Kaitlyn Luckow

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How To Think Critically During The Democratic Debates


Tonight starts another round of Democratic Debates. This is after what feels like a long journey of hearing a new person announcing their run for presidency in 2020. This is the third Democratic Nominee Debate round meant to help narrow down this saturated field to one Democratic Candidate who will face Donald Trump in 2020.

The candidates participating in the debate are as follows:

  • Senator Amy Klobuchar

  • Senator Cory Booker

  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg

  • Senator Bernie Sanders

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden

  • Senator Elizabeth Warren

  • Senator Kamala Harris

  • Andrew Yang

  • Former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke

  • Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro

Some of you may have already made up your mind on who you’re going to vote in the primary. Some of you may not even know who most of these people are (if you need a little refresher, check out my look on the past and current policies set in place by the candidates). That’s okay. Regardless of where you stand on the 2020 election, I urge you to watch these debates. Watch these debates and listen to each of the candidates directly instead of hearing second-hand information and other people’s opinions on the news or Twitter. It’s important to make up your own mind in this election and choose to vote for a candidate that truly reflects your values and what you want for our future.

In order to do this, it’s also super important to be able to watch the debate critically. It’s important to sift through all of the B.S. and read through the lines.


Here are some things you need to ask yourself as each candidate responds:

  • Is the candidate answering the question at hand, or deflecting the question to talk about something else?

  • Does the candidate only have canned responses prepared or are they providing the answers that we want?

  • What is the candidate’s main focus: themselves? Trump? Or the American people?

  • Is the candidate saying what they want or are they saying what they want AND how they’re going to make that possible?

  • Does that candidate have any policy plans set in place for their ideas?

  • How does the candidate respond to criticism?

  • Is the candidate using their time to attack other opponents rather than standing up for their beliefs?

  • Ask yourself if you even know what they’re talking about. A lot of jargon is going to be thrown around. It’s okay if you don’t know what they’re talking about. But if you don’t, please look it up and learn what they’re referencing.

If you’re having a hard time concentrating on the candidates statements (I know it can get heavy pretty quickly), try making a drinking game out of it. I’m serious! It’ll help you pay attention to each and every word each candidate says. I don’t care if you’re drinking a beer or coffee, PAY ATTENTION.

In fact, to help you pay attention, I’ve created a Bingo card for sayings you’re sure to hear during the debates. Feel free to also translate this into a drinking game. Because when we pay attention to what our politicians are saying, we all win.

Democratic Debate Bingo 2020

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