After debates, questions remain

U-Wire Editorial and U-Wire Editorial

In a perfect world, the final presidential debate Wednesday would have answered every question on voters’ minds.

Candidates would have stated not only their platform points, but also how they plan to achieve them and how it will affect Americans. They would have had to answer each question without changing the subject.

And frankly, in a perfect world candidates would have been connected to lie detectors or a buzzer would have gone off every time they stretched the truth or lied.

But we don’t live in such a world, so many of us are still left wondering who we will cast our vote for Nov. 2.

During the debate, which centered around domestic issues, candidates reiterated much of what had already been said in the two previous debates and, to our dismay, repeated many of their standard attacks and defenses.

Viewers must instead rely on various fact-checking from Web sites and media outlets in order to find the “truth” about subjects.

And what is possibly the most discouraging, George W. Bush and John Kerry continued to dodge answers to questions, whether it be by attacking the opponent or changing the subject.

The latest polls are showing that the race is nearly a dead heat — the past debates have helped Kerry close the previous gap.

A CNN/USA Today/Gallup snap poll that immediately followed the debate named Kerry as the obvious winner — 53 percent favored him over Bush, who received 39 percent with a 5 percent margin of error.

Despite this victory, it doesn’t seem as though candidates gave voters any clarity on issues. Sure, Kerry won in how he expressed himself, and Bush was more likeable, but does this matter when it comes to casting one’s vote?

Is it too much to ask for the candidates to be at least somewhat straightforward with the American public?

Sure, both candidates can say they have plans and that their opponent doesn’t (or won’t) elaborate. And sure, their respective campaigns and constituents can put their spins on what has transpired. But in the end, it doesn’t do us any good.

It is a little less than three weeks until Americans elect someone to the most important office in the country, but do we really know everything we need to know?

Kerry is a flip-flopper — yes, we’ve heard that one. Bush has no exit-plan for the war in Iraq — heard that one, too. Kerry is for Big Government, copy that. Bush is for the top 1 percent of the population, check.

Both campaigns seem to be spinning a broken record of sound bites, but it isn’t clearing anything up. Straightforward answers to the difficult problems facing this country are all we, the voters, seek. Simply put, clarity and honesty should be the foundation of our presidential campaigns, but we don’t live in a perfect world.