Officially done

After watching tonight’s debate, I am officially done with the political race.  I don’t feel like I’m getting any more information from either candidate.  At this point, I just hear the same catch phrases over and over.  And I’m discouraged by their choices to continue limiting the form of the debates.  First, McCain’s campaign negotiates for shorter response and debate times for the Biden/Palin debate, most likely so that Palin could recite her ABC’s for the nation more easily.  And now, tonight, the debate was changed so that there could be no follow-ups between candidates, though Obama broke away from that at one point to correct McCain on various issues he had muddled through, decontextualizing Obama’s record as usual.  My problem is, as a citizen, I feel that we deserve debates which force these candidates to actually think on their feet, to work through issues in front of us, rather than to recite memorized catch phrases, and in which they are forced to truly confront one another.  Right now, I feel like I’ve gone to the circus.  We’re being given the illusion of something wild and fantastic, but it’s all been rehearsed and rehearsed, is more artifice than reality.  And I think reality is what we deserve as citizens about to make an incredibly important decision in less than a month.  If this is all they have for us, we might as well go ahead and vote now.

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8 responses

  1. I am so there with you on this, buddy. The worst part is, the elections in 2000 and 2004 showed that the public wants it to be this way. Whenever we have candidates of substance (Gore, Kerry) who give detailed and complex answers, Americans accuse them of being “too hard to understand” and “waffly”. The polls consistently support the fact that the public would rather vote for a fun and simple drinking buddy than a candidate with intelligent (and subsequently more complex) political solutions. Then, folks are actually surprised when everything falls apart. Scary times, my friend.

  2. I haven’t watched the debates, not being an American citizen, but over here in Australia we see the little catchphrases and soundbites from the candidates and all the stuff you are complaining about. guess what though? they do it here too. they do it in the UK as well and probably in most democracies these days.

    and it dumbs everything down, this “soundbiting” stuff. it kinda reminds me of a “yo mamma” battle, where the opponents diss each other (yo mamma’s so fat, she has her own zipcode etc), and how well they diss each other is determined by a gormless crowd going “ooooooh” after each diss. the best ad hominem wins! it’s the jerryspringerfication of political discourse, no wait, not jerryspringer, they’d start fisticuffs if that was the case…maybe rikilakefication?

    it really is quite ridiculous.

    Matt

  3. I was thinking that yesterday – who hasn’t already made up his or her mind? Who is actually going to be swayed by one more ridiculous debate-that-isn’t? Get it over with and let’s get on with life.

  4. I’m still waiting for the debates like they had between Matt Santos and . . . that other guy on The West Wing. Now that would be cool. And I think Obama and McCain would be up to the task.

  5. The next month is going to be a challenge to get through without losing not only interest in politics, but the remains of my faith in humanity. A challenge! Fortunately I am putting together a new mixtape, and I am sure that will save us all.

  6. And you think, Christopher, that here in Italy we follow your debates as a sort of dream. Our candidates don’t debate. They monologue. The things you write are sad. I hoped something better. For you. And for us. And for democracy.

  7. I agree Chris! I have watched every debate, and will watch the next one as well, but this last one was a repeat of everything we’ve already heard, and I was continuously upset over the moderator reminding them of the one minute rule. How can we learn much of anything in a minute and no follow-ups?

    I said the same thing – Palin/Biden seemed to get to say a lot more than even Obama/McCain got to. Why?

    I don’t think this last debate did any good for either one of them, and I hope those just tuning in don’t completely judge their opinions from it.

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