HOUSTON - On the day after a Presidential debate which ranked among the crudest and most combative in American history, a fresh generation of voters felt cheated by the display of mutual disdain.
“I guess dysfunctional is a word. And I felt like there was a very clear lack of respect between the candidates,” said Nathan McCoslin, a student at Rice.
On Rice University campus, where civic engagement is both taught and encouraged, students who invested 90 minutes of their life watching Trump versus Biden called the confrontation a “waste of valuable time” which yielded little in terms of insight.
“It felt like two little kids arguing with one another and for someone who was trying to listen to the policy, someone who was trying to be more informed, I didn't get any of that,” said Rice sophomore Ashley Pena.
“It really just stunk. It was really frustrating me and I wish they would have let each other talk more,” said Anton Mayer, a graduate intern with the Baptist Student Ministry at Rice.
While all who spoke with FOX 26 felt a responsibility to view the second and third scheduled debates, there’s little confidence on this campus that the quality of discourse between the two contentious septuagenarians will improve.
“Kind of a baseline of politics is you understand that the other person is also very accomplished and you should give them a baseline level of respect that I felt was absent from the debate which I did not appreciate. I was worried before the debates, but this definitely did not relieve any of my stress,” said McCoslin.
“Nothing good came out of that (debate), nothing constructive,” said Pena.
The second Presidential debate is set for October 15th in Miami and will have “town hall” format with citizens asking questions of the candidates.