Four Topics You Did Not Hear About in the Presidential Debates

With so much of the three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate consumed by the economy, jobs, national debt, health care, terrorism, and Iran, little time was left to discuss other important topics. Here are four that they missed.

Climate Change, Pollution and the Environment

There were no questions about the environment and related issues, such as climate change, or global warming, and pollution. Obama was the only candidate to mention it, and it was a quick reference. In the middle of talking about natural gas exploration in the second presidential debate, he said, "and we can do it in an environmentally sound way."

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Gay Marriage

Obama made big news this summer when he announced that he changed his mind about gay marriage. He was previously opposed, but now supports gay marriage. The topic has also been in the news recently. A federal court decided to take a case challenging the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman for the purposes of federal law. This topic was not discussed, though, in any of the presidential debates.

Obama mentioned marriage once, in reference to his wedding anniversary. Romney mentioned marriage twice. Once in reference to Obama's anniversary and once in an answer to a question about gun control. One way to help reduce gun violence, Romney said, was to have two parent families raising kids.

Any Nation Not China, Afghanistan, Israel, Libya or Syria

In previous election cycles, there were debates about AIDS in Africa, genocide in Sudan, a nuclear armed North Korea, the Cuban embargo, Russian nationalism, free trade with Canada and Mexico, and the drug war (which extended to Mexico, Central America and South America).

None of those issues have disappeared, plus there is a European debt crisis that threatens to negatively impact the U.S. economy. But in the debates, discussion of foreign affairs was isolated, with few exceptions, to China, Afghanistan, terrorism and the Middle East. Even the discussions about Israel were mostly in relation to Iran, rather than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The only exceptions were when Romney briefly mentioned the leaders of North Korea and Venezuela, missile defense in Poland and the drug war in reference to the Fast and Furious scandal. Both candidates mentioned Russia, but only in reference to its relationship to the Middle East.

Human Trafficking

According to a United Nations report this year, there are currently 2.4 million victims of human trafficking, 80 percent of whom are sex slaves. Obama announced a new effort against human trafficking last month, but in the debates, neither the candidates nor the moderators raised the issue.

What other issues were missing from the debates? Let us know in the comments section below.

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