Debates

4 10 2012

The first United States presidential debates just ended. The pundits are salivating over policies, statistics, zingers, neck ties, and who “won” the debate. Even though there is no standard of win/lose, a winner is always declared for the sake of those who can not decide for themselves. I also would like to declare that the undisputed winner of last night’s debates was the average American.

We were on the front row of a 90 minute dialogue with far more content than sound-bites, misinformation, and sensationalism that are normally used to define candidates. We are able to sense their grip on issues that concern us, their response to pressure, their deeply held convictions, and their answers to challenges to those convictions. I know many will trivialize this prime-time showdown as a dog and pony show, but I contend that all true dialogue is good.

True dialogue could be emotional, but is not only about emotion. It could be combative, but is not only about combat, it could be personal,but is not about personalities. True dialogue/debate is about sharing ideas, learning different sides of issues; it is a tool for the open-minded to learn. I suggest that we will be far better off as a people if we learn civility and proper exchange of opinions instead of rage and questioning the mental stability of people who do not hold to our way of thinking. It’s a big world out there and Scripture reminds us that, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18). A good way to begin this process of living peaceably is to at least find out where the other person is coming from. It takes work, it takes patience, but through it we can become a better person. The first debate is over…we win!

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