You, no doubt, watched Thursday’s vice presidential debate with fervor. For those of you just joining us, it was an epic battle between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, two adept debaters who gave viewers a worthy show.
Unfortunately, that’s all it seemed to be: a show. Sure, it was exciting, but so is “The Walking Dead.” We try not to get our political lessons from maudlin zombie fests but instead from a thorough sifting of the facts so we can better form our opinions.
That’s not really possible with debates. The candidates have practiced their rhetoric to a professional level. Regardless of political party, they have an advanced grasp of issues across the board and will twist any fact to their own liking.
Debates then become a series of sound bites and a game of interrupting the other guy. Instead of musing over who made the best point about Libya, we focus on Biden’s use of the word “malarkey” and Ryan’s jab about Barack Obama’s previous debate flop.
Should you believe anything that comes from either candidate during a debate as 100 percent truth? Not just no, but hells to the no. Truth comes from an individual voter's time investment into learning about a candidate, his or her party and where they stand on the issues. You'll learn a lot more about a candidate from his or her actions over several years than you will from a 90-minute shoutfest.
In our humble opinion, that's why JFK was the last senator before Barack Obama to get elected president. You can look at a senator's voting record as concrete evidence of what that person believes. Governors get to slide a bit on that count, because as the executive they have no voting record.
Just look at Biden's attack on Ryan concerning the request for stimulus dollars. Ryan deplores the government bailout, but as a representative still asked the administration for some of that money.
If you have the time and inclination, examine the record's of Obama and Mitt Romney. Delve into Biden and Ryan, and not just how good they looked or sounded on a stage on some random Thursday night.
Sure it was good TV, but you shouldn't base your government on only that. It's malarkey.