Brankin: A surprisingly coherent vice presidential debate

Sen. Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence gave America actual civil, political discourse Wednesday night.


Tara Brankin

As I turned on the first and only vice presidential debate Wednesday night, I kept my expectations low. After the absolute trainwreck that was last week’s presidential debate, I merely hoped for some semblance of intelligent thought from the two vice presidential candidates. Thankfully, Sen. Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence provided America with an actual coherent debate that covered issues from healthcare to systemic racism. However, I don’t believe that this debate will change anyone’s mind regarding who they’re voting for.

The positive takeaway from the debate was that there were (relatively) minimal interruptions from both of the candidates, at least in relation to last week. While the eyerolls occurred and the occasional “I never said that” was muttered, it was nothing compared to President Trump’s childish refusal to follow debate protocol. Harris and Pence actually spoke for almost the exact same amount of time, 36 minutes, with Pence speaking for just a few seconds longer.

Harris is making history as the first woman of color, and the fourth woman ever, to be on a major party’s presidential ticket. I thought her performance during the debate exemplified her poise and ferocity and could be summed up in one quote: “Mr. Vice President, I’m speaking.” I believe she did very well and had no qualms about standing up for her beliefs. She calmly refuted most of Pence’s claims.

You cannot deny that Pence performed well last night, which makes me uneasy. The aspect that frightens me the most is that he understands how politics work. He knows how to be sneaky and get people on his side. Many of his political ideologies revolve around the oppression of women, through seeking to defund Planned Parenthood, and members of the LQBTQ+ community, by advocating against same-sex marriage. If President Trump wins the election, the rights of both of these groups will be jeopardized.

The last thing America needs is another Trump term. If this debate taught us anything, it’s that we need to get out and vote.