"A Review Of The Debates"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, November 7, 2015

The conclusion I have come to after viewing each political debate: There are too many candidates. Having a choice is a good idea, but having so many choices tends to complicate the process of decision making.

A definition of debate is, “a discussion between people in which they express different viewpoints.” However the debates this year are a contest of wills between the panel of debaters and the moderators.

During the first GOP debates, many of the over 20 participants complained before, after and during the debates. Some acted as though they had never even viewed a debate. One debater kept announcing, “It’s been 10 minutes since you called on me.” He must have carried his stop watch with him.

Some of the frivolous commentary I heard was when a candidate complained about what another candidate had said about their appearance. When queried about the remark the candidate who made it responded that his opponent was “beautiful” and he “loved” her. Derogatory comments were made about hairdos, family affiliations and physical condition — all decidedly outside the realm of debate topics.

During all of the debates, I heard repeatedly that some candidates would reverse actions already in place by the current administration. There was no suggestions about how they would replace those programs and what the cost would be. If no alternative is offered, why tell us they will throw it out?

The disappearance of the “middle class” was also a hot topic. Its reappearance and how to achieve that state has not really been defined. It seems to be a consensus however that the hidden class of people are still the majority and still have the right to vote.

The most recent GOP debate that aired Oct. 28 had a decidedly different tone. It was more like a boxing event with the audience cheering for the candidates and booing at the moderators. There was little of substance for the electorate to consider. The moderators failed to note how their arguing points with the candidates took time that should have been used between those running for office. The panel of moderators started right out attacking the candidates and putting them all on the defensive. It was commendable that the candidates under attack unified by defending their opponents.

The panel seemed more interested in their own opinions than those of the candidates. Bringing in “guest” moderators gave the event a decidedly odd presentation. They too were aggressive trying to trip up the candidates about what they said in the past. One of them was familiar as the person who blows whistles, yells and bangs a bell like a fool. What qualified him to question anyone?

The loudest uproar of boos came when the panel objected to Donald Trump’s suggestion he could cut taxes and disallow Super Pacs. They later cheered him when he pointed out that he had to fight for a two-hour limit because the TV station wanted to sell more ads. Mike Huckabee suggested, and his fellow candidates agreed, “Why not just play by the rules?” Ben Carson attempted to outline his definitive tax program and moderators told him he had “not done the math” and it would not work.

Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio had a few skirmishes but none as contentious as those between Rubio and the moderators. They quoted statements from the Sun Sentinel and challenged him repeatedly. As the “fight” wore on, Chris Christie grew weary of it and asked a moderator, “Are you going to answer my question or allow me to?” Several candidates labeled the media as adversaries of all of them, giving too much attention to trivial comments made. Several of them had to respond saying, “That is a false statement.”

The viewer’s reaction to the event has to be, what a waste of time. There was no opportunity to gather a consensus of what each candidate represented because most of their time was devoted to arguing with the moderators. The candidates did have a consensus for future debates: they want a part in deciding the “rules of engagement.” Next match is Tuesday from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with Fox Business News

. As I see it, the debates would be more informative if the candidates responded to the questions that will tell us what they intend to do if we elect them. Why not address problems our country faces today, not those of the past. If you missed the current debate, just turn on any news station and you will discover much of the commentary is still being discussed. You may also be able to select the recent debate “on demand.”

It’s obvious, the candidates and most media sources, have not recognized the message being sent by the electorate, we want change and are sick of politics as usual.



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