Justice.

The Democrats spoke strongly about the next topic of discussion, which was if the minimum wage rate should be raised throughout the United States.

The Democratic points were that it should be raised, and it is an issue that should be visited every five to 10 years. They also stated that these are not permanent jobs and people should be trained to get better jobs in the long run instead of settling for a minimum wage paycheck.

The Republicans did not have much rebuttal to this and agreed by saying that people should be trained in a better manner for the idea of obtaining a better job.

The final issue of debate was whether of not the United States should continue to take in Syrian refugees. The Republicans came out firing on this topic stating that it is the country’s duty as a world power to help those in a less fortunate situation.

They also stated that with that power comes danger and there still must be extensive background check on these refugees to allow them citizenship.

The Democratic Party also agreed but with a little more hesitation. They used the phrase “consider it” but also stated only been three terrorists have been found through our refugee programs to also support the claim.

Both the Republican and the Democrats discussed different issues, to which to both sides mostly agreed to the solutions that were put forth by either party.

 

Jason Franc can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]