The Republican National Committee has held two Primary Debates, so far–one each in August and September–and they were nothing more than free-for-all slugfests. Food fights reminiscent of the 1978 movie “Animal House”. They attacked anyone and everyone, whether candidates present, or members of the opposition party–more specifically President Barack Obama and Secretary Hillary R. Clinton.
Those “Debates” were merely that in name only. There was not even an attempt to confront the issues facing this country. How would the various candidates address them specifically? What might the potential solutions be? If any policies were even mentioned at all, it was merely to castigate President Obama for anything that he had done, or did not do. And, the name of their presumed opponent in the General Election, Hillary Clinton, was often thrown in–just for good measure.
At the Democratic National Committee’s Debate, two weeks ago, the atmosphere was much more collegial–and even respectful. They discussed the full range of issues: contraception and abortion; defense; foreign affairs; global warming; gun rights and safeguards; health care; same-sex marriage; etc. Additionally, the candidates discussed where they might differ with each other, as well as with the policies of President Obama. But all the while, they did not waste time by attacking each other.
Generally, a series of debates among members of the same party should have two major objectives: act as a winnowing process to enable voters to select their party’s Presidential Candidate; and to prepare the eventual winner to go head-to-head with the Opposition Party’s Candidate. To me, that’s what this whole process should be about.
So, if you are a potential voter, and not necessarily bound to either party or ideology, might your eventual vote in 2016 be influenced by the differences between what you see and hear in the two party debates? In the end, you may lean more toward one political camp or the other, based on what transpires in the these two series of debates. Is the Republican Party unaware that it is just shooting itself in the foot with this vicious non-content debate process–and on national television too? It surely looks like the inmates have taken over the asylum!