Archive for October 2012
It’s hard to say who won the debate last night, but the loser was clear: the public. No debate had more hype going into it. Just like a serial novel, the second debate was a major “to be continued” event: Was that the real Mitt we saw in Denver? Will the differences continue to gel? Will the president wake up?
Instead of answers we got arguments, and not about the issues but between the two “men” on stage. I put men in quotes because I don’t know any (really any) men that acted the way they did last night. Disrespectful, unfocused, unable to answer a question straight, and even arrogant.
I know people who have one or maybe two of those traits, but the sheer ability to display all of those simultaneously was laudable. Mr Romney says he likes to fire people. Well my guess is America would like to fire both of them.
People asked genuine questions – in real words. Couldn’t the candidates answer that way? The first question was from a nice kid who just wanted a job after college. Instead he got a seven (Obama) then a five point (Romney) plan about the economy. I was sitting next to my 14 year old who said “the kid did not go to college to work in a factory, why is Obama talking about manufacturing. Those jobs suck.” He was right, the kid probably had higher aspirations for himself and the answer – and he got neither. Instead of hope he’s getting a stump speech. The audience must have felt like props vs. people. “Quick, how can I spin your question into my answer?” was the M.O. for both candidates.
We don’t have to wonder if the economy is bad – four years of it is convincing enough: friends out of work, can’t sell our house, kids college getting too expensive, steak a rarity, vacation nonexistent. And so what do they both seem to be hard at work at? Finding solutions? No, they seem to be working hard to find new, ever more clever and cynical ways to jab each other.
Is that really what they think we want them spending time on – perfecting their zinger skills? This is more like grade school playground tactics than a debate. At one point I sincerely thought they were going to hit each other.
The problems ahead of us are a) huge and b) many. What is becoming ever more clear is we are going to have to solve them on our own. These guys are just not interested and now we see not even equipped to solve them. We’re sick of the fighting in government, but by the looks of it the best is yet to come.
Some people say “well that is just how a campaign is – it gets ugly.” I will buy the fact that it is probably intense, but everyone of us has in our own way intense moments. Is this how we act? Can you imagine two moms at the PTO duking it out like that? Or two co-workers on the job site? Or even two kids on the soccer field?
What made me sad when I turned off the TV at 10:10 (I just could not watch anymore) is that I realized we are truly on our own in solving America’s problems. Now along with making ends meet, I gotta take on the big issues, cause the guys who are running for office just are not going to be up to the task.
My guess is the biggest takeaway from the night is that Americans probably realized we’re going to have to solve these problems ourselves – we’re getting no help from the government. The debate capped the last ten years of bickering and unproductive behavior in government. The system – and now the people in it – are truly dysfunctional.