Friday, October 12, 2012

Vice Presidential Debate After Thoughts

I have not posted in a while. I may not be even super regular again, but I have to get this off my mind.

Thursday night was the Vice Presidential debates, and they were ugly. At least to my conservative/Republican friends. Biden came off as disrespectful and both Paul Ryan and Joe Biden interrupted each other a lot. Both told lies as well. Whether is Paul Ryan about Iran's current nuclear capabilities or Joe Biden on the events on Libya or omitting that he too voted for the two wars that were paid for by a credit card; it was ugly.

To me it was ugly because it was not a discussion. It was talking points, it was a battle to speak most and correct the other the most. The Moderator was forceful this time, which was good in that all topics were covered but bad in that the candidates were interrupted in the middle of the points they were making. By all conservative accounts (friends or what I have read in the media), it was an ugly hatchet job of a debate.

But then I spoke with some liberal leaning friends, and saw some tweets by liberals, and saw a different picture painted or viewed. They strongly approved Biden's tactic of being forceful and commanding, a stark contrast to when Obama was interrupted a lot and lost the debate the week prior. Because apparently being polite means being stepped on in politics, and looking weak. Where the moderator was firm and put the schedule before talking points of candidates. Strict with the time.

One friend mentioned Obama's politeness and I caught myself thinking how funny it was that no one was saying Obama was just being polite until I wondered if I get caught up in the rhetoric and flow of politics; of just viewing talking points. Of going with the flow.

But I digress, Those who plan on voting for Obama saw the Vice Presidential debate as a great victory, while those favoring Romney saw it as ugly. As no winner because of the constant interruptions, and also due to the perceived disrespect of Biden.

Personally I would prefer a debate where no candidate is allowed to interrupt the other. Where the other can strongly rebut the other when it is their time to speak, with maybe a shorter follow up after. That way it becomes a matter of talking to the American People and not trying to overpower the other. But that may just be me.

Because Conservatives and those who favor Romney loved the first debate because he was masterful, because he too charge, because in the view of Obama supporters, Obama was just being polite. And thus the Liberals loved Biden for being aggressive and not backing down.

And that is precisely what is wrong with this country, with current politics. We have each side shouting things, taking things out of context, lying, aggrandizing statements and making them bigger than we should. But it is not limited to the campaigns themselves. It is considered a miracle these days if a congressional bill gets bi-partisan support. And even worse, we as Americans refuse to listen. We don't listen to the other side, we mock, we deride. When watching debates we make fun of the candidate we don't like for something slightly or not-so slightly untrue or not to our liking. We make fun of others for being in the opposite party.

Yes, we should be able to express our views, our opinions. But it seems like we are unable to do so without criticizing those with opposite views. Even a simple status reminding people that a particular day is the last day to register to vote can get a trollish reply by someone of a differing mindset saying they are going to vote for a candidate they know I do not intend to vote for.

And then we complain at how Congress cannot get anything done when we cannot communicate among ourselves peaceably, without mocking others not of our viewpoint.

Which is why this debate in particular has turned me off to politics like it does to so many others. Because things are only going to get much worse in the weeks to come.

So excuse me while I go hide and cry in a corner, because something a brother of mine said rings true; it doesn't matter who wins the debate, we lose as a people regardless. For we will have learned nothing, for none of the campaigning or debates will make us want to be better people. Just either strive to fight for our preferred candidate or stay quietly out of the limelight.

I don't want to live on this planet anymore.