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Debates show politicians must get real

ALMOST 70 million people watched the first presidential debate, and more than 50 million watched the vice presidential debate. Sounds promising — until you read projections like Suffolk University's that show 90 million eligible voters won't vote this year.

What's going on here?

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Americans are worried about the huge economic issues Democrats and Republicans refuse to tackle in any meaningful, bipartisan way. Whether our national debt, crumbling infrastructure and education system, or our continuing health care debate, party line and loyalty come first. This has reached the point of absurdity.

Debates are one of the few chances Americans get to see politicians without the filter of a TV ad, prepared speech, or spin from PACs. But when given the chance to be forthright with voters about national plans and challenges, politicians instead deliver the same old tired one-liners. Small wonder that so many millions of Americans don’t bother voting.

But the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Instead of tuning out, why aren’t we being much more vocal about demanding real solutions? Why do we still agree to be held hostage by a largely two-party system of Republicans and Democrats, with only an occasional third-party option thrown in the mix? Until Americans get a lot more involved, and until leaders step up with game-changing solutions, treading water will remain the name of the game.

Evan Falchuk

Auburndale

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