Kristen Golembiewski, Opinions Editor
Kristen Golembiewski, Opinions Editor


I have purposely avoided watching this year’s debates, but still, I can’t escape them. Whether it’s posts popping up on my Facebook and Twitter feeds or screen caps and .gifs on Tumblr, I can’t get away from the debacle that has been the 2012 debates.

I like to consider myself an informed and up-to-date person. I’m a journalism student with an internship at a major news organization, so it’s pretty much required for me to know what’s going on. I check news sites several times a day. I know who said what, when, where, and why.

But I couldn’t bring myself to watch this year’s debates. And after seeing the quotes and images that came from them, I’m pretty glad I didn’t.

Truth is, you can’t really learn much from the debates because it’s entirely too easy to get distracted by the candidates’ complete lack of respect for each other. In every debate, each candidate interrupted their opponent at least once. Then there’s the faces they make while the other is talking and in the Vice Presidential debate, you have Joe Biden laughing at Paul Ryan. In the immortal words of Stephanie Tanner, HOW RUDE!

If you get over the fact that these candidates just can’t be tamed (although, big ups to Marta Raddatz and Candy Crowley for at least trying to keep them under control), what did you actually learn from these events? Because all I got from them is that Mitt Romney is even more horrible and ignorant than I previously imagined (“binders full of women,” what?) and that we should just stop letting Joe Biden speak off the cuff (“that’s a bunch of malarkey!”).

Then there’s the issue of who won. Who cares? How do you even determine who won? It seems like the winners were determined based on how aggressive they were. Honesty didn’t seem to play a factor. When evaluating who won, how many of people followed up on what they heard from the candidates?

It seems most of them just grabbed onto buzzwords and never looked back. I saw so many posts about how people would rather have a strong military than a stable public broadcasting station that referenced Mitt’s “Big Bird moment.” But these people all failed to mention the fact that only about 0.00014% of the federal budget goes to PBS and that eliminating federal funding would be insignificant in trying to curb the federal debt, proving my point.

Look, I get the purpose of the debates. It’s refreshing to hear the candidates speak naturally, without perfectly constructed ideas before them. But for the most part, this year’s debates were merely a distraction and I’m really glad they’re over.