Things Left Unsaid
As the saying goes, be careful what you pray for. For years observers of American politics have deplored its lack of civility. In their first televised debate earlier this month, President Bill Clinton and his Republican challenger Bob Dole appeared to take that criticism to heart. Ideas and issues took center stage. As a result, the American public got ninety somnolent minutes of remarkably civil thrust and parry.
Despite the wholly predictable, and let's face it, somewhat tedious course of the debate, Americans can still be grateful that both men avoided cheap shots and lurid accusations. Dole, who carried the burden of what appears to be a foundering campaign, made a few cyanide-tipped comments. But none broke the skin. As a result, a clear picture emerged (at least for those who stayed awake) of the differences and, perhaps even more revealing, the striking similarities in the views of these two life-long politicians.
Dole tried to make the antigovernment case espoused so vociferously by Newt Gingrich and the Republican House majority, …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Things Left Unsaid. Contributors: Not available. Magazine title: Commonweal. Volume: 123. Issue: 18 Publication date: October 25, 1996. Page number: 5+. © 1999 Commonweal Foundation. COPYRIGHT 1996 Gale Group.