Now THAT was the adult’s table!

I prefer full-on, reasonable, thoughtful discussion of important issues — as seen in tonight’s Democratic debate — as opposed to the silly, pandering soundbites from the Republican debates designed to appeal to a backward-looking, minority element of their party.

Thank goodness there was a lively, informed discussion about gun control, one of the most important public health issues we face. Real reform was discussed and debated. No consensus was reached, but it was an important step to take.

Thank goodness there was a knowledgeable conversation about climate change, one of the most important national security issues we face.

Thank goodness income inequality was addressed substantively.

When the top polling candidates on the GOP side bring up ridiculous or dangerous notions — like building a 2,000-mile-long wall; saying victims of mass-shootings should’ve rushed the shooter; or the absolutely moronic premise that Jews were in part to blame for the Holocaust — it’s impossible to take them seriously.

A group of five Democratic candidates spoke at length this evening about smart topics. Sure, things got feisty. Sure there was passion and intensity. But there was skillful, knowing dialogue. And there was ultimately respect apparent for each other.

Missing from the Republican party and debates are reasonable, intelligent politicians who disagree with their Democratic colleagues, but still engage in civil discourse. Gone from the Republican party is any semblance of leadership, as witnessed by the catastrophic meltdown surrounding the Speaker of the House role.

Where is the party that brought us Eisenhower with his dire warnings about the military industrial complex? Where are the Richard Lugars who cautioned us about the nuclear instability of former Soviet republics? I’m not looking for Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt or Abraham Lincoln, (though they’d be a welcome relief today), I would take Arlen Specter who championed raising the minimum wage and supported a woman’s right to choose what she does with her own darn body.

No, the insanity that surrounds today’s Grand Old Party, “The Party of Lincoln,” makes reasonable Americans frightened. And it should. Yes, there are fringe elements out there who believe the debunked lies about Benghazi, Iran and Planned Parenthood. But those are the same misinformed individuals who believe our president isn’t an America citizen, isn’t a Christian (as if that matters), is about to invade Texas and didn’t act fast enough after Katrina. (yes, there’s a contingent of Louisiana Republicans who think Obama — who wasn’t in office at the time — didn’t act quickly enough after the hurricane).

It’s time we stopped catering to stupid.

It’s time we stopped vilifying intelligent, thoughtful people.

Gone from tonight’s debate were ridiculous questions like who the candidates would put on the ten dollar bill (remember when Jeb Bush said he’d choose Margaret Thatcher?). Gone were stupid questions like, “what would your Secret Service code name be?”

Affordable college tuition (or free), effective immigration reform, saving Social Security, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, the list of common sense issues was long and worthy of discussion.

Tonight, the adults showed the kids how it’s done.

Who won the debate?

All of us, Democrats, Republicans, Conservatives and Progressives. More ideas like these in the national dialogue will only help each and every one of us in this country.