Weight of the Words

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With recent presidential debates, there’s more material to form an opinion on either candidate, but do the things the candidates say about each other have any impact?

Voters getting used to the dialog between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, but that doesn’t mean everyone like it.

“I think when students watch these debates they feel like they’re watching people bicker,” Abigail Walker said.

Abigail Walker is a Political Science major at ISU. She organizes events for campuses American Democracy Project, trying to get students involved in politics, but she feels the candidates’ debates veer off course.

“I’d like to hear about plans, I already know what both candidates believe, I think a lot of people do. So it’s kind of frustrating to hear them bash each other,” she said.
    
Despite Abigail’s point, technically speaking, people don’t have to like what they hear.

“We need to have a sense of free discourse where people are allowed to be passionate, they’re allowed to be angry, they’re allowed to say things that will maybe offend people and that’s all a part of a healthy democracy,” Lori Henson said.

Lori Henson teaches students at Indiana State about defamation and slander, when someone tries to damage another’s reputation which can lead to a civil lawsuit.

“I don’t think people feel significantly differently about either candidate at this point in the election. They probably just feel more of what they felt initially,” Henson said.

Henson says the remedy to candidates’ unappealing comments is their First Amendment right.

“It’s not to silence people, but to encourage counter speech and counter protest wherever possible.”

Henson also says that public figures now have more of an ability to defend themselves than ever, that’s simply by using social media.
 

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