The third – technically second – and final debate airs tomorrow night. Thank God the end is in sight.
That said, I felt it a sign from our maker Monday when I happened upon this column I penned 16 years ago to the very date. Some things never change.
Dateline October 21, 2004
Every presidential election year, about this time, I begin wondering why we fool with debates. No one really wins, or loses, it seems.
The debates, though, are more of a time for the national media and the hired hands to tell us all what just happened. A bunch of folks pile up in the spin room and begin spinning the stories of who we should think won or lost as well as why and how. Maybe they really are trying to sway the undecided and the undecided place more value in the opinions of the spinsters than do the rest of us.
If it is the undecided they are reaching out too, wouldn’t it be better to put the facts before them, answer the questions, and let a more informed public decide?
It doesn’t seem like that is the case. Seems more like the debates have become one big television commercial for both parties at the same time.
We watched them all at our house, VP included. (Same goes for 2020!)
In all honesty they seemed pretty equal. The moderator would ask a question and the answer would be about something asked a few questions back and then a few words here and there about the real question.
“Do you think this or that?”
“Well, let me go back to what the President said about this other thing and that other thing back a while ago and then I’ll come back to what you are asking about this or that.”
A minute and 45 seconds of revisiting the discussion and the final 15 seconds of the allotted two minutes is actually on education, healthcare, or whatever it was the question about this or that was really about.
Some of us might have wanted to know the answer to the question. Tough luck, I suppose.
For the record, President Bush (remember this was 2004) did seem to make a couple too many sour faces during the first debate and it looked like he was more than a little frustrated with some of Senator Kerry’s claims. For the last two debates President Bush was solid, though, and elections shouldn’t be decided by the looks on the face of one candidate or the other.
If that were the case, it would be an uphill battle for Senator Kerry. He looks the same all the time. Always looks like he’s in a bad mood to me. He would be better served to lighten up and make a joke or two every now or then. At least President Bush saw the error of his ways and made light of himself and those “sour” looks after debate number one.
But it’s not the debates that change the minds, is it? Again, it’s what we are told we saw or heard during the debates. Right?
If that is right, it shouldn’t be.
We should make our decisions on the candidates and on their records and on whom we feel deep down inside will make the best leader for our families and our futures. We need honest leaders who are going to do their damnedest to make sure our children are safe now and well into the future.
We don’t always have the options we’d prefer and it’s pretty likely that there has never been a perfect candidate.
Sometimes the best people for the job are not willing to let their names be put on the ballot.
Sometimes it gets a little too dirty for the good guys to compete. Sometimes it costs a little too much and sometimes, I suppose, too many people really do believe what they were told by all those spinsters.
That said, though, it’s wrong for those who say they are voting for the lesser of two evils, because it is wrong, in my eyes, to have to vote against one candidate rather than for another.
Americans should vote their convictions and then, win or lose, stand up tall and be proud of themselves for believing in what they believe.
Now change the names to Trump and Biden and everything else is pretty much the same.