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2008 presidential debates are annoying

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Jakeman, Jun 25, 2007.

  1. Jakeman

    Jakeman MSC Founder and Donator

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    This observation is completely nonpartisan so hopefully it doesn't start an ugly political thread.

    These debates are annoying me. The candidates are asked politically charged questions and most of their replies fall short because of time or an unwillingness to give a direct answer. Instead they spend their precious time trying to distinguish themselves from the other candidates by arguing tiny insignificant points of contention. It is as if they care more about establishing a dominant position over the other candidates than about communicating their positions on the issues. That indicates a selfish interest on the part of the candidates which is hardly fitting for would-be public servants.

    Why can't they just agree on certain issues? You never hear a candidate respond to a question with, "what he said." Instead they have to take their full time to restate the same answer with subtle differences and hostile jabs at other candidates. Once again... selfish interest.

    The press coverage is horrible. After a debate the commentators will recap with statements like, "this person sounded presidential," and, "he had good body language," and, "he smelled good." They never comment on the relevant issues.

    As if the debates aren't bad enough, the voters aren't even receptive to the little information they provide. You see some news commentators who go out into the public and ask people questions about the candidates... most people don't know anything outside of their own political party, including the names of the candidates. Republicans only watch the republican debates and democrats only watch the democrat debates. And for those people who actually do watch both debates, they almost always draw selfserving conclusions based on superficial observations about the candidates just like the news commentators. It seems like most people have already made up their minds about who to vote for before any arguments are made which defeats the point of the debate.

    This whole thing resembles a troll thread with opponents trying to establish dominance with flame weapons. I guess elections have always been like this but it is only now starting to annoy me. I used to be a sheep for the democrats. Now I see myself and everyone else as sheep so I am not even going to vote anymore. The candidates have offered nothing to inspire my confidence. There needs to be a ballot option for "no confidence."

    :monster:
     
  2. OsIriS

    OsIriS Peasant

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    Well, at this point, they're all fighting with each other to get their party's nomination hence the in fighting.

    Also because this is primary season, Republicans ONLY need to listen to Republican candidates and Democrats ONLY to Democrats. There's no sense in listening to Mitt Romney's or Joe Biden's stance on immigration or foreign policy if he isn't going to win the nomination.

    Being a registered independent, I could care less about what is going on right now, because in Maryland I can't vote in either primary.

    I would actually argue that the word debate should be stripped from the title of these events, because the rules they have set up for such occassions don't resemble any real debate format you'd come across anywhere else but in election politics.
     
  3. Jakeman

    Jakeman MSC Founder and Donator

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    Even after the primaries, the #1 democrat and the #1 republican still engage in the same hostile jabs and flame throwing, and the news stations still make the same lame recaps, and the two sides still make selfserving conclusions based on superficial observation without ever considering voting outside their party.
     
  4. OsIriS

    OsIriS Peasant

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    Hence my suggestion about limiting the term "debate" to any forum that actually utilizes rules resembling a debate. And yes, the mindless commentary citing straw polls and Zogby this and MSNBC/Newsweek that are ridiculous. Basically, the media wants everything to be a horse race. Who is the front runner. How much money is in his/her war chest? How is he/she polling with Democrats, Republicans, Independents? Very little time is actually spent focused on what the candidate is saying (which, considering 99% of what a candidate says has been well crafted/focus group approved lies-- or gaffes like George Allen's macaca statment or Howard Dean's infamous scream) is actually understandable.

    The newspapers actually do a better job of covering the candidates, but they too can get caught up in the numbers game (circulation numbers that is) and tend to get mixed up in scandal and/or misinformation campaigns, because that sells newspapers.

    I'm curious how these YouTube/CNN presidential debates are going to work where citizens can upload video questions for the candidates to answer.
     
  5. Jakeman

    Jakeman MSC Founder and Donator

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    Youtube hosts very poor discussions in both text and video. It's just a bunch of lol talkers vying for attention. These people then drive away the quality posters.
     
  6. Gilgamesh

    Gilgamesh MSC Footman

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    Don't give up on voting... It's the only real power that an average citizen has, puny as a single vote is, it still adds up...

    I would love it if we could gather all sorts of campaign reforms and submit them to Congress for approval. Start a list:

    1. Campaign Finance Reform: All candidates that have accumulated 200,000 registed voter signatures on a Presidential Ballot shall be granted $5 Million for Presidental Election financing. NO OTHER CONTRIBUTIONS OR MONEY (PERSONAL or PUBLIC) SHALL BE ALLOWED.

    2. ALL special interest groups that run negative campaign adds in favor of one candidate to the detriment of others must first pass a background check/fact finding-confirmation screening process. If it is found that they are running a purposeful smear campaign to cloud the real issues, they shall be prosecuted.

    3. ALL Presidential candidates must partake in 10 - 3 hour long debates where all topics are on the table. Each candidate will be given ample time to state their position and clear and concise answers to all questions are required. Vacillation on answers, or purposeful ambiguity will result in a warning. Two warnings will result in campaign funding being pulled. Three warnings will disqualify a candidtae from the field of candidates. These debates are nationally televised and funded by the govt., giving all citizens a clear view of every candidate.

    4. While we are at it, take away all Congressional and Senatorial perks that are in the system (of which I am unaware), that might include complete retirement, healthcare, and any other type of coverage that they enjoy at the taxpayers expense... Let them discover how far Social Security will take them, or how much Healthcare acually costs after they are voted out of office... See how long it takes for those items to be fixed...

    Feel free to add, delete, revise, edit, smash, hash, etc... Maybe we could start up a petition for a complete overhaul of our voting/election system. Someone has to!!

    Ugh... I'm damn tired!
     
  7. Twerg

    Twerg MSC Footman

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    Maybe the Klingons have the answer

    You guys all make good points. I think the sad reality is that the only people that are successful in politics are the ones we don't want in power. More importantly, the smart unselfish people we want in power don't seek it.

    As Plato observed in The Republic, "The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness...This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector." It seems it is human nature to choose leaders that seek and therefore are corruptable by power.

    This is why the debates are meaningless. It's not about finding the right person for the job. It's a popularity contest won by the person with the best sound bites.

    Not to be little the conversation by bringing in a trek episode, if any of you saw DS9 then you might recall that during the Dominion War (in the DS9 episode "Tacking Into the Wind"), Worf becomes concerned with the futile and dangerous assignments being given by Chancellor Gowron to General Martok, in an attempt by Gowron to counter Martok's growing prestige. Motivated by a conversation in which Ezri Dax asks Worf to name the last Klingon leader he could truly respect, Worf challenges Gowron to a duel and kills him. With this act, Worf becomes the rightful chancellor, but he declines the honor, and with his encouragement General Martok becomes Chancellor of the High Council.

    I think this episode nails the point home nicely...
     
  8. OsIriS

    OsIriS Peasant

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    Don't worry, soon we'll have the Iowa caucuses to keep us occupied:

    " `What I was going to say,' said the Dodo in an offended tone, `was, that the best thing to get us dry would be a Caucus-race.'

    `What is a Caucus-race?' said Alice; not that she wanted much to know, but the Dodo had paused as if it thought that somebody ought to speak, and no one else seemed inclined to say anything.

    `Why,' said the Dodo, `the best way to explain it is to do it.' (And, as you might like to try the thing yourself, some winter day, I will tell you how the Dodo managed it.)

    First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle, (`the exact shape doesn't matter,' it said,) and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there. There was no `One, two, three, and away,' but they began running when they liked, and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However, when they had been running half an hour or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out `The race is over!' and they all crowded round it, panting, and asking, `But who has won?'

    This question the Dodo could not answer without a great deal of thought, and it sat for a long time with one finger pressed upon its forehead (the position in which you usually see Shakespeare, in the pictures of him), while the rest waited in silence. At last the Dodo said, `Everybody has won, and all must have prizes.'

    `But who is to give the prizes?' quite a chorus of voices asked.

    `Why, she, of course,' said the Dodo, pointing to Alice with one finger; and the whole party at once crowded round her, calling out in a confused way, `Prizes! Prizes!'

    Alice had no idea what to do, and in despair she put her hand in her pocket, and pulled out a box of comfits, (luckily the salt water had not got into it), and handed them round as prizes. There was exactly one a-piece all round."
     

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