I know that many Americans have moved on from the debates, but I’m stuck. Why? What the hell was all of that? 20? Why did we need 20 debates? Why couldn’t we ever get a format that really helped inform the American people about the issues that are facing our country? Why do we continually get these sound bite answers that can fit on a bumper sticker? How is that adequate? The debate process has been so inadequate, I would argue that it has actually detracted from our democracy. I would argue that we learned absolutely nothing except there’s actually a penalty for trying to answer a straight question with a straight answer. Nobody wants to hear a nuanced answer. We are living in the age of American Idol, Survivor and the Amazing Race. Thoughtful hard work gets you voted off the island. Instead, it was the sound bites that got all the applause. Newt Gingrich kept yammering on and on about how dangerous the world was – why couldn’t we have a serious discussion about the dangers that face the United States and how to combat those dangers? I simply don’t understand why we can’t have an intelligent discussion on television. The epitome of this mindless, childish and time wasting event was the one-word answer to describe yourself. Really? One word? What is this – the Dating Game? How does this 7th grade exercise help our democracy? How does this help you and I decide whether any these guys are qualified or have the right ideas to move the country forward?
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