I found myself quite frustrated with the discourse in last night’s debate. This had nothing to do with the ideals the candidates had, but rather the way the candidates composed themselves.
Throughout the 90 minutes of discourse, I found myself thinking the candidates were more like petulant children than leaders. Mitt Romney, from the start complaining about not having enough time, and it not being fair when Obama got the mic, Barack Obama smirking at Romney and interrupting when it was inappropriate to do so.
The candidates constantly talked over Candy Crowley, and when she tried to get them to answer the questions posed directly they scoffed and continued on with their stump speeches. When she tried to move along the discourse so that other audience members would have a chance to have their questions answered, they ignored her. Even in a couple cases going back to a topic that had been left many minutes before.
Yes, this is a contentious race, but for goodness sakes! This touches on my post from the previous presidential debate: shouldn’t there be some modicum of appropriate behavior and discourse when running for the leader of one of the most powerful nations of the world.
When put in the place where he will need to address leaders of China, Russia or Iran, how will our president comport himself. If Putin says something that our president doesn’t agree with, will he answer back in a whiney or disdainful tone?
While this may be a slight exaggeration, or at least I hope it is, a leader should comport his or her self with composure and grace, even when in a high pressure debate situation.
Is it common for candidates to be so disrespectful not only to each other, but to the viewers? I am not sure if I have missed it in former years because during the previous presidential election, the first one I was able to vote in, I lived in Denmark and did not watch the debates, and the election before that I was not really all that politically inclined-being a 14-year-old.
If anybody could answer that for me, it might assuage my anger just a bit. Right now, I am just so incredibly disappointed that we call those two gentlemen on stage leaders. That was not leadership that I saw displayed.