The word “debate” is universally understood to represent an orderly, peaceful, presentation between well informed participants, who voice disparate views on a designated subject. The traditional purpose is the crystallization of issues for individual determination.
P finds the “Presidential Debates” utterly useless, as not being debates by any criteria, but instead reality show style contests featuring personal wrangling. It is insulting to the literate citizen
We are fortunate to live in a nation where freedom of speech and thought are legally and unconditionally guaranteed. There is no” party line” or mandated dogma. Understandably, there are numerous disparate and competing assumptions and points of view, just as there is diversity in background and personality.
Ideally, the well-intentioned, collegial exchange of differing opinions, on the assumption that the good of society is intended by all, would be the most effective decision making process.” Partisanship” itself can be constructive, if the common goal is shared and positive.
Jefferson believed that every citizen had the “duty” to “aid the State” in the resolution of issues. He also wrote that citizens should be well informed so that they would be useful in this endeavor.
If the assumption were true that the proponents of all points of view have the public good as the common goal, there would seem to be no rational basis for hostility (latent or manifest) between citizens of varying views. Yet it is unfortunate to observe the widespread existence of such enmity. . It may be that many people may not be capable of enjoying the perspective necessary in this rational process nor possess sufficient confidence in themselves. Such individuals see contrary opinion as nothing short of an attack against themselves and others who share their views. This, of course makes such people receptive to parties who have their own motivation and often cause such individual to vote against his own personal interest.
Worse still p. has seen a complete breakdown of our treasured “civic amity.” Instead of the well intentioned and constructive reception of alternative suggestions (as necessary to the solution of problems) we have, instead, hatred experienced and the perception of evil.
RIP well informed, friendly and constructive exchange of ideas; RIP civic amity.