Pull on your asbestos pants, Ehellions, we are talking politics!
Buzzfeed recently featured an article discussing the conduct of the candidates in the most recent Democratic debate. Specifically, there were several times during the debate when Secretary Clinton interrupted Senator Sanders, and Sanders responded by saying, “Can I finish please?” The question is: Was Senator Sanders rude for doing this, or was Secretary Clinton rude for interrupting?
My opinion is that when someone interrupts you, it is perfectly appropriate to say, “Excuse me. May I finish my thought?” But I would love to hear what the EHellions think. 0307-16
Democrats certainly do not have the market on rudeness and interrupting. The Republican debates have been a showcase of how to talk over your opponent so that his/her message is stifled. When anyone begins to talk while you are speaking, it means they are not listening to you but are consumed with forming their own thoughts in order to push the agenda.
In a political debate, it’s a dirty tactic, imo, to interrupt and talk over an opponent because it diminishes the power of another person’s spoken word so that either the candidate becomes confused/distracted or the more likely scenario is that listeners never hear a complete, cogent presentation of a candidate’s position because of the auditory dissonance of trying to concentrate on only one voice. I’m offended as a listener of these televised debates when the interruptions and talking over each other commences because I feel like I am being treated like an idiot who cannot listen to opposing viewpoints and make an informed choice but instead must have my access to different viewpoints artificially restricted.
Then there is the issue of not honoring the debate rules that each candidate had agreed upon and which prescribes a predetermined amount of time to respond to moderator questions and give rebuttal to opponents. To interrupt is to be a pig taking more time than allotted and deny to others the time to present their own views. It’s verbal bullying.
Miss Manners addressed rudeness in politicians in a 2011 column where she writes,
Miss Manners reminds you that every rude person in Congress was elected to that office. This is why she feels it urgent to point out the fallacy of voters who believe that candidates who refuse to deal politely with their opponents make effective leaders. By showing contempt for those who disagree with them and by declaring a refusal to compromise, such candidates clearly demonstrate their inability to cope with a system that requires respect and cooperation.
Yet Miss Manners understands why those who are elected using that style of campaigning persist in behavior that has proved so successful at the polls. They must have pleased the voters, they figure, because they won. They cannot fail to be puzzled when the constituents who elected them start characterizing them as those rude politicians.
Hence her warning is to the voters: If you don’t want badly behaved people in office, do not vote for badly behaved candidates.