Wednesday, October 01, 2008

This Blog Is Back On The Air (and An Answer For Blue!)

The brand-new computer had a bad memory chip. Increasingly, I can relate. We had to pack it into a box and ship it back to the manufacturer. Wish some could do that to me - oh wait, that does happen eventually: back to the manufacturer we all go.

During the silence, reader (and blogger) "Blue" had a question: I keep checking back here to see what your opinion of the Friday debate is. I, myself, tend to not side with one party or the other, but the fact is one does have to vote, even if it is an illusion of freedom, so to speak.

What we have are not debates. They are scripted events, in which candidates prepare the same talking points they make in the stump speeches and attack ads, throw in some good jokes, and select phrases that are to be repeated throughout the evening so as to create a sort of subliminal anthem in the minds of the viewers.

We got no new information from the debate. They both managed to look cool and "presidential" even though their styles are plainly different. They both lie with ease. They are both in the thrall of the two national parties that uphold them.

Despite my complete disdain for the two national parties, which I assure you is genuine and well-deserved by both, I plan on voting even if it is rigged. A lot of people like these guys and believe what they say - God bless, please vote for them.

We have other options as well. Two of the "alternative parties" have well-known candidates who served in the Congress longer than Barack Obama has. Check out Bob Barr and Cynthia McKinney. Check out the Constitution Party, too: on the ballot in the 44 states (more than the Greens), with a message a lot of Americans like (scrupulously follow the United States Constitution, with a Christian moral message), and Ron Paul has endorsed their candidate.

More importantly, vote in your local elections. Know who your judges are, your county supervisors, your local lawmakers. Vote for them, or vote 'em out if they need to be shown the door. Don't be afraid to stray from the national parties if a decent, smart, locally-rooted person is running (and they don't sound like an idiot).

For instance, here in New Mexico, I'm leaning towards voting for independent Zack Boatman for the U.S. Senate, and we endorse Rick Lass (a Green) for the Public Regulation Commission.

Anyway, Blue, I'm all for voting even if it is -- well, I wouldn't go so far as to call it the illusion of freedom. LACK of freedom is an illusion. Vote for someone you are proud to vote for, if that's possible, and don't be afraid to "color outside the lines" so to speak.

Think of it as performance art. Be creative. And dare.

1 comment:

Blue said...

I would agree that the presidential debates are, in general, not the same as any traditional debate anyone who has ever been on even just a high school debate team could tell you. However, this last debate fit the standard debate model, more so than any other presidential debate I’ve seen. The one major difference I enjoyed was that the moderator tried to get the candidates to interact with one another, rather than simply doing, as you said in your post, simply puppet things their party leaders want and spout off rehearsed answers.

While the candidates didn’t really say anything new, viewing their interactions with one another, seeing how they dealt with their answers in a fluid situation rather than a scripted speech, and seeing how well they recovered from poor answers were all very informative.

I think, by the time the debates came about, everyone who has a strong interest in this election, and is well educated, knows which canned lines and lies are told. Unfortunately, as you said in another one of your posts a while back, a relatively small percentage of Americans bother to research and learn. Sad to say, I’ve been guilty of this, myself. I’ve been working on changing that. I am well educated, and I’m in my mid-twenties. In short, I’m not an irresponsible kid anymore. I have to start being an adult. *sniffle*

And ‘here here!’ to knowing about local officials, and state senators, etc. Big change starts from the bottom up.