by Alexis Barton
In recent weeks, political candidates across the country have been partaking in debates to make their final marks on the campaign trail. Though some debates receive more national attention than others, the candidates aim to take a stab at their opponent while presenting their values with the utmost poise regardless of their viewership. In several key races across the country, these debates mark some of the final moments in the campaign for both candidates to have a clear public platform. This has resulted in several notable moments driven by emotion from various candidates.
In Florida, Marco Rubio aims to reinstate his term as the republican senator from the state. His opponent, Val Demings, is a notable figure in the state after having served as the City of Orlando police chief in recent years. Two key issues have been central to this race: abortion access and gun control. The conversations about these issues in the state are reflective of the nationwide reckoning that the reversal of Roe v. Wade and recent school shootings have brought to the American people. When asked about a federal ban on abortion, Rubio avoided answering directly by pointing to his legislative background in ensuring a loophole of sorts for women who have been victims of a crime resulting in their pregnacny. Demings, however, stood firmly on her belief that the incumbent would not protect the right of Floridians to access abortion and would not protect these loopholes. Demings went on again to question Rubio’s pro-life stances as he has been in office during several major shootings in the state. While Rubio stated that existing restrictions have not been able to stop mass shooters, Demings said, “How long will you watch people being gunned down in first grade, fourth grade, high school, college, church, synagogue, grocery store, movie theater, a mall and a nightclub and do nothing?”. The emotion from Demings was palpable as she touched on a note so deeply personal to many Americans.
Next door in Georgia, incumbent Marjorie Taylor Greene started off with a glaring list of attacks towards her opponent Marcus Flowers and the democratic party. Flowers responded with a simple, “…God bless you, Marjorie Taylor Greene. If you truly believe that, then I’m praying for you”. Flowers’ comment represents our current political climate well as candidates continue to craft attacks perfect for soundbites and ongoing news cycles.