I didn't watch the last McCain-Obama debate. Well, I did watch the first question. After that, I decided I had seen enough. After all, neither candidate actually answered the question. I have seen enough political debates to know that candidates do not really answer questions but use them as springboards to launch talking points. Sometimes the points are related tangentially to the question, I suppose, but they rarely go to the heart of the issue or provide any real insight into the candidates' policies or plans. Besides, I have already decided who I won't vote for.
Isn't that what US politics has become? Figuring out who to vote against or, at least, not vote for? Some call that "voting for the lesser evil." I get a kick out of the so called "undecideds" the media talks about and the candidates are supposedly targeting.
The campaign has been going on for over two years now, how can anyone really be undecided unless he/she has been comatose until a week ago. Are there really people who pay no attention at all to politics until the last few weeks? Oh, I can understand not paying much attention to the city council race in your town up until the last few days but this is the presidential campaign, for Pete's sake. [Quick aside: Who is Pete and why do we care about him anyway?]
I was raised in a lower middle class family with conservative parents. So, naturally, I went liberal in my late teens and early twenties. At one point, I was fairly radically liberal. But time and circumstances (and my persistently analytical mind) moved me toward a conservative point of view. I guess I fit that old saw that says:
If you aren't liberal at age 20, you don't have a heart.
If you aren't conservative at age 40, you don't have a brain.
"Conservative" and "liberal" have become insults in the last couple of years. While "moderate" has become the thing to be. I don't know, I think "moderate" means you are afraid of offending anyone by actually taking a side. My ex-wife used to get angry at me for arguing for both sides of an issue. She objected to my strong sense of objectivity. My current (and future, she warns) wife objects to my lack of desire to make a decision. She's wrong about that, I make decisions all the time. I just don't care about what we eat or where we eat, or what movie to watch, or any of the little things in life. I figure those things tend to take care of themselves. And they do.
What worries me most about this presidential election is that we have become more and more divided and emotions are getting stronger. That scares me. It portends chaos and unrest. The intensity of emotion pushes the unstable to action. And, trust me, there are a lot of unstable people out there. Timothy McVeigh was unstable, Osama bin Laden is unstable, and there are a heck of lot of other unknown (at this time) unstable people who may feel that whoever wins the election is the Anti-Christ. The extremists among us are lauded and praised. These are dangerous times, folks, very dangerous. And this election, regardless of who wins, won't reduce that danger.
A Night Unremembered
6 years ago