Gee Whiz

The Great Debate; Train Crash of Modern Day

Tuesday October 16th showed us the second presidential debate of 2012. Like many before this has been well publicized as a ‘heated’ race. Two strongly polar opposite candidates battling for the regarded seat in the country; they have been putting up quite the fight as evidenced again in this week’s debate.

Each debate has followed a different structure. In the first each candidate stood behind a podium. The second, each candidate was free to move around the stage and had chairs to sit in, each candidate could move around the stage at will. Both Obama and Romney can be seen to approach both styles differently, regarding actions and tactics.  

1858 gave society the start of debates as we’ve known them for over a century. Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, two men running for senate in Illinois are noted as fore runners in debating as we know it. Lincoln challenged Douglas and they held seven debates in the style we know today. The two men were polar opposites on each issue. Any one at the debate could ask a question and each man had time to speak and time for rebuttal.

Following the political trail on the internet via sites such as; Slate Magazine, The Huffington Post, etc. paints the picture that our current candidates, and the past decade or more of their predecessors are pulling us further from the historic principles and practices of debates. The morning after the debate the internet was abuzz with talk about the “residue of negativity coating Election 2012” –Huffington Post, Negativity Dominates Campaign Cycle.

Slate Magazine, Huffington Post and other news sites were ready Wednesday morning with the interesting aspects of the debate.  Slate Magazine ran an entire article discussing the large amount of finger pointing both verbal and physical that was done by both candidates.  Huffington post’s article focused on Mitt Romney talking over the moderator and President Obama recurrently that evening.  The president was called out for doing exactly the same thing in an article that morning on USA Today online. LiveScience.com documented the most unprofessional moments of the evening which according to their article; consisted of both candidates, squaring their chests and heading towards each other in a ‘bring it on’ manner. These articles can be best synthase quite well in Salon.com’s title of their Wednesday morning article; “Presidential debate: ‘Real Housewives meets The Office.’”

By: Brittany Groat

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