10/22/2012 04:50 pm ET Updated Dec 22, 2012

Prioritizing Truth in Presidential Debates

Instead of worrying about the economy, health care and other life-changing issues, the American people are trying to decipher between facts and lies.

In a world where information is a mouse click away, why is the truth so hard to discern from the words of our country's leaders?

The presidential debates have been full of phrases like "That's not true," and "You are wrong," and the population is expected to find out for themselves what is accurate.

As a first time voter, it is very important for me to know the truth. But how can I do that when I am just trying to learn enough about the issues at hand to make an intelligent decision?

Both candidates skew the facts so much that they become overgeneralizations -- skeletons of truth. Because it is so arduous to figure out what they are saying, we lose a sense of security and trust in the political system as a whole.

Following live blogs that fact check the presidential debates does not sufficiently solve the problem because many viewers choose not to bother seeking out the truth. Fact checking shouldn't be a choice, but a requirement. The debates must be fact checked by the media and relayed to the public right on screen.

One of two things happens when a voter learns that they are being lied to. First, you get angry with Obama and Romney because you cannot fathom why two men fighting for the privilege to lead our country lie to the faces of the American people. Then you either painstakingly look up every single claim the candidates make or you get so sick of the whole thing that you stop fact checking altogether.

And when people aren't checking facts, we run into a serious problem.

Romney and Obama should not be able to use misrepresentations of truth as a political strategy. Both parties should be held accountable for their statements without forcing people to look elsewhere to find the truth.

Even though people expect to get news instantly, showing the debates live is unnecessary. Delaying the debates an hour -- and allowing media stations the time to use professional fact-checkers -- will give voters significantly more insight on the candidates. When the debates are aired, facts can then appear somewhere on the viewer's screen when a presidential candidate is being less than honest.

This simple change will hold our candidates accountable for their dishonesty and allow this country to make intelligent decisions on its leaders.

For now, I encourage everyone to do their best in fact checking during the debates. As tiresome and anger-invoking as it is, learning the truth about Romney and Obama will make this election successful.