I let the kids stay up and watch a bit of the debate I’d DVRd on Monday night. Hillary vs. The Donald. My kids’ excitement at witnessing the event soon turned to incredulousness.
“Are you kidding me?” they said more than once.
Because, even in middle school, they understand basic civility and the need to give concrete evidence to back up your position. And we didn’t witness all that much of either.
Eventually, Dan suggested that we all talk over each other as loudly as possible for a couple of minutes to immerse ourselves in the spirit of the debate and then we sent them off to bed.
There are a few things I liked about this debate.
1. The debate. I like that we still hold debates. No matter how much one or both candidates plan and prepare, in a debate setting we get to see how they react to pressure, how quick they are on their feet, and how clearly and concisely they can state their position. Debates still hold value for me as a voter.
2. The split screen. I loved watching their reactions to each other on the split screen. You want a president with a good poker face sitting at the negotiating table across from Valdimir Putin.
3. No breaks or interruptions. I like that we don’t cut to commercial or give them downtime. The tension builds and the candidates get tired. And they have to deal with it. Watching the second half of a debate is especially telling.
There are a few things I disliked about this debate.
1. The candidates. I’m not a fan of either of these people personally or politically. I am a fan of America. That makes things difficult.
2. It felt like I was already watching the Saturday Night Live spoof of the debate. Both candidates almost seem like caricatures of themselves.
3. Implication by correlation. Have you ever noticed that in the debates, they imply things by correlation? Like listing how many people have been killed since President Obama has been in office. Well, how many people have eaten a burrito since Dan and I have been married? It’s sobering.
When I mentioned this on facebook, one friend said, “I think the more sobering question might be, ‘How many people haven’t eaten a burrito since you and Dan got married?’ Because eating burritos is happy, and not eating them is very sad.”
To this, I responded, “You’d need to fact check that on my website to be 100% sure. Maybe the 400 lb hacker ate them, leaving none for the 99% of Americans who got no burritos.”
I don’t love this election. I really don’t. But I love this country and I’m trying to be as informed as I can about all the candidates and issues and vote for who and what makes the most sense. This year I feel like my real power to make a positive difference comes on the local level. That’s probably where my real power lies every year.
I’m just glad I get to vote at all.
Don’t let frustration over the current candidates get you down. Don’t waste the gift. Remember how many people and issues are on the ballot, aside from the presidential race. Let your voice be heard. Vote!