Candidate info night falls short

John McDonald, Contributing Writer


A chaotic buzz emanated from a packed Gorman A. The audience waited in anticipation of the Presidential Candidate Info Night. The University of Dallas’ social justice initiative sponsored the event, and professors from the Politics department gave their input on the candidates. But did they deliver what they had promised?

I entered the presentation hoping for deep insight into each of the major contenders for the presidency, but instead I heard passionate commentary remarks on specific things, rather than insight on the candidates.

Although the event was educational, it left much to be desired in terms of actual insight on the stances of the presidential candidates. For example, Dr. Tiffany Miller used her allotted time to explain the gravity of the national debt.

Miller’s tone displayed her serious concern for the nation’s fiscal situation and conveyed her enthusiasm for the topic. I share her concern about our national debt, but she did not mention any candidate’s position on government spending or deficit reduction.

Similarly, Dr. Christopher J. Wolfe argued about the importance of the Constitution and the need for executives to take it seriously. Dr. Christopher J. Wolfe did a better job of relating his political passion to the 2016 election by connecting his topic of the Constitution to the populist movement supporting Donald Trump.

Dr. Christopher J. Wolfe also discussed the prospective abuse the Constitution would receive from former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or Senator Bernie Sanders.

Relative to the topic of the presidential election, Dr. Christopher Wolfe and Dr. Daniel Burns delivered more valuable material on the candidates.

Dr. Christopher Wolfe described four areas a voter should look at when assessing presidential candidates: character, skills, policies and electability. His advice was most helpful for those who are less politically savvy, but for those who follow politics there was little new information.

Dr. Burns ended the night with what I believe most attendees wanted to hear during the entirety of the event, which was a discussion of many candidates’ positions on foreign policy and immigration.

Dr. Burns quickly touched on several candidates’ positions on foreign policy, notably excluding Donald Trump’s.

Dr. Burns mentioned Sanders’ anti-war voting record, Senator Ted Cruz’s insistence on carpet bombing ISIS and Senator Marco Rubio’s impressive grasp of the complicated political situation in the Middle East.

On the issue of immigration, he emphasized Cruz’s promise of deporting every illegal immigrant, while building a huge wall on the southern border. Burns also commented on Rubio’s previous support of citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the U.S.

Ultimately, I left the Presidential Candidate Info Night a little disappointed.

In the future, it might not be a bad idea to give Dr. Miller her own event in which she can explain the debt crisis or give Dr. Christopher J. Wolfe the opportunity to speak on the past and present abuses of the Constitution.

The Presidential Candidate Info Night presented important and interesting information, but not the kind of information many were looking for.


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