VCU vs College Democrats Debate: Conservative Take


Courtesy of VCU and Villanova College Democrats

Villanova University hosted a debate between VCU and the College Democrats.

Steven Makino, Staff Writer

While there was more focus on the upcoming Pennsylvania GOP Senate Primary Debate that was  hosted on campus on Feb. 21, our own internal debate between the Villanova Conservative Union/College Republicans and the College Democrats has gone somewhat under the radar. 

The debate, which focused on COVID-19 policies both on campus and across the country as well as election integrity, took place this past Wednesday, Feb. 16 and was the first campus event of its kind in a considerable amount of time.

In terms of the performance of both sides, the Villanova Conservative Union (VCU) was more prepared when it came to citing credible evidence to back its claims, while simultaneously posing questions that resulted in emotional rather than fact-based answers from its opponents.

One example was the topic of government overreach in response to the pandemic and how the current administration had made poor policy choices that actively hurt millions of Americans. 

Citing the closures of many small businesses, an economy ensnared in inflation issues due in part to government spending, vaccine and mask mandates rooted in politics more than science and the impact of restrictions on the youth, the VCU made a strong case in highlighting the Biden administration’s attempt at more government power.

The College Democrats argued that the actions taken by the current administration were mostly justified due to the nature of the pandemic.

While I thought similarly when little was known about the virus, I do not think this argument does not really hold up with the information and tools that have been available to all Americans for quite some time.

In addition, both sides acknowledged and were sympathetic to the many lives lost, but it was clear that the politicization of the pandemic led to one side of the aisle being demonized for wanting to rightfully return to full normalcy once vaccines became widely available.

As for the other portion of the debate, the VCU made a strong claim in favor of the new legislation in some states seeking to tighten the handling of elections.

Following the 2020 presidential election where there was arguably the greatest concern over foul play, with mail-in ballots at an all-time high, some felt the need to reinforce public confidence in future elections to prevent the type of outcry that this election stirred up across several states.

The College Democrats argued against this notion, correctly pointing out that the election was run fairly. They argued that laws grounded in the idea that the election was not secure would serve to undermine the democratic process.

Meanwhile, the VCU started off by denouncing the idea that the election was “stolen” by voter fraud and irregularities, as claimed by former President Donald Trump.

Instead, it argued that these measures to increase election integrity were falsely ridiculed for acting as means of voter suppression, with the example of the new Georgia voting laws being deemed modern day Jim Crow Laws by many key Democratic figures, including President Joe Biden.

No actual evidence of any kind was presented that proved voter suppression exists and is the cause for “stolen elections,” just like there is no evidence that voter fraud is widespread.

This led to the VCU claiming that these measures should be what both parties want, since this would help to prevent the unprecedented doubt that occurred during the previous election cycle and maintain the credibility of the voting process.

Moving away from thoughts on policy, the debate itself remained fairly respectful and contained, with the exception of a handful of heated exchanges between both sides. It was ultimately a successful event, and I commend both sides for agreeing to participate, as I believe this form of discussion on campus should not end with this debate.

With younger voters gradually making up a significant portion of the voting base, debates such as these will help to present a wide array of ideas for them to consider.

I hope that the University will continue to support events such as this in the future, as I feel that this is a great step towards increased dialogue.

It highlights that even when faced with disagreements, Americans can come together, regardless of political affiliation, to engage in meaningful conversation about key issues, showcasing what makes this country great.