Today in Slate

What You Need to Know for the First Democratic Debate

Plus, sick Mormon missionaries, recklessly stored guns, and chaos in Israel.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during her campaign stop at the Broward College Hugh Adams Central Campus on Oct. 2, 2015 in Davie, Florida.  

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Welcome to the inaugural Today in Slate, a daily feature that aims to tell you which articles, podcasts, videos, and other content from Slate will help you better understand the news and the world.

Ahoy inaugural Today in Slaters,

The 2016 Democratic primary stages its first debate Tuesday night. I know you’re wondering what arrows Jim Webb and Lincoln Chaffee will sling at each other. Most compellingly: What will Bernie wear?! Seriously though, I am pretty pumped to watch Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders duel.

Will the first Democratic primary debate be a Hillary bashfest, a back-patting snoozer, or—GASP—a real argument over policy?

The Political Gabfesters are convinced O’Malley will come out swinging, but Jim Newell expects him and the others to be frustratingly deferential. As for the heavyweights, Jamelle Bouie hopes Bernie and Hillary have an honestly compelling debate, one that’s sharp, even if it’s cordial. A debate about policy: wild idea, huh?

Would you be more pumped for this debate if you could watch it in virtual reality? Me neither. Despite zero demand for this, pitfalls like embarrassing facial tics going viral, and the danger that VR might literally make viewers nauseous, CNN and the candidates think it’s a good idea.

I expect to hear about health care during the contest, but probably not much about how desperately young Mormon missionaries need it.

A devout young missionary goes to a developing country, starts losing a lot of weight, and his supervisors tell him to treat it with fiber powder. He loses 50 pounds before demanding to see a doctor and having a parasite removed. His digestive system is irreparably damaged. Other young Mormon missionaries have dealt with extreme depression, severe asthma and diarrhea, and swollen legs and genitals, only to be told by mission presidents to trust in the Lord and work harder. Many missionaries were scared to question their faith or to leave their missions for care, fearing the stigma they’d witnessed other missionaries endure after leaving charges early.

These individual stories are moving on their own, but together, they tell a powerful tale about the conflict between science and faith, and one about a public health crisis that demands reform.

The Internet and history are lies, guns can fix murder, and oil can fix climate change.

See you on the debate stage, in fabulous VR,

If you like what you see, please encourage a friend, family member, or enemy to sign up for the Today in Slate email newsletter here.