I had the honor and privilege of attending last night’s second presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Some commentators and reporters have described the debate as subdued and uneventful. I can assure you, as someone who was actually in the audience, it was anything but.
The town hall format reminded me of the town hall meetings which so dominated the early history of our settlement of this continent. Not surprisingly, McCain supporters thought McCain won and Obama supporters thought Obama won. My guess is that those who were undecided are still undecided.

I must confess that I was unprepared (This was my first presidential election debate to attend.) for the palpable excitement and energy in the room. Everyone from young people to senior citizens seemed caught up in the spirit of the evening. I suspect that most of them had some point during the evening thought to themselves, as I did, “What an incredible privilege it is to live in and be a citizen of this great and wonderful country.”
I am fearful that too often our familiarity with our great freedoms, although it doesn’t breed contempt, does breed familiarity. We are among the most privileged people on earth to have our common citizens have the opportunity to decide the great policies of our nation. “Government of the people, by the people and for the people” was alive and well in Nashville last night. No matter which presidential candidate you support in this election, we are all winners in that we have these wonderful freedoms, this open process, and this great republic as a birthright. I have never felt more grateful to be an American, and I’ve never been more proud of my country.
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