Although I am gearing up to watch tomorrow’s first presidential debate between Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama, I am not as excited as I once was. Although some in the American electorate have grandiose and idealized versions of the presidential debates, I have sadly become far more jaded in my old age. Long gone are the days of the Lincoln-Douglas style debates where candidates had the opportunity to directly engage one another on the issues of the day and produce the most honest and entertaining moments of the campaign. Although the Commission on Presidential debates is a bipartisan organization that “impartially” writes the questions for the debate, the format of the debate must be approved by each of the campaigns. As a result, the debates are milktoast at best and at worst, they are free air time for each of the candidates to regurgitate their stump speeches. Although my desire for lincoln-douglas style debates will probably never come to fruition, we must do something to make the modern day presidential debates into less of a free advertisement and more of a critical discussion (and god forbid actual debate) on the future of our country.
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