One of the major components of a debate is listening. If two or more people are talking at once, it’s no longer a debate.

That’s why it’s hard to call what the GOP presidential candidates participated in last week as a true debate.

Nonetheless, I was glad I watched it—even though at times I was talking back to the TV.

One of those eight could be the next president of the United States. A lot has to happen for one of them to even be the Republican nominee. Still, I think it’s important to be paying attention now.

Watching and listening adds to who they are. Reading their words in print the next day isn’t always the same. You don’t have tone. You don’t have the mannerisms.

It’s one thing to be passionate, it’s another to come across as a whack-a-doodle. One in particular was the latter. I hope he is just a flash in the pan and burns out quickly.

Those who were calm, could get their point across without denigrating others, who spoke to issues—well, they caught my attention.

What you do get the next day in print is fact checking, which in a situation like this “debate” does not happen in the moment. Hopefully, those who will be voting in the Republican primaries and caucusing for the GOP, will seek out facts and not sound bites. (This goes for all elections for every party.)

There will be more debates. Watch, listen and learn.

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