OPINION: Anthem could bring note of civility to debates

OPINION | Listening to the national anthem before the start of the baseball championship game Monday night, an hour or so before the final presidential debate was to start, we wondered about the custom of beginning a game with the anthem, sung a cappella, before a hushed stadium.

Maybe, we thought, it's a way to remind us that, though we may wear different colors and want our opponents to fail, we are, ultimately, on the same team.

And that we are there to watch a game -- a high-stakes contest perhaps, but still a game.

Maybe we should begin presidential debates in the same way. Bring in a group of local schoolchildren to the debate arena to sing the anthem, as the candidates, audience and even the press rise for a contemplative few moments.

We could reflect on the fact that we are blessed to live in a land where, no matter how much mud and invective is slung -- including by us -- we will soon go to vote, privately and peacefully, and, after those votes are counted, we will witness the resumption or transfer of power without a drop of blood shed.

And, really, isn't politics and the battle for the presidency about those children?

Maybe their presence would remind us that we all want them to inherit the best country, and the best chances for a good life, we can provide.

Maybe, as sometimes happens when adults are in the company of children, the debaters would behave better, and, maybe, even raise their level of discourse.

If nothing else, we could all share a quiet moment to remember that, really, politics is far more than a game, and that, ultimately, we are on the same team.

Print this article Back to Top

Editorial and Opinion Pieces

Who should be the next U.S. president? Mitt Romney or Barack Obama Who should be the next U.S. president? Mitt Romney or Barack Obama

OPINION | Voters on Tuesday will go to the polls to decide which man -- Mitt Romney or Barack Obama -- will occupy the White House for the next four years. So who should win?

Editorial: Newest economic news may be good enough for President Barack Obama Editorial: Newest economic news may be good enough for President Barack Obama

OPINION | For President Barack Obama's re-election hopes, it has always been a race between the economy and Election Day.

OPINION: Mitt Romney, a decent leader OPINION: Mitt Romney, a decent leader

Compare the political philosophies of President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney, and what you see over there in the left corner of the ring is Big, Big Government -- runaway spending as the answer to everything, more intervention, more control, an attitude of Washington knows best.

OPINION: Why Mitt Romney shouldn OPINION: Why Mitt Romney shouldn't be president

I hoped for serious discussions of how to pay for Social Security and Medicare. I wanted real talk about rebuilding America's infrastructure and improving public education. I wanted ideas for restoring the middle class and motivating young people to realize their stake in the country's future.

OPINION - Mitt Romney displayed unusual strategy for winning during foreign policy debate OPINION - Mitt Romney displayed unusual strategy for winning during foreign policy debate

OPINION | Back in his first campaign confrontation with President Barack Obama, Mitt Romney showed he knew how to win a debate. Monday night he showed he knew how to lose a debate -- in the hopes of winning the presidency.

OPINION: Anthem could bring note of civility to debates OPINION: Anthem could bring note of civility to debates

OPINION | Listening to the national anthem before the start of the baseball championship game Monday night, an hour or so before the final presidential debate was to start, we wondered about the custom of beginning a game with the anthem, sung a cappella, before a hushed stadium.

OPINION: Breaking down the foreign policy presidential debate between Obama and Romney OPINION: Breaking down the foreign policy presidential debate between Obama and Romney

The economy is in the worst recovery since World War II, the world is likewise a scary mess, and so maybe it wasn't surprising in a debate on foreign issues Monday night that the President sought refuge in pettiness.

OPINION: A recovery that wasn OPINION: A recovery that wasn't, poverty rates high and median incomes down

The recovery, mugged by a pork-ridden stimulus and a malicious gang of other misconceived policies, is limping along more weakly than any recovery since World War II.

OPINION: Pros, cons of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney OPINION: Pros, cons of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney

We lurch from debate to debate, poll to poll, leaked video to calamity overseas. One day we decide we'll settle for Obama. The next, we're leaning toward rolling the dice and taking a chance on Romney.