The invisible majority gathered in room 108 of Gzowski College Monday night to bear witness to a debate that would, if nothing else, ratify faith in Canadian politics. The event put on by the Trent Conservatives comes two weeks after clubs and group day, during which a speech on migration by Trump was being played at their booth. The debate itself consisted of two members of the American royalty establishing and defending their conflicting sets of reality against one another. The 40 or so people packed in the room, were for the most part racially homogenous Caucasian people, about 10 of which identified as being women.
Corey Leblanc when asked why he was there stressed the events bipartisan nature and how pleased he was with the event itself. The bipartisan nature of the event did not stop Mr. Leblanc from getting his jabs in by ordering tacos from El Camino’s, drawing links between Trumps celebration of Cinco de Mayo. The crowd in Gzowski played a not so silent observer, laughing when Trump would interject the phrases “wrong” or “not true” during Mrs. Clinton’s allotted time.
However this does not mean that the event was only attended by members and aspiring members of the Trent Conservatives. Marc Elleston, an American citizen will actually be voting in this election and stated that he was looking become “more informed on the issues with these candidates because both candidates are very touchy…because I don’t know who to vote for”. This is emblematic of many American citizens which currently has a sizeable amount of voters that are either undecided or are supporting a third or even fourth party candidate.
Others who attended were more outspoken against about their political views. Carrie Boyd, a second year student stated that she was there to ensure that Trump supporters were kept “in check” and that the principles of “equality and anti-racism were observed”. Carrie was not given any reason to keep someone in check and was involved in a civil debate with a Trump supporter prior to the debate.
There were of course the Trump supporters at the event like Brock Terry and Ross Horsely. Brock emphasized that it was good to be surrounded by like minded individuals (Trump supporters), and believed that the American election had global significance. Ross Horsely, a first year stated that he attended the event because he enjoyed “political debate”. Ross lamented what he believed to be the current name calling nature of political debate that he experienced in high school.
There was one student who asked not to be named who simply stated that he was attending for the “lol’s”. The student was validated, as many people in the room were laughing out loud throughout the debate. In fact, anyone who was in the room for entertainment would have been satisfied by the debates. Those who were looking for a cult like Trump oriented Cabal in Gzowksi 108 that evening would have been disappointed at how distinctly Canadian the whole process was. People were given free food and were told to be respectful of each other’s opinions. If anything should be learned from this debate, it’s the end result of what happens when people render their political opponents into caricatures instead of recognizing them as real people.