Last night’s debate between the two vice-presidential candidates convinced me that such a program is a waste of time. First, it wasn’t really a debate.
A real debate is a formal activity where one side expresses all the reasons for advocating something – for instance, allowing automobile dealerships to be open on Sunday – while the other side argues against the issue in question. The speakers have researched the topic extensively and do not interject their own personal opinions. Nor do they interrupt each other. Or call each other liars.
The history of televised presidential and vice-presidential debates in our country has leaned less toward true debate and more toward yelling matches over which the moderator seems to have little control.
Last night’s program, for instance, had the moderator and candidates all talking at the same time more than once. It also offered nothing new in terms of what we, the audience, already know since most of the questions were ignored in favor of party line sound-bites.
Frankly, I’m tired of all this faux debating. And in the case of the vice presidents, is there anyone who votes for the head of the ticket because the possible second-in-command is so charismatic? Is there anyone who hopes misfortune will befall the President so that Number Two gets a chance? I hope not.
So could someone please tell me why we need the vice-presidential candidates’ debate in the first place?