country. Out of all the steps in the election process, debates have been an important factor. Atifete Jahjaga once said, “Democracy must be built through open societies that share information. When there is information, there is enlightenment. When there is debate, there are solutions.” Debates are crucial to American elections, as evidenced by the 1960, 1980, and 2016 debates, and they continue to be important because the way they are presented and covered constantly change to match technological advancements.
In 1960, technology was moving forward at an impressive rate, and the first televised debates came at a pivotal moment in American history. The Democratic nominee was John F. Kennedy, a young, charismatic, and slightly unknown Massachusetts senator. The Republican nominee was Richard Nixon, an experienced government official who was at the time serving as vice president. Before their first debate occurred, earlier debates were few and far between with a small percentage of the population actually listening to them on the radio.
However, when the Kennedy-Nixon debate came around, over sixty-six million Americans turned on their television sets to watch it. After the debate was over, when asked who won the debate people who watched the debate said Nixon looked sick and seemed extremely nervous, and that Kennedy won hands down. Contrastingly, people who only heard it over the radio said Nixon was the clear winner. The debate ultimately showed a different side to the…