Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Why I Will Likely Not Be Watching the Debates Tomorrow Night

The Pittsford Perennialist has a pretty good way of summing up why I hate presidential debates:

By current standards, Lincoln and Douglas broke every rule of political discourse. They subjected their audiences (which were as large as fifteen thousand on one occasion) to a painstaking analysis of complex issues. They spoke with considerably more candor, in a pungent, colloquial, sometimes racy style, than politicians think prudent today. They took clear positions from which it was difficult to retreat. They conducted themselves s if political leadership carried with it an obligation to clarify issues instead of merely getting elected.
My bar is, clearly, set way to high. I'm just not interested in watching grown men debase themselves in a naked pursuit of raw power. Because don't fool yourself, that's what the debates are about. What other than that most strident drive and motivation could induce men with such egos (and, one presumes, self respect) to engage in the ridiculous exercise of distilling legitimately complex issues into 30-second soundbites, and obfuscating their positions on simple points with a cloak of over-complexity? And let's not forget that these paltry excuses for circuses are brought to us by the very same people who own the primary platform of information distribution in the first place, and who therefore consider it their right to frame the debate on any given issue with whatever verbiage seems most meet to them.

No, thanks. You want an interesting debate? Give me three hours, unilateral control over questions, and a pair of electrode hookups that have the ability to channel ten million volts of electricity into whoever surpasses their BS allotment first, and I'll show you an interesting debate.

...And that's why they call it "live"...
Iosue had a longer quote from which I pulled. I recommend heartily absorbing the entire snippet. As he might suggest, tolle, lege.

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