Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The Lesser of Two Evils.

So, the last Presidential debate ended a while ago, and I have to say, that I'm frustrated and disappointed to have to choose between two unremarkable candidates for President. I guess as I've gotten older my political sensibilities have become too refined, or something, because I long for the halcyon days of my youth when Republicans were the bad guys and Democrats were the good guys. It was easier back then, because I didn't know any better. *sigh*
I think this one was a draw. There's no use judging this debate on substance, since they both eschewed any real policy details, and both were equally guilty of distortions, some more noticeable than others. I can't imagine that any undecided voter who watched any of these debates came out more informed about the issues. All I heard were the same recycled talking points I keep hearing in all their ads and campaign appearances. I guess it's really all flash and substance now. And, the format of the debate wasn't really conducive to tracking points like I used to do back when I was judging High School and College debates, because then you could actually discern a winner, and that'd cause some minor problems for the spinmeisters. (I'd kill to see them do a real Lincoln-Douglass style or Cross Examination style debate though. Ah, pipe dreams. . . .)
So all we're left with is style. Kerry has a very polished speaking style, which makes his false starts and pauses stand out all that much more, but that's about it, there was no force of personality, no charm, nothing about him that inspires me, or reassures me that we are better off with him.
W., well, he's not a natural public speaker, duh. So, as his campaign keeps pointing out, that he was able to hold his on, against "Master Debater" Kerry is a victory in of itself. Way to manage expectations guys. Bush's performance tonight is leagues beyond his performance in the first one-- "The work we do in Iraq, will be hard, because it's hard work. It's hard"--but really that's not saying a lot. And that makes me uncomfortable with Bush, the fact that he can't articulate his thoughts clearly does not inspire my confidence in him. Bush has a certain arrogant charm that I don't mind in certain situations, and that plenty of people find folksy and regular and obviously identify with, but, I don't find it reassurring. If think if you combined Bush and Kerry, you'd either get Joe Lieberman or John McCain (or maybe Tony Blair) and I'd rather vote for either one of them in a heartbeat.
So, for those of you who are wondering, I used to be a liberal, but I've been shifting right the last 5 years, right now, I'd call myself a liberterian, since current liberalism is mostly shrieky and alien to me. I don't think I'll ever be a conservative, though, as I'm too pro-hedonism for that crowd. ;) If you want to read someone who articulates my current political struggle better than I could ever hope to, read Andrew Sullivan. I find I generally agree with him about a wide range of issues and subjects, except his belief that Dick Cheney is sexy, and his disdain for Queer Eye, then not so much. ;)
I guess right now I'm leaning toward Kerry, only because Bush has a long way to go to convince me that he deserves another four years. And I don't know who the Liberterian candidate is, and Nader has ruined 3rd party viability in this country for at least 10 years. So, at this point, I'll be holding my nose when I walk into the voting booth next month. Here's hoping we get somebody worth voting for in 2008.


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