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Join the bipartisan debate watch

| Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The third Republican Presidential Primary Debate airs Wednesday night on CNBC. Entitled “Your Money, Your Vote,” it will pit the GOP hopefuls (who meet the three percent polling threshold) against one another. The candidates who failed to meet this threshold will debate in the junior varsity pregame at 6pm.

We in College Democrats are excited because we watch these debates just as attentively as we do our own. We readily agree that our country needs Republicans. We needed them in Congress just this week to, in Speaker John Boehner’s words, “[clean] out the barn” and pass a federal budget. Moving forward, we need the cooperation of Republicans in both houses of Congress if we are ever going to meaningfully address our most pressing national problems.

In the past few years we have needed this same bipartisanship to be able to host various events on campus. We face certain restrictions on sponsoring partisan events, which are understandable but can sometimes make things difficult. All political clubs on campus can attest that it is often challenging to get the enthusiasm and agreement needed to co-sponsor events.

We have learned in three years as College Democrats officers that it is impossible to make other clubs receptive to bipartisan events if they simply have no interest in being involved. The most we can do is extend an invitation and wait. But we know that it is worth it, because our successful partnerships with clubs that do not necessarily share views with all of our members (such as Right to Life and BridgeND) has been our most gratifying work as officers.

As such, it is with great excitement that College Democrats can promote a debate watch at 7:45 p.m. with the College Republicans, BridgeND and the Knights of Columbus Patriotic Committee. We feel so strongly about bipartisanship because it allows us to strengthen and explore our own convictions.

Coming to Notre Dame from more uniformly liberal hometowns was an unexpected ideological bootcamp for both of us. We quickly found ourselves explaining our opinions on topics that were rarely challenged back home. It caused us to question our beliefs and our reasons for them, and we are all the better for it.

So please, make use of the political diversity of Notre Dame and come watch the debate with us in the Knights of Columbus building. There’s a conversation to be had here, and it’s much more fun with two sides.

If that’s not enough incentive, the Knights of Columbus are graciously catering the event with food from J.W. Chen’s. Feel free to come talk to us. You will probably find us near the garlic chicken.

Grace Watkins
College Democrats

Andrew Galo
College Democrats

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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