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We deserve better debate behavior
Glenn Mollette
Glenn Mollette

Sept. 29, 2020, was just another bad day in 2020. We thought that with COVID-19, unemployment, and riots in the streets of America’s cities it could not get worse. It did.

Joe Biden, Donald Trump and Chris Wallace gave us a “show” we will never forget.   

Our leaders used to make us proud. We grew up wanting to emulate people in high places who inspired us with their remarkable lives. We watched how they conducted themselves, communicated and chose their words wisely with dignity, diplomacy and grace. This doesn’t happen anymore in America. The debate was just another plummeting example of how badly and poorly people can act in America. Biden and Trump are supposed to be our two best men running for the highest office in America. Chris Wallace works for one of the biggest networks in the world. Instead we saw a production of America’s scariest video, Hee-Haw gone crazy or bigtime wrestling COVID-19 style.

We’ve been on this track now for too long. The debates have gotten worse and worse. They have been more and more out of control. They have turned into 90 minutes of rudeness, name calling, hollering and mud throwing. Our children are watching and learning. 

Where did we lose civility in our nation? Did we ever have it? Is this just the way America has always been at heart and now we feel free to be who we really are? Rude, crude and ignorant? The Beverly Hillbillies had far more class than we saw Tuesday night. They may have been uncouth and backward but they didn’t treat people badly. 

We’ve become scary in how we talk to and treat others in this country, starting with our national leadership and media. We have a nation of people who are quick to give you the middle finger on the highway, honk their horns at you on the road until you get out of their way and knock you down on the sidewalk rather than scoot over and give you some space to walk by.

Today, in America, we are name callers. We feel entitled to everything everyone else has without working for it. We expect to be treated with respect and dignity while we act like buffoons. Words and phrases such as “please,” “thank you,” “excuse me,” “May I?,” “yes ma’am,” and “yes, sir,” have been tossed out of too many windows. Therefore, we are now reaping what we sowed. People feel like they have the right to treat others badly because of color or background, while others feel entitled to destroy and burn down our cities from Baltimore to Portland. We have a nation of people who believe they can do anything they want regardless of how others might be affected. This is one reason we can’t defund the police. However, some of the procedures of the police must be revamped.

Be warned another debate is coming soon. Candidates should be allowed one- and two-minute response times to questions and to respond to statements. At these one- and two-minute intervals the microphone should automatically be silenced so the next candidate can fairly respond with the same time limits. There has to be a fair civil way to conduct and present a presidential debate. We need to see and hear one.

We are desperate to get this nation back together, one people, under God, united, with liberty and justice for all. We have to see some of this in this next debate and it has to come from the moderator, President Trump and former Vice President Biden. 

Dr. Glenn Mollette is a graduate of numerous schools including Georgetown College, Southern and Lexington Seminaries in Kentucky. He is the author of 12 books including Uncommon Sense. His column is published weekly in over 600 publications in all 50 states.