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American citizens, not a candidate, lost political debates

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POSTED: October 30, 2012 11:00 a.m.

If you are a political junkie like me, you likely just watched all the presidential and vice presidential debates. So, did they change your mind regarding which candidate gets your vote? My mind was made up long ago, and the debates did little to validate or detract from my choice.

Actually, the debates did little to further educate me about the candidates and their positions. No new facts were presented and no blockbuster pronouncements were expounded on. The candidates gave us the same stock answers to the moderators’ questions that they have given us for the past year.

Just once in a debate I would like a political candidate to answer the moderator’s question with a straight answer, without deviating from the subject matter and beating around the bush to get to his own agenda. Did you notice how most of their answers started out near the area under discussion, but changed to another topic?

It is becoming difficult to trust any answer that a candidate gives during a debate, because neither candidate seems to be forthcoming with actual facts. The fact-checkers spend more time after a debate setting the record straight than the time spent on the actual debate.

Monday’s debate was supposed to be about foreign policy. Did we declare war on the schools? Because schools were mentioned more times than al-Qaida. Maybe the government plans to outsource the schools to China, so they will become part of our foreign policy.

It is likely that during the next four years, our president of choice will face a foreign-policy crisis that’s not presently obvious, and his choices will affect the lives of many Americans. In the past, we have seen presidential candidates show their Hawk or Dove personalities, but not in this election. The voters still need to decide who is going to keep America safe.

Both candidates should have stipulated that they both agree on Iran, Israel, al-Qaida and China. This would have saved us an hour and a half of the candidates agreeing with each other on foreign policy. Instead, they both agreed more than disagreed, and then they turned the conversation back to the economy.

Obviously, the most important topic of this election is the economic state of the country, but that was the topic in the second debate, and the candidates beat around the bush then. Why did we have to listen to the “same old, same old” during a debate on foreign policy? Because of their desire to talk about the economy, the candidates missed some important foreign-policy discussions, such as the turmoil in Africa, the Palestinian problem and exactly how our troops will be utilized in the future.

The only true issue that the voters need to consider is whether they want a government that runs the economy or a government that encourages businesses to stimulate the economy. This seems to be the basic difference between the candidates. Of course, neither one brought up the fact that Congress has a strong say in how the country will progress or fail. Maybe we should be listening more to the debates of the Senate and House of Representatives candidates.

I don’t know about you, but I am weary of the same old promises that never seem to be fulfilled once the candidate is elected. Promises are easy to make, but a lot more difficult to deliver.

So, who lost the debates? The American citizens.

Calderone is a conservative who lives in Midway and has written for trade publications in various fields.

 

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