By Lynn Paris
I know I said I wasn’t going to write about politics anymore. And I’m not. Not exactly. At least, I’m not going to rant and get myself all upset. I’m perfectly calm. But, on this day as I await tonight’s first debate, I would like to make a couple of comments.
C.C. Youngren’s column is an accurate and, as always, erudite discussion of the amount of substance I expect from the debates, so I recommend that you read it. The column by T.L. Johnson is a tongue-in-cheek discussion about the fiscal cliff we all face regardless of who is president. Read that one, too!
In my opinion, the debates will be political theater, and I’m sure I’ll be entertained. But for the life of me I can’t imagine how anyone’s mind can be changed as a result of how well his or her candidate performs. In fact, I expect the vast majority of us will believe that our candidate “won,” based on the fact that we will be hearing their responses through our own heavily biased filter.
But let’s say my candidate doesn’t “win,” even in my opinion. Is there anything at all that he could do or say that would make me change my mind about voting for him? Not that I can think of, unless he pulled out of the race. Same for the other candidate. Is there anything he could possibly do or say to make me suddenly decide I was wrong all along and now I’m going to vote for him? Nope. There’s not even the slightest chance of that happening.
So that means the debates are strictly for the “undecided.” Which raises the obvious question; how in the world can anyone still be undecided? Unless you’ve been on the space station, or in a cave or filming “Survivor,” you must know by now how totally different the two candidates are. This country has never been more polarized; as in divided, opposed on the issues. So, you must know how different the candidates’ views are on social issues like abortion and gay rights. You must know how different their world views are, and how different their views are on the role of government in our lives.
It frightens me to imagine that there are people out there who might make their decision based on who performs better in the debates, regardless of who performs better. This isn’t “American Idol.” And this isn’t like being undecided about whether you want cake or ice-cream for dessert. This is more like being undecided about whether you want to be an atheist or a monk. A rational, thinking, sentient human being HAS to know the difference!
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