by THOMAS DUFOUR
Presidential debate season is like the Olympic Games to me. Not that I’m generally rooting for any candidate in particular, but more in the sense of excitement and the anticipation that comes from these only occurring every four years.
But it’s not the neat effects that CNN will flash across the screen at the start of the debate, nor the dramatic music or the inevitable “undecided voter response chart” fluctuations that get me pumped. However, it’s the opportunity for the American people to see first-hand the ideas of two candidates pitted against each other, apples to apples, on stage for the public to see. It’s nights like tonight, where spin can be addressed in real time, allowing voters to see first hand what they should consider before stepping into the voting booth. Nights like tonight, are good for our Republic.
During the debate, I’ll be looking for a couple of things:
1. I’ll be looking for the candidates to explain their ideas beyond simple talking points. Being someone who works in advertising, the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) gets thrown around from time to time. While this is great for advertising, it’s terrible for explaining the important issues that affect our democracy and therefore informing our neighbors enough to make important decisions in the voting booth.
2. The truth. Talking points and one-liners are great, again, for selling a product and getting a person’s attention. But again, if we’re going to be short, let’s be honest as well.
The winner tonight for me will be the person who walks off the stage having fulfilled these two objectives.
We all know that spin is inevitable and we can’t expect candidates to be taking their speaking time to fact check all of their opponent’s statements, or clarify intentionally obfuscated facts. Therefore, it’s up to citizens to ensure that the truth from both sides is brought to the fore during the debates.
Tonight, I embrace facts, and afterward, I’ll share my findings. I hope you all will join me in doing so.
In the meantime, follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #CPdebate!