Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tonight's debate between Clinton and Obama

I hate to talk about politics in the U.S. because it's almost impossible here without the outcome being anger, hurt feelings, and harmed relationships.  But I'm watching the Clinton/Obama debate right now, and I'm amazed at how insipid it is and how inane are Charles Gibson's and George Stephanopolous' questions.  One of these people (thank God I mean Clinton or Obama and not Gibson or Stephanopolous) may become the President of the U.S., dealing with:
  • the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,
  • our country's $9 trillion debt,
  • global warming,
  • our country's shattered reputation in the world,
  • the rising price of oil and possible permanent decline in oil production as global demand increase,
  • the rising price of foods,
  • rising medical costs,
  • declining inflation-adjusted incomes,
  • the mortgage/home foreclosure/credit crisis,
  • etc.
and all they are being asked about is whether they will choose the other for veep, their relationship with people who have said questionable or detestable things, and whether they love the flag!  Given the real issues we have, are these the questions Americans really want to focus on?

And I can't help but compare this debate with the republican debates.  I don't recall the moderators incessantly focusing on things that trivialize the candidates and the issues.  Am I mis-remembering?

Ah, they are finally being asked some substantive questions - but even the questions about these are asked in a manner that doesn't allow for intelligent discussion.  They were asked if they would promise not to raise taxes.  This question is not meant to allow for discussion.  What if they want to redistribute taxes?  that raises taxes for some, but lowers them for others.  What if we have another Katrina, or something even more costly?  No one can predict the future, and the candidates shouldn't be forced into such a corner.

I have written to ABC news, letting them know of my disappointment in the handling of this debate.  I hope you will too.

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