I don’t know what I hate more watching the debates or listening to everyone peck like chickens at mealtime over every single misused word, phrase, gesture, facial expression, or nuance. I hate listening to the banter about the candidates wives, children, college days, party days, days days. I hate it across the board. I think it is childish and serves no purpose other than venting. And while we are all guilty of the same, I still hate it.
Generally speaking, do debates really sway, or is it the polls and the polling that sways the voters? I think debates are simply another topic for a bored media. The only other countries that have rousing debates include Mexico, Taiwan, Iran, Canada, Zambia and Kenya. Not exactly the comparable we would like to espouse – but the true nature of our tactics.
When you step back and watch the rhetoric it all boils down to – “I am great and everyone else is an idiot”. And as we get closer to the election the commercials become nastier and nastier until I can’t even watch anything but Netflix for fear I might be attacked by the venom of the words that ultimately occupy much of the airtime.
So, in a nutshell within the GOP front-runners; Trump, Cruz and Rubio, where do they disagree on issues:
- There are apparently only a couple points on which Rubio and Cruz disagree: immigration and the notion of privitizing social security. Cruz and Trump agree on immigration policies.
- Cruz and Rubio vs Trump = 3 points: Trump wants higher taxes on the wealthy, does not support free trade, and wants to avoid foreign entanglements, ie regime change conflicts, coups.
That’s it. So the debate is really about ‘changing our minds’ with respect to these issues, which is for the most part unrealistic.
The Democratic front-runners are an even easier comparison. When viewing the issues, the only point on which Hillary and Bernie disagree is – gun control. There was one point in which Hillary agreed with Cruz and Rubio – foreign entanglements, and one point where she agreed with all GOP candidates – making voter registration easier.
So for all the rhetoric, commercials, and debates – that’s the bottom line. The rest of it is only mud slinging and slander and harsh tongues. Imagine if that was how we actually voted….but then there is the matter of sincerity – and that’s where the popularity contest muddies the Truth. Unfortunately, the media and candidates have yet to figure out that ganging up and bullying are not tactics that the voters appreciate – and in the end we do make the decision, and we do remember.
While the various polls have Trump leading at anywhere from 30% to 36%, and Cruz with 12% to 25%, and Rubio with 11% to 18% – whatever your voting preference, those are the current GOP national numbers. But all the candidates that have to drop out because they will never carry the baton should consider who they want their voters to ultimately support – because they represent upwards of 37% of the votes according to Reuters latest poll – and they could change the game.
Hillary and Bernie are a bit more complicated with Hillary ranging between 48% and 54%, and Bernie with 27% to 41%. The difference is that O’Malley is already referring his backers to Sanders which represents a block of 1% to 10% and the undecided’s remain on the sidelines with 1% to 14%. Some of the undecided’s may jump ship and not vote at all (I know of quite a few) or defer ranks and vote Independent or Republican.
Personally, I think we should limit debates to say – 3, and have candidates who don’t maintain a 10% populace within ten months of the election, defer.
As in – let’s move on.