October 4, 2012
Well, the first presidential debate is behind us, and I for one am exhausted. I watched it, and frankly I didn’t hear anything I haven’t already heard. Unfortunately, debates tend to be performances, not information-disseminating events, and I’m talking at any level, from city mayor on up to POTUS. Trust me on that one; I’ve been to both, and the main difference was the size of the crowd in attendance.
I’m always puzzled by how spun up people get when these events take place. They’re important, of course, but Romney and Obama should be the ones who are feeling the pressure. Frankly, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past four years, you likely already have your mind made up about the candidate for whom you’ll vote. It’s not likely there are so many similarities you’re having a hard time differentiating the two, and a debate will be the deciding factor. Maybe, but it’s hard to imagine.
I’m one of those people who gets a lot of my material (not information) from social media; it just comes with the territory of being a writer, blogger and sometimes radio and TV news guest. Still, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the vitriol and hate people begin to spew as soon as the upcoming election is mentioned. Passion, I believe in. Hate-mongering, no. Does it win people over to the other side, shouting and insulting and accusing?
“Well that one ate a dog.”
“Well that one strapped a dog to the top of his car for a cross-country trip.”
I doubt it. I hope not.
In this lightning-fast age of information and misinformation, we’ve gotten so used to sound bytes driving our decisions; we simply do not have the attention spans any more to do our homework and research, that behind-the-scenes work that will flag us when we hear a blatant lie about a candidate, or a corkscrewed truth about a candidate’s actions. It takes time to get to know anybody. It should take a lot of time to get to know the policies and convictions of the person whom you’ll choose to hold the highest office in the land.
Still, I’ll watch every debate. You never know, somebody might say something new. I do not and will not argue with anyone on politics; I will simply go to my polling place next month and vote my educated conscience.
How much stock do you put in the staged, rehearsed debate performances preceding the November election?
Carole Townsend is also a Gwinnett Daily Post staff correspondent and author of two books: “Southern Fried White Trash” and her newest, “Red Lipstick and Clean Underwear” (releasing October 15). She is also a regular guest on FOX News Radio station WYXC 1270 AM on Wednesdays during the Drive at 5. Townsend has been quoted on msnbc.com, in the LA Times, USA Today and the Christian Science Monitor, been featured on FOX 5 Television News and CNN, and is often a guest on television and radio shows nationwide. She currently travels throughout the southeast, meeting readers at book signings and speaking publicly at various events.