The Debates, Part I

The Debates, Part I

By Blaney Pridgen

All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser. 

Do we really need to put those two old men through that?  What an ordeal!  Those of us who keep up with politics cannot help but rubberneck it.  It is kind of like a wreck on the interstate.  We hesitantly want to watch it, but maybe we shouldn’t.  Instead, we might turn off the television and meditate on Psalm 90.  I’m talking about the debates between the presumptive candidates for the upcoming presidential election.  Will it not be a matter of who will make the other look the worser while not being so hot himself?  

And do we need the format of a debate with obligatory rebuttals?  That’s really just a fist fight with words and questionable claims.  We know where that’s going.  What we need is something more like a townhall meeting where the candidates present their clearly stated beliefs about issues and the policies they will pursue in addressing them.  Little needs to be said about the past or opinions about the opponent.  Or perhaps, no bloviations at all about what their opponent has just said.  We know where that’s going too.  We need cogent statements about what needs to be done and precise promises about their potential contribution to that four-year future.  Otherwise, two curmudgeonly old chaps trying to out vital each other will be at best comical and at worst embarrassing.  

I think most of us would like to know what the candidates believe, personally believe, about the issues which beset out national condition and status in the world.  We should not give a hoot about what they suppose their opponent believes based on his past actions, which speak for themselves anyhow.  Keep it to the future.  Tell us plainly what you believe and where you would be heading in plain language.  That’s what I mean by something like a townhall meeting with two candidates’ side-by-side facing an audience and not each other at all.  Should any egregious ad homonyms erupt from either mouth, then a loud raspberry buzzer should sound off and his mike be cut off.  That might prevent the candidates from looking sadly silly and wasting our time.  

A lot of good might come with less of what they have done or not done and more of what they want to do.  For our sakes both candidates need strict direction to precise and clearly stated problems and issues.  They should show us how honest they can be.  They should state their personal beliefs.  They should evidence a well thought out and clear action plan.  I believe that there could be six major matters for them to task.  I’ll cover those in Part II next week.  

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