Vice presidential debate: Politics or child’s play

Shannon O'Connor, Opinion Writer

Oct. 4 marked the one and only vice presidential debate between Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence at Longwood University in Virginia. Over the course of 90 minutes, the two candidates had two minutes each to answer nine different questions based on their personal beliefs and policies. In light of the presidential debate, one would hope the vice presidential candidates would act more appropriate than their counterparts.

However, that was not the case. Kaine and Pence did manage to discuss their policies but only in between the name calling and finger pointing. Throughout the debate, Kaine was dead set on targeting Pence for Trump not releasing his tax returns. Pence seemed to be at a loss for words at how rapidly the backlash was flying. Once he was able to pick up the last remaining pieces of his campaign’s dignity, he was quick to fire back.

Pence defended Trump by stating how successful his business strategies have been as well as how he brought up such a well-known company. Unfortunately, this childish bickering continued for the next ninety minutes. However, the tables turned when the candidates were asked one of their final questions: “Can you discuss in detail a time when you struggled to balance your personal faith and a public policy position?” With Kaine being raised Catholic and Pence being Christian, the two men actually shared something in common.

This was the first moment in the whole debate that the name-calling was put away and a true discuss came about. Both agreed to having a great deal of respect for the other in terms of their dedication to their faith, and ironically enough both had a policy issue that involved their faith and the matter of life and death. Kaine went on to describe his issue with the death penalty and how he is strongly against it. Even though he believes it is against his faith, he feels it is his duty to with uphold the law. He explained, “I told Virginia voters I would uphold the law, and I did.” In regards to Pence, he strongly opposes abortion and is an advocate for adoption.

He believes in expanding alternative forms of counseling for women, in which abortion is not the first option on their minds. Pence states, “But it all for me begins with cherishing the dignity, the worth, the value of every human life.” In these few minutes that Pence and Kaine discussed this question, it was refreshing to finally have some aspect of the election not be a theatrical show. Now, the million dollar question.

Who won the debate? Well, it’s up to each voter to decide which type of childish debating they prefer over the other. Sen. Kaine and Gov. Pence were tamer than Trump and Clinton; however, how you deal with an argument on the playground and how you run a country should not be the same type of behavior. The vice presidential debate is not as important as the presidential one; however, it still should be something to consider when voting comes.