What I Learned

I didn’t watch more than about five minutes of the debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama last night.  I will generally tune in for a little bit (or at least that is usually my intent) and then end up watching most of a debate.  I take the bait and get pulled into the boat.  But not last night.  It’s not that I am not interested in hearing each candidate defend and expand their positions, I just found something better to watch.

But I learned something from last night’s debate, albeit this morning.  From watching and reading recaps of the action, I learned that Mitt Romney “won” the debate.  I’m not sure how that is measured or quantified, but I will take people at their word.  I also learned that, for the most part, Romney and Obama were civil, cordial, and respectful toward each other; that’s not to say it was all flowers and roses, but they apparently voiced disagreements in an adult manner.

And that is rarely seen anymore in politics.  It is all name-calling and personal attacks.  If Obama and Romney were indeed respectful of each other, and debated like adults, I applaud them both.  I would like to see that continue.  They have an opportunity to raise the bar in how disagreements and opposing views are discussed.  Our political process has long been infected with so much hatred and vitriol that one debate is not going to change things.  But it is a start.

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama represent two different views on the future and direction of our country.  That is a given.  But they are leaders of their respective parties, at least for the time being, and can take the political process to a new level by respectfully disagreeing.  No more ridiculous name calling.  They can set the tone for the rest of us.

My friend, who I went back and forth with for a few weeks about this election, asked my opinion of the debate.  I said the same thing I wrote here.  He and I, during our discussion (and in future discussions) were always respectful of each other and did not resort to childish tactics.  Like I told him, maybe I am just being too hopeful, and I probably am.  I get sick of all of the childish behavior by our politicians that is mirrored in chat rooms and on message boards.  I am sick of the “keyboard tough guy” who will sit there and spew hatred toward me because of my views, knowing full well he would not have the guts to do the same to my face.

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