800 Words


Today, I’ve decided to write this blog post with a specific rule.  I cannot go over 800 words. That’s the rule and I’m sticking to it.

Now I know sometimes rules need to be worked around or even broken; we’ve all broken the rules at one point or another in our lives, and I get that.  However, I strongly feel that when you agree to something you should stick to it.  When you make a vow or a pledge; you should stick to it.  It shows your respect.

This challenge to myself came in the form of an idea this morning; the day after the Vice Presidential debate.  I was never a debater.  I have never stood on a stage to face an opponent.  However, I do believe that if I did, I would do my best to follow the rules set forth by the moderator that had been agreed on by my opponent and myself as well showing respect to the moderator.

I attempted to watch last night’s debate.  Previously I had tried to watch the Presidential Debate, but let’s face it although it was called a debate it was not.  It was a hot mess.  The rules were not followed, the moderator (for the most part) was ignored and it was more on par with an elementary school playground fight than a debate.  (In my mind, it was not Presidential at all, but…unlike the candidate, I’m going to TRY to stay on topic here.)

I managed to watch about half of last night’s debate before I gave up.  I didn’t give up because of what either person was saying (or trying to say), but because I could no longer focus on what was being said as the 2 minute rule was broken by both candidates. (Although one was more “guilty” of doing this than the other; and I’ll just leave it at that.)  I also felt the moderator was disrespected.  She tried to do her job.  She alerted the candidates that their time was up, but was predominantly ignored.  (Again, by one more than the other.)  I was so irritated and so incensed by this that I could no longer focus on what was being said.  Instead of hearing the words, I instead could only wonder how long the candidate was going to ramble on.  How many times was the moderator going to have to say “Thank you” and try to move the debate along? 

What is the purpose of having rules if they are not going to be followed?  Why have a moderator at all if he/she is just going to be dismissed and ignored?  Why not just have questions thrown at the candidates and they can both just shout out their answers or whatever they want to say because let’s face it half the time neither candidate came right out with an answer to the question.  (Aren’t debates supposed to be about answering the question that is asked?  Aren’t the debaters supposed to stay on the topic that the moderator has presented?  Am I totally off base here?  As I said, I don’t have any real world debate experience so maybe someone who has can fill me in?)  Or maybe we should just forgo question format all together; a topic could just be put on a screen for the candidates and they could yell out their thoughts.  The one who screams the loudest and longest would win?  It’s not a debate, but…

So although I truly DO want to hear what each candidate/debater has to say, I could not watch.  Or more specifically I could not listen.  The whole thing just got under my skin and frustrated me.  I would liken it to a day on the beach when the west wind is blowing and the green headed flies make their appearance.  They buzz around.  You swat them.  You try to kill them, but for me it’s nearly impossible.  It ruins my whole beach experience because I cannot ignore the green headed flies.  (Just writing this makes my skin itch.)

So no more debates for me; at least for now.  When candidates and parties are truly willing to adhere to rules (that they supposedly agreed to in the first place) and show some respect to the person moderating the debate, well, then I just might give it a try.  But let’s face it the odds of that happening…well, I’m more likely to win the lottery right?  (Of course I’d like to buy a lottery ticket first.)

And that is it for today’s blog post.  I have successfully followed my own rule.  Made a pledge to myself and I stuck to it.  This post is clocking in at eight hundred words exactly.  No going over for me.  If I can follow the rules, so should our candidates.


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