Letter to the Editor

Was there a debate?

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Was there a debate Tuesday night? I did not see one. What I saw were two "politicians" shouting at each other. Some newspaper writers are saying there was a debate winner. How do you win anything when both candidates are not listening to his opponent and developing a coherent response to what the other party said, but is only preparing to shout some more? During the debate, I found myself looking at the off-stage curtain hoping for the mystery third party candidate to come out that I could at least consider to vote for.

And where was the debate moderator? Looking for good TV ratings? In Iowa when the wind is blowing strong, we shut the barn door and put a cement block in front of it. Stop the wind from blowing, wait for the calm and reopen the door, but be prepared to close the door again. As far as I was concerned, he could not have kept a barn door from swinging in the wind, let alone trying to control these two gentlemen.

The one group that did not win were the American people. We deserved better after what all of us have been going through: COVID-19; riots; cities burning; forest fires and killings. Concerns about our jobs; concerns about our kids' education at all levels of education. And certainly, the mourning of the deaths of family members from COVID and the riots.

It has been one tough year that requires good leadership to get us through. But last night was discouraging and continued the picture that we have grown to see. Leadership is not tweeting out disparaging comments about political opponents. It is about organizing meetings to discuss and seek compromise on a national health plan. Leadership is not sitting in your home for several weeks to test polling data before you decide to condemn the violence in the streets of our cities. It is about being available to the American public to have them question you on current issues to determine if you have the will, strength, and the grit to be the next president.

Giving us a person with the innate leadership to bring people together to develop compromises and cool our anger is what we deserved but not what we got. The winner of the most recent debate are those of the far left and the far right who believe demeaning their opponent is a solution. The real loser of the debate was the American people.

Jim Striepe

Spirit Lake