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The disconnect between what I write and what I think seems to stretch as elections draw near.  I could create a political response bot that would effectively argue with itself, never listening to its own opposing views, but spewing the same old arguments endlessly until November 8th, at which time it would self-destroy only after spawning a new copy of itself for the 2018 election season.

What I write is supposed to be balanced in tone as well as bias, and I do strive for that.  But what I think is no such thing.  It is not that I am partisan.  It's that I am jaded.  The biased letters, responses to articles, public and private statements are just so predictable.  Predictable is not interesting.  It may make the source feel better, but I don't think it is particularly interesting.  Did I say that I am jaded?

The part I intensely dislike is the name calling.  I value intelligent discussions of issues, but when the political discourse descends to name calling I am not interested.  That produces a whimsical thing for me.  I am certainly not a fan of the current denizen of the White House, but I am often sympathetic with him because so many people call him names.  Then again, he is no innocent where name calling is concerned.  One might argue that he deserves it.  I argue that his opponents are no better than he is where that is concerned.

There was a nasty instance of name calling in Wednesday's District 6 County Legislature candidate debate that, I am ashamed to say, sneaked past me.  I misread the hand written question, choosing to include it because it didn't seem to make sense, and I thought a small portion of levity in a debate is a good thing.  I read the question aloud, then realized that I had misread it, and the real text was a hateful attack on one of the candidates.  My eyes ain't what they used to be.  To their credit, the attacked candidate made a dignified statement about that kind of political shenanigan, and his opponent refused to comment at all.  I was mortified.  If I had read it correctly in the first place I would have never included it.

The thing is that too much name calling, or reporting on tweets and posts has obscured important news.  If our President is smarter than most people seem to give him credit for, you might think that is why he tweets so much -- to obscure the real news.  If he is not that smart, the result is the same.  And in our local debate, thankfully, most of the questions submitted by the public gave the candidates to address real issues that matter to real people in District 6 (The Town of Lansing except the Village and a small portion of North Lansing).

In fact, one of the things I loved about the debate was that it was mostly about substantive issues that local people care about.  It reflected an intelligently engaged public and two candidates who were articulate on the issues.

Afterwards, the debate timekeeper noted that both candidates were able to make their points within the small allotted time periods - one minute for answers and half a minute for rebuttals - without me, as moderator, having to stop them even once in the hour and a half debate.  Certainly that is the mark of accomplished politicians who have done this sort of thing before, but it was also an indicator that both candidates were eager to participate in a civil, substantive debate.

That is what best serves the voters.  Voting party line, or just for a pretty face doesn't help anyone.  In national politics, all too often that's what we get because the issues are so obscured by stupid distractions, tweets and name calling that nobody really has any idea how either candidate would lead.  Civil discourse on real issues does.

Perhaps I should write a Politi-Bot that does that... would anyone pay attention to it?  If Wednesday's debate was any measure, they would.

Also, I should probably get new glasses.

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