Debates and discernment

As most readers know (whether they viewed the event or not) the political primary debate season
has begun.

Thursday evening, in two separate sessions, Republican candidates for the party’s spot on the presidential election ballot debated in two forums on national television.

The Democrats should be soon to follow with their own primary debates.

This is not an editorial endorsement of one candidate or another. Neither is it an endorsement – or even a tacit nod – to one political party or its rival.

It is a friendly and enthusiastic suggestion that when watching, discussing or reading about these debates and those yet to come, readers use careful consideration and a healthy degree of discernment.

The unfortunate truth is politicians – of every party and persuasion – tend to say what they expect listeners hope to hear.

A lot of things are said that simply are not meant.

A lot of promises are made that cannot be kept.

A lot of policy statements are offered for things that will never come to fruition.

In a not-too-distant election cycle, a hopeful for state office in this area promised if his party was elected, they would cut student loan debt by 73 percent. The audience responded with uproarious applause – even though no plan was offered, and cutting the debt by that percentage was completely impossible!

When the political debate season really takes off with gusto, we would hope readers would be careful in analyzing what the politicos say, and compare the promises made to previous promises kept …or not.

It is far too easy to be swept up in tidal waves of pledges and professions of sincerity. It takes care and consideration to separate fact from fiction, and maxim from myth.

We expect there will be an overly long and extended period of hot air and political puffery before our next president is elected.

We hope our readers – Democrat and Republican alike – will use a healthy degree of common sense and good dose of insight, judgment and understanding when watching and listening to the primary debates that have so become a part of the election process.

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