Hopeless Presidential Debates

in Professor

Returning home after some weeks abroad, can be a telling experience. The press and television seem to have forgotten crimes, invasions, college shootouts and recent recalls of one hundred million cans of a hundred different food brands in favor of the presidential debates. I had to ask.

"Professor, perhaps you can enlighten me about these debates among the Republican and Democratic candidates for the 2008 Presidential elections. I keep confusing TV programs like American Idol, Lost, Doctor Phil, Fox News and the Cable Man with the famous debates; they all seem to share common traits such as a mediocre comedy quality, bad improvisation and pathetic posture. I can not tell one from the other!!"

While the professor is never condescending nor patronizing, he never misses the opportunity to enrich the background of any discussion, exposition or simple inquiry. He smiled and said:

"Listen, debates have always taken place; they are a by-product of the freedoms we secured as far back as 1760 or thereabouts. Most have been enlightening and not devoid of meaning and philosophy. Those, unfortunately we shall see, nor hear, ever again!"

"D'accord, Professor, but turning what would be a useful and informative session in front of millions of TV screens into a pathetic kindergarten exchange, attempts not only against one's intellect but also affects one's sane disposition, good digestion and healthy instincts"

The Professor pointed to a bookcase on one side of his large library and said:

"There have been many instances in our history where debates among candidates led to popular debates that engaged large portions of the population; those debates created an atmosphere where basic principles, ideas and situations where thoroughly discussed and in most cases, some wise solutions were found. So it is disappointing to hear a moderator ask things like: 'If your house was attacked by termites wearing the uniform of a foreign nation, would you nuke that nation?' or 'What are your thoughts on Health Care if the entire East Coast of the United States is inundated and all the First Aid stations are underwater?"

I laughed. "Professor" I said "I wonder why these debates are not reduced to one subject at a time. We have enough pending assignments that they could hold daily debates until election day. How about Health Care, Social Security, Immigration, Corruption in Government, Corruption Elsewhere, Separation of Church and State, Abortion when and if, Gay Boys and Girls, the infamous Patriot Act, Pollution, and the ever popular Iraq and Iran?"

The Professor nodded. "Good question. There have been instances where debates, as you suggest, were held on one specific subject. Back a few years, Republicans Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, held forth against John Adams and the Federalist Party in defense of Civil Rights that were violated under the provisions of the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798. This kind of performance has long been forgotten!"

The professor raised his hand and added:

"The Republicans I mentioned, were not the Republicans of today, same as the Federalists of those days had nothing in common with today's Democrats. Do not forget that our two present parties grew from a common source and gradually grew further apart until years later when they again shared common goals. Our 'debatees' would do well to review these transformations and cease to talk about each other as if they were enemies of decency, patriotism and low calorie Blood Marys!"

I smiled and asked the Professor:

"Are you going to watch the debates this week?"

"Are you out of you mind? And miss another episode of Perry Mason?"

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Marco Miranda has 1 articles online

Chemical engineer by training, international executive by merit and writer by addiction. Former syndicated columnist of Technology columns, has written for television and movies. His humorous articles contain fine satire and have been published in 4 languages. Quote: "Love and smiles teach tolerance; days without either are days wasted"

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Hopeless Presidential Debates

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This article was published on 2010/04/04
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