Young Democrats and Young Republicans Have Their Annual Debate


(Staff photos)

Nicole Haynes, News & Online Editor

On February 24, 2016 the Young Democrats hosted a debate with the Young Republicans in Ms. Jones’ room. The topics included criminal justice, climate change, immigration, healthcare, and gun control. Both clubs had been preparing for months prior at their meetings. The President of the Young Republicans, Katie Burke (12), said, “I assigned a certain amount of members to a topic. Then throughout the two weeks before the debate I would send out websites and news articles that had a good arguments and information about those topics. Just reading the newspaper is the best way to be informed and hear different opinions!” The President of the Young Democrats, Thomas Woldemariam (12), said, “To prepare for the debate, our club had meetings where we organized our ideas and brainstormed counterarguments.”

The sponsors of the Young Democrats and the Young Republicans, Ms. Jones and Mrs. Draschner, respectively, both wanted this debate to resemble what a real presidential debate is like—of course, without the chaos and disrespect we see at some debates. Topics were chosen in advance and then debated for the first part of the debate. After a quick pizza break, Mr. Simon read out questions that were written by Mr. Motley and Mr. Walsh. Both clubs had no clue what the questions were about, so it was very similar to a real debate where you had to come up with an answer on the spot.

demsHaving the elections this year and watching the presidential debates made this debate much more interesting. Nicole Hinojosa (12) added, “I think the election being this year really focused our attention on the fundamentals that separate the parties, which is always fun and important to debate.”

The debate started off with talking about criminal justice reform and more specifically if former convicts should be required to tell employers on their forms that they were charged with a crime. Katie felt “that employers have the right to know the past actions of their employees, for the safety of his/her company and it’s customers.” Just like Katie, this was also Thomas’ favorite topic. He felt “that it’s become too hard for ex-convicts to get a job and become functional members of society.” Both sides had compelling arguments and reasoning for their beliefs.

One topic that had more common ground was climate change. This was Zach Zepp’s (11) favorite topic. He’s very passionate about this “because saving the Earth should be the top priority because it not only affects the United States, but the entire world. If people continue to not take action, or even refute the existence of climate change, it will be too late.”

The FCHS political debate had much more common ground than most people would expect after seeing a debate between the presidential candidates on TV, but in the end it was clear both clubs share a desire to see the best outcome for America. This debate showed that people with different views can be civil and respectful while still getting their points across.