The Broad is Back!

September 27, 2008

A Debatable Debate

Filed under: American culture,New Broads,politics — by maggiec @ 2:33 pm

Like the good American I strive to be, last night I watched the presidential debate between Senators McCain and Obama. I watched the entire thing; I paid attention; I often yelled at the screen.  If that was their idea of a debate, I’m no longer confused as to why this country’s citizens have disengaged from the political process.  No one said anything that hasn’t been said before and said over and over again ad nauseum.  I didn’t come away from the debate with a better sense of either man nor did I learn anything.  The only thing I came away from the debate with was the conviction that no one in American public life is willing to make an unscripted comment or to openly speak the unvarnished truth.

Before the debate even started I was annoyed because only two of the candidates were allowed into it, and there are more than two candidates running for president.  Also on the ballot are Ralph Nader, running with no party backing; Bob Barr as the Libertarian candidate; Charles Baldwin as the Constitutional candidate; Cynthia McKinney as the Green candidate; as well as seven other candidates for smaller parties, including the Socialist Party USA, the Reform Party and the Boston Tea Party.

Okay, so maybe that’s asking for a circus, not a debate.  But it would be interesting to get all of the candidates into one room at some point, and let people see what is being said outside the viable parties.  It might at least freshen the debate.  At the very least it would open the discussion.

But anyway, I watched last night, and both candidates managed to annoy me.  I realize that they couldn’t really answer the questions being asked because that might entail saying some painful truths that people don’t want to hear.  We can’t tell people what they don’t want to hear, can we?  It might upset them.

Isn’t it time to get upset?  It’s time to face some harsh realities here in the US.  We need sweeping changes in how government gets run if we are to get this country back on an even keel.  We can stand on a podium and point fingers, as both candidates did last night–they both agree that it’s the fault of the current administration–or we can do something.  Right now both men are candidates, so I know they don’t have as much power to act as they’d like, but they can tell us what they plan to do.  And really, both men are also senators, one of the highest offices in this land.  They already have a measurable amount of power they can wield.

Senator Obama, I get it that going into Iraq was wrong, that the war was conducted poorly.  I agree with you and have since March 2003.  I said before the invasion that we should let the UN do its job.  No one listen to me, either.  But we’re there; it’s a done deal. How do we get out of it with the least possible amount of damage and what is your plan for the future of the US in Iraq?  That was the question.  You never really did answer it.

Senator McCain, I know that you have been a maverick and have bucked your own party a number of times.  I applaud you for that because party politics are a bane to our government.  But what are you going to do now that’s different?  I did feel at one point you came out and said what you thought–time for a freeze on spending–but then it felt like you back-pedaled on that–oops, that was harsh.  Let me candy-coat it a bit.

So there are two more presidential debates coming up on October 7th and 15th and one for two of the vice presidential candidates on October 2nd.  Let’s see if between then and now anyone decides to make the debate worth watching by actually answering the questions and telling the truth.


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