September 30, 2004

The “Debate”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:57 pm

Just who the heck are these debates for anyway?

I am of the view that anyone who has even paid moderate attention to his or her surroundings for the past several months already knows what each candidate stands for. As such, perhaps the debates are for the people who identify themselves as among the “undecideds?” I wonder how many of them are truly undecided and how many of them are simply uninformed.

For those who are informed and are still undecided (and I question how many of them there are), I cannot see how anything that will happen or not happen in the debate will make them any more or less informed. For those (and I fear that there are many) who really don’t pay much attention to the election campaigns, I question whether basing one’s vote solely on what happens during these events makes any sense, particularly since form is elevated to such a great degree over substance.

I am coming around to the position that, if you haven’t been paying enough attention to know by now what the issues are and each candidate’s positions on the issues, and if you are planning to base your vote on a candidate’s performance in these artificial events, in which the goal of each participant is simply avoid a major screw up, then maybe you ought to just stay home on election day and watch reality TV.


  1. Couldn’t agree with you more, Jim. The media make a big deal out of undecided voters, giving them some sort of Shakespeare-like “To be or not to be” mystique. Anyone who’s been paying attention knows the difference between Kerry and Bush. I argue that Kerry’s arguments against Bush are too complicated for these “undecideds”. There is no easy way to explain what he’d do differently in Iraq. And intellectual arguments in general don’t sway voters, it takes emotional appeals.

    Hey, it was way too long. I listened to some on the radio while I was in the kitchen, and I caught some live blogging, but I didn’t want to sit there for an hour and a half. My guess is that a lot of people who aren’t addicted to politics turned it off half way.

    Comment by roberto — September 30, 2004 @ 11:41 pm

  2. I think the TRUE purpose is to give the “hair vote” folks a chance to see which “do” is better.

    Of course if your going to vote for a president based on hair, you should just vote for Jimbo as a write-in candidate.

    Comment by Dan — October 1, 2004 @ 4:02 am

  3. Dan,

    You are a wise man.

    Comment by Jim - Parkway Rest Stop — October 1, 2004 @ 7:42 am

  4. The real debates take place every day of campaigning. The TV debates are simply showbiz

    Comment by Fausta — October 1, 2004 @ 10:29 am

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