Silent Generation Speaks, Listen Up!
Every four years our political parties hold debates with the top candidates seeking their party’s nomination to run for President. It is an opportunity for each candidate to introduce themselves to their party members, describing who they are and what their qualifications are for the job. The job, in this case, is the party nominee, not the Presidency. That is a later debate which they may or may not participate in.
Unfortunately it was American politics as usual. Salad dressing, but no meat and potatoes. Employers (in this case members of the Republican Party) and sales people know you sell yourself by showcasing one’s attributes, experience, and what they bring to the table. But not what’s personally wrong with the other candidates. We got no debate on the issues. Instead we got trite sound bites like “anyone of us here can beat Obama”. Which we know means nothing more than “anyone of us here can lose to Obama”. When the moderator tried to get them to comment on each other, they often sidestepped the question and misdirected their answer like a magician. We Americans deserve better. We have heard this type of political rhetoric for too many years. Mentioning what they’re going to do when they are President is really jumping the gun. It’s like a boxer saying who he’s going to fight next when he’s the world’s champion, before the title fight. Expressing their opinion of President Obama is also off point. They’re there to debate each other.
If our political parties are going to hold such debates where the American public can listen and watch, the candidates need to agree to the following to make the debates worth our time. 1. Answer all questions put to them by the moderator. After all, we want to hear what they think about the issues. 2. Identify specific issues to address of import to us, recognizing the hard time element constraints. 3. Not waste time talking about anyone or anything not on the agenda. Failing in such agreements wastes our time and we walk away from the debate knowing nothing more about the candidates than their names.