Finally, after what has seemed like an eternity of primaries and campaigning, the first presidential debate is upon us. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will square off one-on-one come September 26, and if there's anything that the run up to the debate has taught us, there will likely be plenty of hell-raising, off-script moments for both candidates. But despite the usual bickering, this evening will be historic, which is why you should take the time to watch the first presidential debate with your grandparents.
If given the chance, grandparents could provide the perfect commentary for this debate. They could, for instance, offer the context needed to understand Trump's "Make America Great Again" messaging — which is often rooted in a 1950s-style nostalgia, when the deeply problematic good ol' boys' mentality ran unchecked.
The sheer historic sentiment behind the debate too — with Clinton being the first woman to win a major party's nomination — is definitely a moment many older people don't want to miss. Some Clinton supporters were even born around the time that women received the right to vote, and so to see a woman on the presidential debate stage will be a dream realized for more than just your generation. Even if your grandparents don't fall into the camp, many likely couldn't have envisioned a female president in their youth.
As announced by The Commission on Presidential Debates, the topics for this first debate will be "achieving prosperity," "securing America," and "America’s direction." Though vaguely titled, viewers will likely see the candidates face off on issues of the economy, national security, and the general direction they believe America is headed in.
Generally speaking, Clinton and Trump seem be polar opposites when it comes to these topics — while the Democratic candidate typically relies on optimistic messaging, Trump's doom-and-gloom style has both drawn in and polarized voters. Viewers may also hear talks of Trump's supposed business prowess for the "achieving prosperity" topic, and it will be interesting, in a word, to see where the GOP candidate takes his frequent talks of the Mexican wall he's proposed to build for the "securing America" segment.
Watching this debate in particular unfold with older people could likewise help younger viewers understand the history of how we got here. Your grandparents can remember a time when the economy was better or maybe even worse, or when "America's direction" was heading somewhere else entirely. Sitting down with them for the debate can offer you a clearer window into that past, as well as a better understanding of how America will move forward.