On Point / 10/02


DEBATES: local and national

Last night gave us much to ponder, both locally and nationally. Locally, WHOW had a County Board Candidates Forum. Nationally, the first Trump/Biden presidential debate was held. Both venues left me perplexed. Let’s start with the County Board.

WHOW  is to be commended for affording all county board candidates the opportunity to meet and express their views on DeWitt County government.

Five incumbent board members attended the event. Those in attendance were David Newberg, Camille Redman, Lance Reece, Scott Nimmo and Jay Wickenhauser.

The candidates represented the board and its actions over the past four years. They are Republicans and Democrats.

The bottom line on all five is they appeared and presented themselves to the radio station and the public at large. They do not agree on all issues, but they are committed to working together for this county. They are not rabid partisan politicians. They are community minded neighbors who want this county to work for all of its residents.

I resent the national political scene where no one can talk to the other political party. These five candidates can and do talk to each other. Stress the word “talk.” They can civilly debate an issue and cast a vote knowing full well that the other board members respect their independence.

DeWitt County has a balanced budget, good roads and county facilities that work for all residents. They showed up for a public forum on their candidacies and in that respect earned positive consideration of the public’s vote.

The county board challengers may be well intentioned and decent individuals. It is also understood that they may have reservations about the radio station over the wind farm issue.

Be that as it may, WHOW provided a forum for all county board candidates to express their views and the reasons to vote for them. The challengers failed to appear and thus failed to provide a reason for voting for them rather than the incumbents. Their absence was a mistake.

Nationally, the presidential debate was decidedly different from past debates. After listening to all 90-plus minutes of the debate, I felt the following emotions: Disappointed, then Disturbed, then DISGUSTED.

I expected some fireworks and some pointed disagreement. I was not prepared for a grade school argument.  The only aspect of the debate that impressed me was moderator Chris Wallace’s valiant, but vain, efforts to maintain decorum.

Both Trump and Biden hold, or have held, powerful positions in government. They know how to address the public. They know how to be civil yet make a forceful point.

I heard a tirade of insults and demeaning remarks from both candidates towards the other. They shouted over the moderator and rarely answered a question directly.

Neither Trump nor Biden would condemn the extremes of their supporters. That the U. S. puts its candidates out for public inspection is something that the world has come to admire as a demonstration of democracy. Last night was a national embarrassment of two overblown egos.

Perhaps the core supporters of Biden and Trump came away impressed by their guy. I saw no winners last night and came away with only one word for both: DISGUST.

I hope both candidates realize they did no good for their causes last night and come to the next debate with an adult mindset and a desire to voice the issues, not egos.

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