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Where's the civility

Hopefully, many of you watched this year’s series of presidential debates on television. I have not been able to catch all of them; however, I have seen the majority, including the vice presidential debate. One facet of every evening that caught my eye was the lack of civility the candidates had towards one another and towards the moderator.
In the first debate, we saw Republican nominee Mitt Romney acting, in my opinion, smugly and arrogantly towards the moderator. President Obama also came off as arrogant and frustrated by looking down at the podium every time Romney spoke.
The second and third debates saw a very different environment where the candidates interrupted one another repeatedly, fought for time, finger-pointed (literally) and again, had rude moments with the moderator. The vice presidential debate also had many of these same characteristics. While I enjoyed watching Joe Biden laugh at Paul Ryan’s responses, it was still rude and arrogant of Biden.
My question is: what does all of this adverse behavior really accomplish? Other than scoring a few political points? Politics has always been about the best performer; however, the performance has never had as much animosity as we see today. In fact, it seems that politicians escalate their ferocious attitudes in order to gain more votes and support.
This achieves nothing in actually determining who would be best fit to run the United States of America. In fact, the more uncouth a candidate acts, the more likely I am not to support them or vote for them. What’s to keep that candidate from being just as rude once they reach the White House? I certainly don’t want the commander-in-chief acting so awfully in negotiations with foreign countries and in meetings with high-ranking officials.
Again, political debates need to see a reengineering in structure and design. Debates should be focused more on candidates introducing their own platforms and how they are better than the opposition’s plans. I’ve heard lots of ideas in these debates, but I haven’t heard how the candidates want to accomplish the ideas. Obviously, Congress plays a large role in determining how policies and outcomes occur, but it would be nice to hear how presidential candidates want to see their goals come to fruition.
Politics are no longer about the issues but about who can make the most noise and gain the most publicity. We no longer focus on the issues because we are distracted by the theatrics. Furthermore, Congress experiences gridlock because of this animosity and performance between the parties. Then, this animosity extends to average citizens with opposing views.
Politicos need to put aside their attitudes and work for compromise. They need to make their views and opinions known in a passionate, yet well-mannered way.
I urge everyone to look at the issues and research the facts. Don’t be distracted by the theatrics when voting this year.

Adam Blackwell is a junior public policy leadership major from Natchez. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBlackwell1.