The CNN-hosted GOP Presidential debate was an absolute disgrace to the process. I sat in my living room and watched as Jake Tapper opened the second debate with questions aimed at pitting candidates against one another. It was more a reality show than a program whose purpose was to help us get to know the candidates and their view on issues.
I wished a candidate, any candidate, on that stage would have said, “Jake, we have some honest-to-God problems in this country that need serious people with real solutions. We have Americans sitting in the audience and in their homes worried about their future, about their children’s future, and are increasingly horrified by what is happening around the world. They are looking for a leader, they are looking for a president, and if the substance of this debate is going to circle around what we as candidates have said about each other and how the other feels about it, than we are disrespecting the American people and the process. I could care less what that candidate thinks about me and they should care even less about what I think of them. We are running for President of the United States and will be seen as the leader of the free world. If you can’t take the heat of some negative comments then pack your bags and go home. Because if you get this job, then you will deal with that and worse for the next four years.”
Then, after about ten minutes, I was looking for any candidate to say, “Jake, if the next question out of your mouth is not a serious question about the issues facing the American people than I am leaving, going across the street for a hot dog, and any members of the audience, media, and candidates are free to join me for an actual conversation about this country.”
Then if the next question was absurd, leave the stage. That would have made every headline and would have highlighted the integrity and caliber of that candidate.
After the first hour, I stopped watching, I couldn’t bear to see the continued degradation of the process of selecting the next president. We had three hours to hear about the economy and candidates’ plans, taxes, immigration, infrastructure, their views of the constitution and its role in our modern time, cyber security, right to privacy, the 2nd amendment, the 10th amendment (which I know was discussed), federal appointments, and foreign policy (especially Syria) — issues that would have helped me better know the candidates.
Decades past we had real debates. What happened? Some may say that the American people want a free-for-all. I would counter to say that we do not diminish the process of selecting the next president for the lowest common denominator, but rather we raise the standard of debate in this country and display for the world how a democracy is supposed to carry out this sacred process. I would have apologized to Nancy Reagan.
David Karaffa is a former Augusta County Supervisor for the Beverley Manor District who now lives with his three daughters in Palm Coast, Florida.