The Public Debate

I watched the debate last night like many other americans. Although the nationwide numbers aren’t available until monday, it appears that about 40% of americans watched last night. That’s bigger than any of the Bush debates and possibly even bigger than the 38% that watched Clinton/Bush in 92. I heard today that over 40% would be in super bowl territory. It’s clear that americans are tuned in to this election.

But what really got me thinking was how the foreign policy debate between McCain and Obama last night was broadcast to the entire world. The russians got to see them debate our policy toward Russia. The iranians got to see them debate our policy toward Iran. The chinese took notice of our concern about our economic reliance on China. And so on and so forth.

I am proud to live in the most open transparent democracy in the world. Yes, we have huge problems in this country. Yes, we need to change the way we are operating in this "post american world" we find ourselves in. But we have the courage to conduct our debate in the open in public and broadcast it to the rest of the world. And that’s a great thing.