By Jerry Alatalo
et us first say that Sunday’s Democratic Town Hall with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton at Ohio State University was a pathetic excuse for an event supposedly designed for helping voters decide who they’ll trust to become the 45th President of the United States. The format was wrong in so many ways, and the bizarre template was especially frustrating seeing so much is at stake on Tuesday, March 15 in Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri and North Carolina.
Each candidate fielded different questions during half hour segments where they were each alone, instead of the most voter-focused option with both candidates on stage answering the same questions one by one – thus giving voters a far more accurate perception of their contrasts. Excellent debates include segments where the opposing participants are given the opportunity to ask their own questions to their opponent, but – because this monstrosity called a “Town Hall” somehow became the chosen platform – voters were short-changed, big time.
End of rant on the Ohio event… almost. While true that both the Sanders camp and Clinton’s agreed to the format, the image came to mind of the National Football League deciding to change the “format” of the Superbowl from normal rules to the rules of flag football – with no physical contact, with no tackling – “tackling” the ball carrier happens upon ripping an attached cloth flag off the runner’s waist.
Just as the Superbowl is where the world championship of professional football becomes decided, where hard-hitting competition with “real” tackling is inherent to the sport, similarly presidential elections are, when carried out properly, hard-hitting competitions where ideas clash and collide, opponents are vigorously challenged and take intellectual blows – all normal inherent aspects of “real” debates.
Again, Sunday’s “Town Hall”, while minimally revealing and some small aid for voters, fell woefully short in achieving the necessary and fullest extent of providing the true contrasts of views between Sanders and Clinton. End of rant.
For the benefit of still undecided voters in Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri and North Carolina – and admittedly being a strong supporter of Bernie Sanders, may residents of those states consider what he conveys during an address at Liberty University a few months ago. It is fair to say that Sanders’ address is of a nature which voters on March 15 in those crucial states will never hear delivered by his opponent.
(Thank you to Bud Meyers at YouTube)