I just finished watching the second Presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on a YouTube video of over one hour thirty minutes…. I watched it start to finish… and, I really liked the way good debates are being conducted.
Debates are not easy propositions… and, more so, when it comes to debates of two powerful Presidential candidates of a mighty nation… a debate which is under the scrutiny of millions and millions of people all over the world… Yes, it is extremely difficult for the candidates to conduct themselves with grace, dignity and élan.
One of the most startling things I realized, while watching the debate today, was the importance of defining and accepting the simple rules of a debate. The effectiveness of a good debate, therefore, completely hinges on adherence of these rules by the candidates, questioner and, of course, the supporters in the audience… The rules are very simple and the two candidates have to respect them, no matter how powerful and influential the candidates are… There is time allotted to the candidates, to argue or rebut, and this time has to be respected… There is a moderator (there were two in this debate), who needs to be respected by all… He cannot be biased…
So, success of a good debate lies not only on the candidates’ ability to debate but also on their ability to respect the simple rules of the debate.
In my view, the toughest part of the debate is to deal with ‘personal’ attacks by the opponent. The candidates should exercise great restraint before making any personal, offending and insulting attacks on his or her opponents. Even more restraint is called for when the opponent has attacked you personally. In this debate, both Hilary and Donald had a great amount of vulnerability… Donald tried to attack Hillary by racking up her husband (former President) Bill Clinton’s escapades… And, Hillary clearly pointed to the latest tape exposing Trump’s, - what millions now perceive to be - ‘loose’ character’. I was expecting worse… a street fight, to be precise. Mercifully, it did not happen. On the other hand, I was pleased to note the grace and dignity with which the uncomfortable issue was handled by the two debating candidates…
It is tough to conduct yourself, in a crucial debate like this one, unprovoked!
So, all this said, seen and heard, my vote will go to Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump. Well, my voice will hardly matter or influence the American voters… I know. Still, I do seriously feel and say this loudly, a mighty nation like The United States of America should not be in the hands of a man like Donald Trump…
I took home many lessons from the second Presidential debate. The simplest lesson came home when Hillary recalled the words of her friend, Michelle Obama (from her impressive speech at the Democratic National Convention):
“WHEN THEY GO LOW, WE GO HIGH”.
To me, that was the highpoint of this high-profile debate.
Pic.: Internet (Getty)