Debates need a dose of decorum

I just finished watching the first of three presidential debates. I am stunned. I am volunteering to moderate the next debate. Chris Wallace tried to do a good job, but needed more ground rules.

The new rules of the debate would be:

The control booth will only show the speaking candidate on the screen while he is speaking.

The other candidate will be off the screen, and his microphone muted, until it is his turn to speak.

The basic rules of debate will be followed, including not interrupting the other speaker.

I also propose holding the debate on the stage of “America’s Got Talent.” Why? If the debate gets out of the reasonable control of the moderator, the red X and buzzer may be deployed.

What the American people need to see is a polite, considerate, thoughtful discussion among two adults, who act like adults. Their decorum needs to be worthy of being a world leader and an example to all.

To Donald Trump and Joe Biden, next week, please use your manners!

Ellen Brand, Hopkins, Missouri

Act like third-graders 

As a Gower school third-grader, I learned what bullying was. On the bus ride home one afternoon, older boys tied me down between the seats in the back of the bus. My father flagged the bus down to pick me up before my stop and lo’ and behold I couldn’t get off.

Watching the debate Tuesday night, I realized I didn’t fully understand bullying. To whit…lying, interrupting, insulting, making nasty and demeaning comments, telling me I wasn’t smart, not letting one finish a thought, attacking and acting like a total jerk.

I now realize I got off easy back in the 50s — and how much I appreciate my teachers who taught me to treat everyone with respect.

Ed Matney, Gower, Missouri

Debate was an embarrassment

I was totally embarrassed for America last night watching Donald Trump debase the office of presidency for all the world to see. He seems to think that the office of president is his and not yours and mine. We allow, through our vote, a person to occupy that office every four years. He demonstrated once again that his word is worthless, and as the world looked on do you think they were calmed by this not so new revelation? He can’t even keep his word of agreement on the rules of the debate. He got lost in the minutia of internet lies about Joe Biden’s son Hunter.

But perhaps the most revealing thing was his inability to denounce the white supremacist movement. He couldn’t even tell the Proud Boys to quit going to BLM demonstrations armed and throwing gasoline of the racial insensitivity of our country. He said “Stand down and be ready.” I ask you which candidate looked directly into the camera and spoke directly to the American people? Which one was so shifty eyed because he was busy adding to his record of over 20,000 lies since inauguration?

John Munshaw, Oregon, Missouri

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