The Debate

Acknowledgement: This post was published by the Hood River News (Letters to the Editor, Oct 17, 2018), under the heading “One more time”

For the first time in nearly two decades, Oregon’s Second Congressional District is being viably contested. The recent debate between incumbent Greg Walden (R-OR2) and challenger McLeod-Skinner was thus much needed.

Many viewers were no doubt already committed to one or the other candidate. Others, hopefully, were still uncommitted. Whoever listened with an open mind benefitted from the exposure to two drastically different candidates.

I have made my choice, for reasons that I have explained openly. But I am a non-affiliated voter, who believes in listening to all sides of the political divide. And what I witnessed was a substantive exchange of ideas, between a 20-year veteran and a challenger with potential for important and lasting political service.

At times, Walden reminded us why many in the District have voted for him over the years. McLeod-Skinner, however, kept reminding us why Walden’s recent record must be challenged for the greater good.

The debate reflected the candidates’ contrasting styles, experiences, and visions for District, country, humanity, and Earth’s sustainability. They both seem to love our country, but they express that love in dramatically different ways.

Which way we choose in November matters. Regardless of our pre-conceived notions, we owe ourselves to listen to both candidates. Only then will our vote be fully informed.

Which makes it extremely unfortunate that this was the only debate between Walden and McLeod-Skinner. Their differences—aired, as they were, in a civil and thoughtful manner—deserved a longer debate, with opportunity for added depth and broader scope.

Congressman Walden: Would you reconsider? Would you debate Jamie at least once more? No matter who wins the upcoming election, citizens across the district would be the real winners. As would democracy!

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