OUR VIEW: Debate was democracy at its finestSet aside your political biases for a minute if you will and join us in appreciating Tuesday night’s presidential debate for the grand spectacle of democracy that it was.
By: Editorial board, The Daily Republic
Set aside your political biases for a minute if you will and join us in appreciating Tuesday night’s presidential debate for the grand spectacle of democracy that it was.
It’s both astonishing and praiseworthy that in a modern world full of scripted political events and robotic politicians, we the citizens of the United States of America have been gifted with two candidates for president who are not only willing to go off script, but are willing to throw nearly all rules aside and engage in a face-to-face, unfiltered battle royal of a debate.
We hope Tuesday’s event will set a pattern for future debates, but we fear it was so good that it will scare future candidates away from the format. In case you missed the broadcast, the format basically consisted of the two candidates sitting on stools with no podiums in a circular room full of regular people who did the question-asking. The moderator, CNN’s Candy Crowley, did a splendid job of jumping in when necessary but otherwise letting the candidates go at it.
At times, the candidates interrupted each other. They stood face-toface and toe-to-toe. They pointed and glared at each other. They laughed at each other. And they challenged each other and made clear their disagreements on policies.
There aren’t many other countries in which the top elected official would so willingly subject himself or herself to such naked political combat. Yet it’s expected in America, and it’s part of what makes our country so great. We expect our political leaders to take criticism, respond to it and do it all in the open.
Voters who watched Tuesday’s debate got a revealing glimpse into the policies and demeanors of these two men. Whichever candidate you support, we hope you had a chance to watch. And we hope future debates at the presidential and other levels emulate Tuesday night’s mustsee event.
And, most of all, we hope everyone votes early or on Election Day, Nov. 6.