by Pettus Read
Since many papers carrying my column consider it an opinion piece, then I hope you understand that this column is just that. It is my opinion and not necessarily the opinion of the organization I work for, the church I attend, the stores I shop with, any committee I serve on, my community, my state, my country, my world, my family, my dog, or anything else that is remotely associated with me. It is just an opinion, which everyone in this country can have, and nothing else. Hopefully, this covers it all for a disclaimer.
Maybe I have become tough to please in my old age, but the recent debate between our two candidates for president, held in Nashville, was about as exciting as having your teeth cleaned. The excitement I experienced was due mostly from the fact that the debate was held in our capital city at Belmont University. Our local people did a great job in putting on a first class production and as Tennesseans we should all be proud of what they accomplished.
But, for the meat of the debate between the candidates, it seemed to lack something in my opinion. I mean, I kept waiting for each one of them to take the other one on in some serious discussion, but all I heard was the same sound-bytes that you can get on either one of their websites. I know, those of you who are in strong favor of either candidate saw your candidate do a great job, and that's the way it should be, but with times as tough as the news media tells us they are, wouldn't you have liked to have heard more constructive discussion from the next leader o these United States?
No gloves came off and everyone was polite for one hour and thirty minutes. The only one to get somewhat testy was moderator Tom Brokaw due to the two candidates getting between him and his lines on the TelePrompTer. And, I think I know the reason the two candidates stayed with their planned script rather than attempting to deliver an election winning knockout punch. It all goes back to the Kennedy/Nixon debates those many years ago when some makeup person made Richard Nixon look like a mime. Too much theatrical powder helped Nixon lose the election and sealed the fate of further debates for over 48 years. Candidates are gun-shy of messing up, and being under the media microscope causes them as Elmer Fudd once said, "Be vewwy, vewwy careful."