Presidential Debate: It’s not just terrible politics, it’s terrible television
October 17, 2012 § 6 Comments
Let me start off by saying that I am not a very political person. My opinion of the facts, history, or laws of this nation should not be held in high regard because I am not a “political pundit,” I didn’t graduate with a degree in political science or political math and English, I vote for the President and pretty much nothing else. So what does that make me?
Just a regular, dirty, American civilian. I still get to have a vote and an opinion. My regular, dirty, American civilian opinion of this election is that we’ve veered so far off course from policies and reality that election season is basically no different than promoting the next Transformers movie. “Hey look! Things go BOOM and we got rid of that awful lady!”
Watching the debates so far is like watching interviews or first dates. They go up there, put on their absolute best face, tell you everything you want and need to hear, and theyll lie their dicks off if it meant getting the job or sleeping with you. What we are getting mostly is statistics from the past and not answers for the future. We are getting deflections from the questions, and politicians turning their answers into the statements that they had planned to make all along in that particular debate.
“Mr. Romney, what’s the deal with assault rifles? Are you going to put one in the arms of every boy when he turns 12?”
“Well thank you very much for that question, I appreciate that someone had the balls to ask that. But first I really think you should go see the new Vin Diesel movie, FAST & FURIOUS: O6AMA!”
“Mr. Obama, I am very concerned about some of the things that went on during your first four years in office. Can you please help me better explain why you put in the policies you did and what you are going to do to fix the economy, with at least one specific example?”
“That is an amazing question, thank you. I appreciate it and I love it. I love you for asking it. Michelle and I would like to have you over for dinner some time and then whatever happens after that, happens. ;) But let me get back to what I was saying about the 47%”
The Earth doesn’t spin as often as two candidates getting asked questions that might require them to come up with real answers. I am sure that oftentimes the candidates fear that the answers are going to hurt them politically, turn away some votes if they knew the truth. But on the other hand: THE TRUTH.
Having an actual political candidate for either party that spoke the truth and was willing to be honest about the policies, about what they were going to do to fix America, what they disliked about this country and how they were going to fix it, well those kinds of aspirations are only left to Hollywood anymore. It would be like “Dunstin Checks In 2: The White House!”
What we are left with are two candidates instead that are only trying to sell you on which person sounds better, looks better, and is most charismatic.
You will vote for Obama if you are:
- A hard-line democrat
- Against Mitt, for whatever reason
- Attracted to him
- Comfortable when he speaks
- For Michelle
- Against change right now
- Sexy and you know it
You will vote for Romney if you are:
- A hard-line republican
- Against Obama, for whatever reason
- Attracted to older white men
- Comfortable when he speaks
- Of the opinion that Ann is the bee’s knees
- Need change right now
- A baller and a shot-caller
What’s left is a small number of undecided voters that likely won’t change the outcome of the race. Democrats might not like Obama, but they hate Bush. Republicans might not like Mitt, but they hate Obama. You’re really not even voting for who you like as much as you’re voting against who you hate.
I might not know all of the issues. I may have not read up enough and educated myself enough, but I know that the debates don’t leave a single American with any answers, and I also know when I’m being dicked around. Be honest, motherfuckers. I will probably vote for Obama, but I’d be lying if I said that I’d be taken aback, confused, and curious if just once Mitt had said something like,
“I did say that shit about the 47% and let me tell you why. I came from a privileged background but I also worked my balls off to get where I am today. I wasn’t the smartest, but I was the hardest working. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find it. If I don’t have the resources, I’ll manufacture them out of raw fucking materials. So it pisses me off when Americans tell me that they want a handout. Work your ass off, hell, work your dick off, work everything off until you’ve got nothing left to give and make it happen. My goal is to get rid of people on welfare and on food stamps and to eradicate poverty in this country, not by making it easier for them but by making it harder. To eliminate the ties that bind their hands and their feet and to create businesses in low-income neighborhoods that will provide opportunities for each and every American and I don’t care if you live in Compton or Beverly Hills, we are going to provide opportunity. If you deny that opportunity, too bad. If you accept it, you’ll see why I said that 47% feel like they’re victims. You’re not a victim, you don’t have to be a victim, take responsibility and action and make your own fortunes a reality. I’m not going to just give it to you.”
I would have been floored by something like that. My respect for Romney would have gone off the charts. It’s not even necessarily that he’d be right or wrong, but for a moment he stopped spinning me right round and had finally spoken from his heart. It’s rare that you ever feel like a candidate even has one. Whenever they dive into yet another anecdote about an encounter they had with an American (as if that’s something that’s so crazy) I can’t help but dive into my imagination and think about the weeks of rehearsal that went into telling that single anecdote.
“Oh shit, guys! Someone from that terrible incident just cried in my arms!!!!”
Stop turning a tragedy for one person into a political gain for yourself. Be a real person, have encounters with real people because you care about them, not about another photo opportunity. This is a major reason why I have such a problem with treating the debates as even a modicum of a “real thing” when it is so obviously nothing more than a show. Nobody wins a debate by anything other than flashing smiles, making the other guy look bad, and standing 15 feet away from their opponent whenever they hopefully say something stupid.
Obama probably “won” that debate in a single moment, his burn of Mitt Romney on his pension, making himself look quick-witted, not concerned with his own benefits, and funny. (Even if they had practiced hundreds of burns this week.) “This. Is. The debates. Yo mamma!”
For my own money, I would actually prefer it if we had some more rules to these debates and made it a real competition. Here are a few ways:
- When a candidate starts to spin off of the topic at hand, play the Oscar walk-off music.
- When a candidate starts to spin off of the topic at hand, remove one piece of clothing from a cardboard cut-out of his wife.
- “Ladies Night”
- Moderator Jon Stewart. (Not my idea but I honestly love it.)
- Instead of a meaningless running clock, the candidates are placed in tanks and those tanks will be full of water in two minutes.
- The girl in the Ray Lewis commercial that asks interview questions like “What’s your favorite color?” gets to be moderator, because what’s the fucking difference?
Here’s the bottom line: I don’t care if you’re democrat or republican. I don’t care if you’re politically active or politically casual, because I’ve already stated that I am the latter. I couldn’t care less if you made a buck or a thousand bucks (you can’t make more than $1,000 right? Please tell me this is the limit!) because at the end of the day we are all Americans and if you want to take it further than that, we’re all Earthlings. The President of the United States won’t just affect the U.S., he’ll have an impact on the world.
What I care about is the water cooler talk the day after the debate. The arguments about who won and who lost. The debates on the debates. If you think that you’re having a political conversation, think twice. Unless you learn something new from them, debates are entertainment television that might as well be moderated by Billy Bush and hosted by Maria Menudouswhatever. Add a swimsuit competition if this is the kind of pandering that the candidates are going to give us during “da’ bate season.”
I am not a very political person. But as a television fanatic, I am appalled.