Debating the importance of debates in the 2022 midterms
(News Nation) – As midterm elections approach and many candidates make their final push, the road to November involves the art of debate.
Our country has a long and rich history.
In hindsight, moments of debate can create and sometimes ruin a campaign. There was a time when even entire quotes from a debate became iconic.
The presidential debate between then Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard M. Nixon was broadcast nationwide in black and white in 1960.
This is a time when technology has changed the scene of the debate.
“People criticized Nixon for not looking good,” said Sandra Pavelka, a professor of political science at Florida Gulf Coast University. “Of course it wasn’t Kennedy.”
Radio listeners thought Nixon had won the debate, while viewers supported JFK.
But Pavelka says the debate is different now.
“They are more polarizing because they are not fighting. They are talking to each other, “she said.
Technology has changed the debate scene even more. In the age of social media, the debate over photos has shrunk.
We remember the photos of Donald Trump standing behind US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a fly in Mike Pence’s hair.
“Trump was practically behind him and hovering above him and I thought he was very intimidating,” Pavelka said.
Pavelka said that voters’ ability to listen to candidates is always important for our democracy.
“We are voters, we should have this right,” he said. “It really shouldn’t be for candidates to say no. I think it’s juvenile and childish not to argue with the person you’re running against politically.
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