COMMENTARY - the FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE, OCTOBER 3, 2012.
So. Last night’s debates. I dunno, maybe Harvard’s changed in a while, but I don’t remember being taught that you win a debate by not following the agreed upon rules of the event, ignoring your time limits, and steamrolling the moderator. In fact, it’s looked down upon. At least these days.
By now you’ve heard all the spin and reactive spin about the debates.
In short, it was a mess, and nothing was revealed. The one person who needs to be pissed is Michelle Obama. Last night was their 20th Anniversary, and they totally could have went to dinner last night.
Basically, if you’re unemployed today, you’re gonna be unemployed on Monday. Only now, if you thought you had a good job at PBS, one guy wants to get you outta there. Like THAT’s gonna help anything (see above). Way to open up a pledge drive month.
The saddest thing about last night’s debate is that it wasn’t a debate. It was an example of what reality television has done to our brains. We’re seriously talking about “performance” instead of debating skills. I read a few reviews today that, honestly, were hilarious. These same journalists could have great success writing about the teams playing the NFC South Conference of the NFL this year. The Panthers are clearly ”winners”, because they are completing games. The Saints are “just waiting on the right moment to spring back”. Some of us had our kids stay up to watch this, and nobody said a full sentence about science, technology, engineering or mathematics. AND they had to sit through 45 minutes of economic theory that nobody understood.
It’s funny, because what was wack about the debates last night is also what’s wrong with hip-hop today. To win a battle, you have to actually out rhyme the opponent. Just saying “ya mama” isn’t enough. Charisma is nice, preparation is also good, but being better is how you win.
Reality TV culture has prepared us to ignore the actual events and focus on the moments of drama before and after. But that’s not a debate.
If you were a factory worker in 2009, and you lost your job in 2010, and you’re still out of work, there’s a very good chance that your job is gone. It’s not coming back. The world has changed. So be angry. Call people names. Throw something. But you’re still gonna be unemployed. UNLESS, of course, you prepare yourself for the new jobs and stop saying dumb stuff like “I’m not technical”. If one guy wants to increase the defense budget, what do you think that means, more spears and rocks? The weapons are getting more sophisticated. Programming and building drones is a job. Upgrading tanks is a job. Writing hack-proof security software (good luck with that) is a job. If you can’t even change the ringtone on your flipphone, you’re out of the game.
I’d like to have seen more discussion than outrageous data points, lies, stumbling, and grandstanding, but I guess I’m asking for too much.
Now it’s up to the VP candidates to try and make some sense out of all this. We’ll see if people tune in, or if they’ve made their decision already.