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Tuesday, June 18
The Indiana Daily Student

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OPINION: What are we even doing here, part II: the Republican presidential debate


Chris Christie stares into the camera. He’s seeking the support of millions of Americans to put him in the White House. He delivers the most scathing criticism of Donald Trump he can muster. 

“Donald, I know you’re watching,” Christie said, pointing his finger as if Trump is in the room. “You can’t help yourself. I know you’re watching, okay? And you’re not here tonight, not because of polls, and not because of your indictments. You’re not here tonight because you’re afraid of being on this stage and defending your record. You’re ducking these things. And let me tell you what’s gonna happen: you keep doing that, no one up here’s going to be calling you Donald Trump anymore, we’re gonna call you Donald Duck.” 

Christie then proceeds to make the sassiest “Yeah, I really just went there” face you’ve ever seen. 

For me, the Donald Duck remark defined the second Republican presidential debate – a bad punchline to a joke no one wanted to hear. We all laughed, of course, because American politics is a Marvel movie: a steaming pile of hot garbage that’s bad for the world, but at least it has jokes. 

Last night’s debate was full of these little nuggets in between the most awful political aspirations you’ve ever heard. Here are the biggest lowlights from the second GOP debate. 

Vivek just wants to frack with friends 

Vivek Ramaswamy was the most charismatic candidate during the last debate. He was the most pro-Trump, and he was willing and eager at every turn to throw barbs at the other frauds on stage. He sucks, obviously, but he was fun to watch. 

Wednesday night, however, he went out of his way to make nice with the other Republicans. Oh, how the mighty fall. All the other candidates hate the little twerp and think he’s some sort of agent of the Chinese Communist Party because he has a TikTok account. Every single one of these people are losers, but Ramaswamy looked particularly bad during the second debate. Still not as bad as Christie and his Donald Duck jokes, though.  

[Related: OPINION: The GOP presidential debate watch party]

They don’t teach you how to smile at Harvard Law School 

Ron DeSantis finally criticized Trump in this debate, and while it certainly won’t make a difference for him politically, it at least justifies his candidacy. DeSantis is the second most popular Republican candidate, but that doesn’t really mean much. His unlikability is staggering. 

After every little rant delivered in his whiny little voice, DeSantis tried to smile. It was as if he was from another planet and learning to do it for the first time. I won’t bother to go into what DeSantis believes – I’ve done that before. I feel that it is enough to say you shouldn’t vote for anyone who can’t convincingly curve their lips upward.  

Abolish the Department of Education? 

A very dumb thing most of these Republicans want to do is abolish the DOE. Sure, Americans are still dealing with inflation and economic precariousness, but our real problem is that tyrant Miguel Cardona.  

Each candidate gave various reasons why they want to do this – something about parents’ rights and smaller government – but it’s really just a waste of air. It’s not going to happen. The DOE shall never vanquished be, until great Doug Burgum to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. shall come against it.  

Is this ‘China’ in the room with us right now? 

A deadly drinking game to play with friends is to watch this debate and take a shot every time a candidate brings up China for no reason. They all hate China. Tim Scott scored some points with the anti-China freaks in the audience with his jabs at Ramaswamy’s Chinese businesses, and Ramaswamy continued to insist that China is America’s greatest existential threat.  

The GOP is rife with Sinophobia, and it’s dangerous. We don’t need another Cold War. The anti-Chinese rhetoric, the threats to end trade relations with China, all this hawkishness distracts from real problems Americans face, problems these candidates refuse to engage with. China is the big red boogeyman haunting the GOP, and we’re all going to be worse off for it.

[Related: OPINION: The Republican Party is ruining education

Michael Pence has been sleeping with a teacher for 38 years and other miscellaneous absurdities  

For nearly four decades, Mike Pence has been sleeping with a teacher – do you think Karen Pence knows about this? 

Tim Scott is still here somehow and talking quite a lot. 

The real invasion we should be worried about is not of the Russian imperialists in Ukraine, but of the immigrants crossing our southern (and northern) borders. If you ask Nikki Haley, the Mexican cartels and Justin Trudeau have coordinated an attack on two fronts to topple the American way of life.  

DeSantis once again proves to be no fun after refusing to vote someone off the island.  

Who the hell is Doug Burgum? 

Jared Quigg (he/him) is a senior studying journalism and political science. 

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