Watch tonight’s debate. 

Watch and listen.

Listen closely. 

Vice President Mike Pence debates Sen. Kamala Harris. 

The debate will be held 9-10:30 p.m. Wednesday at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, and is televised. 

Susan Page, Washington Bureau chief, for USA Today, will moderate. 

There will be social distancing, plexiglass between the candidates and protective masks will be required in the debate hall. Those are most certainly the right things to do. COVID-19 must be taken seriously, and anyone who minimizes it or suggests there is nothing to worry about is being completely irresponsible. More than 210,000 Americans have died. 

It is unlikely this debate will be the debacle of the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. This debate should be far more substantive. 

If you only watch the debate to cheer on your champion and jeer the opponent, then it will be a waste of time. 

If, however, you watch to learn, it can only serve to make you a more informed voter. 

Clearly, people vote for the top of the ticket. 

However, each of these No. 2s align with the running mate, if not in temperament, certainly in ideology. 

Informed voters are better voters. 

If you tune in with a closed mind, you will lose out on an important opportunity to learn, grow and make the best possible decision for yourself and for the future of the nation. 

Pence and Harris will talk about the nation’s response to COVID-19 and the death toll of the pandemic. They will talk about the economy and the jobless rate. They will talk about filling a vacancy on the Supreme Court. They will talk about national security. They will talk about protests, white supremacy, racial and social unrest. They will talk about division and unity. 

They will talk about America. 

They will talk about our future. 

We expect them to be adults and to speak in clear but reasonable tones. Anything less does not serve democracy. 

The election is now just weeks away and we are faced with one of the most stark contrasts the nation has ever seen in the race for the White House. 

We encourage you to watch the debate and to listen — really listen.

 

— Valdosta Daily Times 

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