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What The Debates Are NOT Teaching The Next Generation of Voters!

The presidential debates are bad for kids! The behavior that they exhibit would result in 'consequences' by most parents.

Regardless of whether you vote Democrat or Republican, I'm sure we can all agree that every person expecting to be a leader of a country should role model "good" behavior for kids and teens (and the rest of us!). Sadly, this does not seem to be a priority for our candidates. The list of what they are NOT teaching is extensive...

  • Take turns: None of the candidates is able to wait his turn without interrupting or talking over the other one.
  • Listen instead of 'waiting to talk': Are any of the candidates even attempting to listen to what an opponent is saying. Not a chance! Opinions are set, and no-one is listening respectfully to anyone else.
  • Be truthful, even when it is uncomfortable: Lies, half-truths and omissions are rampant during the debates. The message: It is more important to make yourself look good, than to tell the truth.
  • If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything: Negative ads, harsh words and accusations are far more promiment than any time spent actually addressing the issues.
  • Work together for the good of all: This concept is completely lost on the candidates. Despite weak protestations to the contrary, the good of the people is a very far second to a win for the political party; and we would be very hard-pressed to tell our kids that the republicans and democrats work together for any reason at all.
  • STOP when someone tells you to: There has not been one instance of a candidate actually paying attention to the 2-minute clock as it counts down. Perhaps they all need to sit in the 'time-out' chair for two minutes?
  • Answer questions clearly and the first time: I don't think that I have heard one question answered clearly, succinctly, and the very first time it was asked.

I have the urge to take away their TV time, computer, phones and ground them for the whole week. But I'm not sure that it would help! 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Avery Louis October 17, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Excellent points Dr. Susan especially the one about listening rather than waiting to speak. Throughout the debate last night I felt that neither candidate really cared about what the other was saying but rather was waiting, impatiently I might add, to say what was on their mind (read agenda) or point out the mistake/misstatement the other person was making. If the organizers of the debates really wanted to maintain control they would arrange it so the microphones only worked during the candidates alloted time and would automatically shut off when the time expired. Unfortunately the candidates and their handlers would never agree to this. As far as telling the truth and the negative ad campaigns I don't foresee any changes there until the voters let the candidates know they're fed up by casting there votes against the candidates that run the negative campaigns. The truth is that most of us don't want our "nice" children to get involved in Politics because it's such a dirty business.
Joseph Mirzoeff October 17, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Among their other sins, one of these guys blew up companies for a living, shipping jobs off shore when he didn't outright destroy them. The other guy has extended the "Patriot" Act to remove due process for US citizens and has created a murder hit-list, again without due process. You expect them to be polite? Actually, I like your article, particularly the point about honesty, we expect and accept so little from our politicians.
Joe Dowd (Editor) October 18, 2012 at 10:17 AM
Susan: Thought provoking article. Thank you. jd
fred October 18, 2012 at 10:41 AM
I think rather than blaming the candidates this is more symptomatic of the people we have become!
Susan Bartell October 18, 2012 at 01:06 PM
thanks Joe :)
Susan Bartell October 18, 2012 at 01:11 PM
agreed, but I'm not letting them off the hook either!
Susan Bartell October 18, 2012 at 01:11 PM
thanks and I agree
Susan Bartell October 18, 2012 at 01:12 PM
thankss :)
Chris October 18, 2012 at 05:20 PM
I would like to know if Dr. Susan Bartell spoke out when President Clinton was receiving oral sex in the white house.
Mary Rose Paster October 18, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Forgot one point: to condone lies is to participate in them. To be offended openly without response is to allow bullying. Dare say I could go on....Dr. Mary Rose Paster,Clinical Psychologist
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