It was anticipated that the first presidential debates between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton which took place Monday night would draw an audience on par with the Super Bowl. Over 100 million viewers were expected to tune in and watch the two controversial candidates square off in the first of three meetings in a tight presidential contest.
It is good to think that this many folks are engaged enough in this election. It is also refreshing that people are willing to invest an hour and a half to learn more about the candidates, one of whom will eventually lead his nation.
But, we must remember that an election is more than sound bites. It is about issues and policies that impact all Americans.
By the time one reads this, the debate will be over. Pundits from every nook and cranny and from all points along the political spectrum will have hashed, rehashed, bisected, dissected and analyzed the living heck out of the event. Trump supporters will tout how he won the day and Clinton’s backers will do the same.
Indeed, it was a high-stakes contest. With the two candidates in a statistical dead heat, every point scored counts.
However, we cannot rely on these televised circus-like spectacles alone to make up our minds. These are well crafted and scripted on the parts of the combatants.
We must read, research and study information from a wide variety of sources. We must not rely just on one network, publication or website to shape our thoughts.
The debates are great snapshots, but we have to use them to spark our curiosity to dig deeper and form our opinions based on facts. This is tough to do in this day and age, but that makes it all the more critical that we make the effort.