An Appalling Debate

April 17, 2008

Imagine being held responsible for the actions of every person you’ve known.  Imagine applying for a job and as part of that application having to justify the stupid things every person in your life has done and said.  Sounds pretty hard, doesn’t it?

Okay, let’s make it easier.  Same suppositions, but this time it applies only to your family, your work associates, and the people you consider close friends.  That makes it a bit easier, but not much.  I know that I wouldn’t want to have to answer for all the things my family and friends have done.  I love these people, but still, I have enough trouble meeting my own obligations and not making a fool of myself.

But if you watched the Democratic debate on ABC last night, you saw Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos (whose name I now know how to spell) and, of course, Hillary Clinton, trying to impugn Barack Obama’s character based on the associations of his past.  Personally, I thought it was ridiculous, and I was appalled by the questions from Gibson and Stephanopoulos that dominated the first hour of the debate.  We are a nation at war.  We face a global environmental crisis.  Our economy is in terrible shape and getting worse by the day.  And Chuck and George are asking questions about lapel pins and whether Obama thinks that Rev. Wright loves America?

Many of those who read this blog don’t share my political beliefs.  I think that’s great.  We’ve had some wonderful dialogues in recent weeks and I hope they’ll continue.  But I’m wondering if we can’t all agree that our political candidates ought to be talking about issues rather than gaffes, about solutions to our problems rather than something that Obama’s pastor or Clinton’s husband said, or, for that matter, about the “plagiarized” recipes that Cindy McCain posted on the campaign website.  This stuff is meaningless.  It doesn’t give health insurance to one child.  It doesn’t take a bit of carbon out of the atmosphere.  It doesn’t save a single soldier from an IED.  We deserve better than this, and we ought to demand more of the media.

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3 Responses to “An Appalling Debate”

  1. Mark Wise said

    It’s all about money. What makes for better ratings, talking about the controversial Rev. Wright or Budgets? Hillary CLinton’s famous (infamous?) Serbia comments or Taxes?

    It is all about keeping the ratings up. I am a Republican nad I have almost no idea what the Democats plans are for the economy or for education. So far, all I have heard is about them infighting over petty arguments.

  2. Michele Conti said

    Something tells me I’m glad I’m not following this years debates….

  3. davidbcoe said

    You’re right, Mark, it is about what sells. But I have the sense that people are fed up, and that ABC is going to learn that this kind of crap doesn’t sell anymore.

    And yeah, Michele, I’d probably be better off if I wasn’t so caught up in it.

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