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home : opinion : editorial
August 20, 2019

7/10/2019 3:17:00 PM
Debate decorum

Our country can put a man on the moon, but our leaders cannot seem to crack the political debate puzzle.
In recent weeks, we saw dozens of Democrats take the stage in hopes of separating themselves in the campaign for president. They succeeded only in making everyone on stage look foolish.
Just a couple of years after Democrats laughed at and ridiculed Republicans for acting like rebellious teenagers in presidential debates, the Democrats are now doing the exact same thing.
At the recent debates, we saw people constantly talking over one another, ignoring the pleas of moderators. Had they been in any high school social studies mock debate, several candidates would have been sent to the principal's office.
Both parties ought to be ashamed of themselves.
The debate organizers are also partly to blame. Candidate responses should be taken one-by-one. Cameras should focus on just one candidate at a time and only one microphone should be turned on - that of the candidate whose turn it is to speak.
These are forums voters rely on to help choose the person most fit to serve as leader of our country. It is our opportunity to see them side by side in a group that is supposedly the best America has to offer.
People from other countries no doubt have watched the debates of 2015 and so far in 2019 with a single nagging thought - "Really, this is America's very best?"
We watch these debates to learn about the candidates' positions on issues - and we do receive some of that. We watch to determine which candidates we trust with the codes to our nuclear weapons and who we feel will make the best leaders for all citizens, regardless of party.
Yet our debates are so muddied by misbehavior and childish actions, viewers are mostly turned off. And we wonder why so few good people are interested in entering politics.
The modern-day Jeffersons, Lincolns, Roosevelts and Washingtons are nowhere to be found. Those types of people simply have no interest in entering this circus. After watching the Republicans and Democratic presidential debates, can you blame them?
    - Rahn Larson

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