The NASCAR event of politics comes to Denver tomorrow – and I really dread it. The first of two 2012 Presidential debates will occur on the campus of the University of Denver and Colorado is all gaga over the event.
I just don’t get it.
We’re told that Colorado was chosen as the site of the first debate because we’re a swing state – which we are. The logic is that holding the debate in Colorado will persuade voters in the state one way or another. Really? The auditorium holds about a thousand people, so unless you’re one of the unlucky 1,000 to be seated three or four hours before the start of the debate for security reasons, are you really going to be persuaded one way or another as you sit at home and listen to the radio or watch television?
The debate might as well be held in India (or, perhaps, Israel, as a way of getting Obama to visit our putative ally before the election?) for all I care.
Why would we be persuaded because what I’m watching on television or listening to on the radio is being held 15 miles from my home?
The Presidential debates have become a farce.
Liberal, left-leaning (but we’re told moderate or neutral) moderators arbitrarily ask questions to which the candidates will give canned responses, each hoping for the opportunity to zing the other and give the viewers and listeners that NASCAR wreck that will make the evening news.
Why not put the candidates in a room with television cameras at different angles, no one else in the room, giving each two minutes for an introductory statement, and then let them have it with each other for an hour Lincoln-Douglas style? We’ll see who is the alpha leader, we’ll see their true character, we’ll see what’s really important to them as opposed to the moderator.
I see these debates as just another example of how sterile our entire society has become. Scripted, controlled, measured, polled. Boring.
Unless of course, there is a zinger.
Then we’ll all have something to talk about, you know, the wreck we watched last night on the news.
Call me jaded, but if politics was truly a contact sport as we all claim, then let’s have some real contact, not a press conference.