The other thing that was really galling to me in the debates is the way statements were taken out of context or turned into extraordinary generalizations. Both sides did this. It?s sound-bite politics: Throw out a good phrase, catch your opponent in an unguarded moment, beat him over the head with something that you know he didn?t mean. The Lincoln-Douglas debates these are not.
Postman called this process ?amusing ourselves to death.? We?ve lost the capacity for genuine debate and serious discussion of serious issues. What we saw this year are, at best, parallel news conferences and, at worst, unhealthy side-shows.
Christians need to look beyond the political hype that the debate format encourages and look at the real issues. That means studying the records of the candidates, their proven capacity for leadership. It means looking at their voting records, their integrity, and their character. Once you do that and come to a solemn decision about who can best lead the country, vote.
For further reading and information:
Ben Wiker, ? Why You Must Vote ,? Crisis, October 2004.
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death (Viking Press, 1986).
BreakPoint Commentary No. 041008, ? Why Should They Vote?: Condescending for the Youth Vote .?
BreakPoint Commentary No. 031022, ? Doing Our Homework: Believing Isn?t Enough .?
Charles Colson, ? An Act of Love: The Role Christians Play in Public Life ,? BreakPoint WorldView, October 2004.
Michael Barone, ? The third debate ,? Townhall.com,
Suzanne Fields, ?Beauty in the eye of the voter,? Townhall.com, 18 October 2004.