President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney after the first Presidential debate (Photo used under Creative Commons/Flickr WarOnError1)
By Michael J. Whelan
Well, all of the Presidential debates are over, thank the Lord.
Truth be told, I was only able to watch about thirty minutes or so of each debate. By then, both men had devolved into brats being held in detention after school, yelling at each other, butting in on each other, and generally behaving very badly. And of course not one of the three so-called moderators was able to control the time allotments or to get either man to give a straight answer to a straightforward question.
No wonder bad manners and rude behavior seem to be the norm and not the exception in our society. Why should we be shocked at the way people of all age groups act in public, when the two candidates for the highest office in the land carry on like this before a television audience of untold millions?
Why are we surprised when people in other countries have so little respect for us as individuals and as a nation? Why would they listen to us when we try to persuade them to act civilly to each other in their own lands?
Now I know that the behavior of these two is nothing new, historically speaking. There are countless examples of even worse behavior from presidential opponents, including invitations to fist fights and pistol duels out on the campaign trail.
But I ask you, does that make any of this type of conduct excusable, just because it’s been going on for a couple hundred years?
No wonder the percentage of eligible voters who actually vote has been trending below fifty percent over the past couple of elections.
Debates? That’s debatable.
Michael J. Whelan has been a licensed practicing attorney for over 33 years. He also serves as an arbitrator in the 11th Judicial Circuit Mandatory Arbitration program. In addition, he is presently the president of the board of directors of his homeowners association, and is also a member of the board of directors of The Old House Society. He and his wife of thirty-one plus years, Cheryl Whelan, live in Bloomington. He and Cheryl enjoy exercising, reading, and being close to family and friends.
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