Despite stumbles and disruptions, VP debate shows America's progress: Readers
There is no doubt that the country is polarized and sometimes bitterly divided on a multitude of issues.
However, the Vice-Presidential debate on Wednesday evening showed that we should all take a moment to be grateful that we are doing something right, even if progress is slow.
Two presidential candidates and two vice presidential candidates. Three of them are privileged white men, and one is a woman of color for the first time. And not just any woman of color, but a real star.
Politics aside, if you watch the debate, is there any doubt that Senator Kamala Harris belonged on this stage? Of course not. All she needed was the moment and she was excellent. She has proven indisputably (unsurprisingly) that she can compete with men.
Senator Kamala Harris speaks during the Vice Presidential Debate at Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah.
Wednesday night was a very good night for the United States. Now we can literally imagine that a woman of color, as Vice President or President of the United States, can be a leader of the free world.
Michael Kenny; Atlanta
The Trump administration's contempt for women and minorities was evident in the debate on Wednesday evening. Vice President Mike Pence harassed presenter Susan Page and repeatedly spoke of her consistent attempts to signal that he was past his time. He broke the rules of the debate that he and his team had approved and repeatedly interrupted and talked about Sen. Kamala Harris.
His paternal bias was hard to miss in his responses about how much women should say in reproductive decisions. He was dismissive in responding to Harris' points. Even when he didn't speak, head shakes, grimaces, and murmurs spoke volumes.
One point made by Harris that needs to be reiterated was her claim that the Trump administration's Bundesbank appointments were predominantly white and male.
Mark P. Hunter; Atlanta
Like the first presidential debate, the debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris was a sham. The moderator, Susan Page, whom I appreciate very much, was either far too reluctant to enforce or had no power to enforce the rules of debate. For example, Pence often passed the questions Page had asked him and instead explained topics and points he wanted to address, often going well beyond his allotted time. Harris was then forced to parry the issues and points that Pence, not Page, brought up for discussion. In her credit, Page had prepared some excellent questions to get information from both candidates that will likely be valuable to voters on key issues. Unfortunately, many of these questions were not answered.
In order to make the debates more valuable to the electorate, the Debate Commission must give the moderators a stronger and more clearly defined sphere of power to control the behavior of the candidates. These powers could include the power to turn off the perpetrator's microphones, reduce the time it takes to answer pending questions, and require candidates to answer the question directly. Otherwise, the debates will only provide voters with the narratives that the candidates themselves have produced on the issues.
William Plesec; Cleveland
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This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: Despite Trips and Interferences, VP Debate Shows US Progress: Readers
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