"Debaters Garner Little Respect"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, February 19, 2016

Here we are in the 21st century represented by a group of ill-mannered, vicious, bad-mouthed, dishonest people running for the highest office in our country.

I heard three of them, using poor grammar in addition to all of the other poor attributes above, announce, “I will make our country ‘more better.’ All of them have accused one another of lying. One of them even accused an opponent of stealing. They don’t seem to mind making fools of themselves. After watching a play back of their actions, they must recognize how foolish they appear. One of the candidates posted on his website the day after the debate, “The debate was ugly, vicious and not worthy of the American people.” The distress felt by some does not seem to register with most of them because they march right out and behave worse than before.

The debates — which can hardly be called such because moderators lose control, have convinced me of a certainty: they will all say anything to generate an argument and many of the moderators seem to be in on it — taunting the candidates.

As I see it, there are no qualified candidates or even a runner-up who has gained the respect of those watching and listening. The GOP particularly, by showing no respect for one another, must realize the electorate cannot possibly respect them. Can it be they don’t care if we do?

Can anyone explain why the debates are continuing? Why we have had so many? They are definitely spiraling out of control and perhaps that was the plan in the beginning? The very first question in the first GOP debate sparked animosity and it has continued to strengthen. The only thing missing in the most recent excuse for a debate was a fist fight and I’m sure the combatants were close to it. Yes, that’s my new word for the candidates — combatants, because that is how they act.

Although there is no law that requires we offer respect for a past president, I can’t believe calling one a failure will gain an advantage for a candidate. Past presidents, perhaps many of them, may have made mistakes. But we know all of the present candidates are making them right now.

How can we possibly recognize a worthy candidate: one who calls upon their mom to help, (What mother wouldn’t if asked?) One who turns so red in the face we fear they will suffer a stroke as they pound on the podium? One who repeatedly believes they do not have to follow debate rules explicitly detailed at the start of each one? Perhaps one who uses quotes too freely without verifying their source?

If we are expected to make a decision based upon what we are witnessing during these encounters, we are in deep trouble. All we see is people out of control, nasty, talking over each other, name calling and, as proven the next day, dishonest. The fact finders have been working overtime exposing all the out and out fabrications flying around.

The final blow at the most recent encounter was the total disrespect shown for a very highly regarded Supreme Court justice whose family had just that day faced his loss. They all mouthed distress and reverence but hardly paused before they began fighting over whom they believed should replace him and when.

None of them get it. We are going to turn them off if they cannot present themselves with civility and a measure of dignity.

The networks would sure stew about that if there were no viewers. What would the media say? Let’s try this: “The Nielsen Ratings (and the $80 billion in ads they support) reported no viewers tuned in so it did not matter who won or lost.

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