With This Set of Presidential Candidates, The Joke’s On Us

 

By Alexander Stringer
Staff Writer

The latest Trump-less Republican debate on January 28 boasted an estimated 11 million viewers. This seems like a lot for politics and thus, begs the question: Why are these viewers tuning in?

The 2016 race has been one of the biggest political events with the largest media coverage in history. Yet with the Iowa caucus looming over the nation and its ability to make or break campaigns, we must look at the effects of several players’ news cycle spotlights, which has warped the image of the United States abroad.

In 1998, as seen in a video discovered by Buzzfeed, Ben Carson proclaimed that his “own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain,” which, despite being wholly incorrect, garnered him votes.

Then we move on to Donald Trump, who has done everything in his power to inflame as many people as humanly possible, from proposing a Muslim database, which popular astronomer and blogger Phil Plait points out “is, in fact, what Hitler did,” to proclaiming that all Mexican migrants who hop the border carry copious amounts of drugs in their bags.

While all of these statements make for great television and leave many in the States chortling to themselves, there are serious repercussions that stem from the media attention siphoned through the sphere of serious public news. The United States has become a laughing stock across the globe.

On January 18, there was a three-hour debate in the British Parliament over banning Donald Trump from the United Kingdom, which would pose a rather large problem in creating partnerships should he become the next POTUS. Prime Minister David Cameron decided the debate, saying, “I think if he came to our country, he would unite us all against him,” according to Al Jazeera.

While the incendiary rhetoric from the Palace of Westminster reflects the dissatisfaction of our allies with our choice of potential leadership, it does little to show the effects our candidates have on foreign actions.

We need only to recall the Iranian abduction of U.S. sailors in the midst of discussions on the Iran nuclear deal. It seems that Iran understands that it can take any actions it desires, and the U.S. will always come back to the table to get the deal passed.

Politics used to be boring – sleep inducing, even. The modern race, however, has turned into a competition to get the most coverage and the attention of young voters. These candidates will say nearly anything to make a headline.

While the appeal has gotten more young people interested in politics, it seems that “politicians” have sacrificed their dignity and credibility upon the altar of social media. For the race to continue in such a fashion is to wholly destroy the credibility of our country, making us seem like a nation of mouth-breathers for allowing half of these incompetent candidates to last more than a week.

 

Alexander Grey

As a member of the Class of 2019 and a Diplomacy major at the Seton Hall University School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Alexander Stringer focuses on Eastern European studies and state security. Being a scholar of Classics for fours years, he aims to apply Roman and Greek ideas of government to the modern geopolitical climate.

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