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Just Answer The Questions

Remember when you were in school and the teacher surprised you with a “pop quiz?” He or she would hand out a paper with 10 or 15 questions and slap it face down on your desks.

With a groan you flip over the page and wait for the signal to begin.

Your disdain for this quiz quickly turns to a more positive experience when you see that the teacher has posed the questions so that you have only to answer true or false. OK, this isn’t so bad.

You figure you have a 50-50 chance of answering the questions correctly.

And sometimes, guesses are better than not knowing the answers at all.

While I received favorable grades throughout my education years, I never enjoyed tests of any kind.

It is a proven fact that even the wisest among us are not good test takers. I don’t know the reasoning behind that belief, but I know it to be true.

As we approach this most maligned Election Day on Nov. 3, I wish that all the debates and candidate forums would be handled in the pop quiz mode.

All of the questions to be asked should require only yes or no answers. I hesitate to suggest true and false answers because debates already held have proven that candidates can and do lie.

Simple one-word answers for the presidential candidates would tell me if you plan to raise taxes, if you are in favor of eliminating fossil fuels or if you hold firm on Roe v. Wade.

Also: Do you plan to eliminate Obama care? Will you change Social Security in any way? Will you add more seats to the U.S. Supreme Court? One word answers, please.

Listening to some of the debates so far, I can tell you that many questions posed to the various candidates were not answered. Only double talk and rhetoric came through.

Journalism students know that fewer words are better.

Shorter sentences are more easily understood.

Clear, precise answers are what we seek. It’s obvious many politicians have not learned these facts for making their points.

They use way too many words with not enough thought behind them. That only leaves me scratching my head and wondering.

Perhaps it’s too late to consider my idea regarding debates for this year.

At least when I go into the voting booth next month, I will have a 50-50 chance of making the right choice.

Heather Ziegler can be reached via email at hziegler@theintelligencer.net.

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