Three Presidential debates have come, three Presidential debates have gone. What have we learned from 270 minutes of political rhetoric?
We’ve learned that neither of the Presidential candidates cares about the truth. Both mangled the facts, distorted their opponent’s records and lied outright during their three encounters.
We’ve learned neither could qualify for a high-school debating team.
And we’ve learned that our choice in three weeks really isn’t much of a choice. We’ve left with two minor leaguers who aren’t ready for the majors – a has-been and a never was.
Neither appeared prepared for their debates. Both tossed out inaccurate facts like candy to kids. Neither answered a question with a direct answer. Both fell back on political one-liners. Neither appeared comfortable dealing with what should be the real issues of this campaign. Both came across as unqualified for the job.
So where does this leave those of us who need to make a decision between now and Election Day? Feeling like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis. We know we’ve got a problem but the system we believe in won’t let us solve it.
Obviously, a political system that left us with these two lackluster pretenders is flawed and must be fixed. But how? Where do we start? How do we correct a system that delivers such riff-raff to the election process?
The first question we must answer is whether or not the current system can be fixed or if it must be replaced. It is all too obvious that partisan politics, as it is practiced today, does not serve the best interests of this country. We have a system that places political allegiance above belief in country, that values partisanship above patriotism and rates posturing above truth.
When adherence to a political position replaces loyalty to your country and party dogma replaces the Constitution, it is time for a change.
I’m not talking about changes to a party structure or amendments to a political system but substantial change to a system of government that no longer serves the people. One only has to look at the gridlock in Congress, the absence of truth and honor in the White House and the American public’s deteriorating belief in our elected leadership to know that what we have now ain’t working.
But change – real change – won’t come at the ballot box. We can’t change a thing when our choices are George W. Bush or John F. Kerry. We also can’t change it by throwing our votes away on Ralph Nader or any other fringe candidate.
Instead, we have to rethink what we – as Americans – must do to save our country.
It took a revolution to create a place called America.
It may take another one to restore it.