Fight Between Romney & Perry Makes Losers of Us All

debateAs pundits busy themselves picking winners and losers in Tuesday night's cringe-inducingly combative debate between the Republican presidential nominees, I have to wonder: When candidates get into slap-fights as silly as the one between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, who scuffled over immigration, don't we all kind of lose?

Do we really need to see the candidates we're considering to take our country's highest office, and lead our nation during a particularly challenging time, point fingers, call each other names, whine and cry for mommy -- in this case, debate moderator Anderson Cooper -- like little kids fighting over whose turn it is on the monkey bars at the playground?

What, exactly, do we expect to learn about our candidates when they mix it up this way?

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I guess candidates are trying to show they're tough on the issues. And that they have an appetite for the office. And that they're not afraid to stick to their guns in the face of adversity. Or maybe they're just trying to show off their swagger. Or how convincingly they sneer. Or chuck some mud on the other guy to make themselves look better.

But honestly, the mudslinging and posturing and below-the-belt punching just makes everyone look bad, either like a bully or a crybaby. So by the time a candidate takes office, we're usually already pretty turned off by them.

Wouldn't it be better if, instead of seeing our candidates face off like cocks at a cockfight, pecking away fiercely at one another, we watched them stand up in a dignified manner and clearly state their plan and why they believed it was the best way to go, and then debate the issues ... civilly?

Or are we really just in it for the smell of blood?

Do you enjoy watching candidates fight during a debate?

 

Image via Maassive/Flickr

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