Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Worthless Debates

Last night's debate between John McCain and Barack Obama served as a reminder of why these exercises are virtually useless. Since the debate ended, pundits have been asking, "Who won?"

But, how can you choose a winner when neither candidate said anything even remotely relevant to how he will govern. Neither candidate addressed the current economic situation in even a remotely realistic way. We learned something about the differing styles of pandering of the two candidates, but is that really what we need to know when choosing a President.

Of course, they never intended to address serious issues. Moderator Tom Brokaw kept reminding them that they agreed to a rule to limit responses to a minute. What a rule! How can you really develop an argument on anything of substance in 60 seconds?

No one really expects candidates in this day and age to engage in a wonkish policy debate. Sound bites sell; reality is dull. However, it is sad that even in a year in which the United States is facing serious problems both domestically and internationally, it is considered out of the realm of possibility to have a serious debate on the differing policies of the candidates standing before us.

1 Comments:

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