Predictably, the Town Hall Tap Dance was not overly impressive as a defining moment for either U.S. Presidential candidate. I realize this sounds immediately cynical to most of you. However, let's take a closer look at who you might actually be.
1. You have always supported George Bush through thick and thin. No matter how many lies, distortions, mistakes, or acts of incompetence, arrogance and corruption come out of the Bush administration, he's your buddy. You are a Dubya-defender. You are a Bush World cultist. You will vote for Bush.
2. You believe George Bush already stole the 2000 presidential election and you certainly don't want him to have four more years in which to run amok with his neo-con foreign policy, his clenched sphincter cultural attitudes, or his pesky way of compassionately outsourcing your job to the third world. You're hopeful that John Kerry can turn this mess of a country around. You will vote for Kerry.
If either of those descriptions even remotely characterizes your feelings, then you already know who won Friday night's presidential debate, don't you? If you need someone in the editorial media to back you up, you can easily find it. If you look toward the candidates' punditry, they'll agree with your own astute assessment of the debate. That's their job, remember?
And don't forget what the jobs of most media outlets really are -- bringing in ad revenue. If not declaring the debate an outright tie, headlines are likely to focus on the closeness of the overall contest. They will sell the contest, make it exciting, and make money. It would be counter-productive and unprofitable for any media business to declare that either candidate has absolutely trounced the other one. This election, if nothing else, is an absolute cash cow for media.
If Bush fell on his face during the first debate, the expectation by any thinking person would be that he simply had to do a little better in the second debate. His wife could likely find some happy seratonin uptake inhibitors rolling around in the bottom of her purse like orphaned tic-tacs to help Dubya turn his nervously defensive stupidity into compassionate conservative buddy-speak.
3. You are undecided. You watched the town hall meeting where undecided people asked questions about the issues that concerned them, but you still can't make up your mind who to vote for come November. You tend to annoy your friends while eating out because they have to wait ten minutes while you weigh your fluctuating desire for both soup and salad. You get nervous choosing between paper and plastic. Not only do you shop for holiday gifts the evening before, but also then spend the holiday red-eyed and listless because it took you all night choosing the perfect wrapping paper and pretty, fluffy bow combination for each gift recipient.
If you are undecided, I encourage you to decide, rather than become apathetic. In order to help you, I've illustrated a four step plan in Homeland Security threat level colors that you can adopt. I respect someone who votes more than someone who succumbs to their own confusion or doesn't care enough about our country to be involved in its future. In my opinion, you're self-centered and sociopathic, if you do nothing.
Rather than attempting to lay out articulate arguments for my own views on various issues that may be of common concern between us, let me make it simpler than that to assist you. You can always read my take on foreign policy and important domestic policy issues. You can boil the entire election down to an admittedly over-simplified, but hopefully clear, selection.
If you think you, your family, and our country as a whole is doing just great and can do no better -- you have to stay the course, break out the anal vaseline, and vote for Bush. If you think the country deserves better leadership, some fresh thinking on the domestic and international problems that face all of us, and a change at the top -- you will vote for John Kerry.
Do vote for someone. You know how I feel about apathy. Even if you choose to take it up the ass for four more years with Dubya, I did remind you to bring vaseline, and I'll still respect you in the morning.
Excellent assessment, John. To me, the big problem lies in the heading of the next to last paragraph - many people only care about how themselves and their family are doing, possibly even their neighborhood, but they don't care about how the Bush admin. politics affect someone in a different part of the country or even their own city. Their attitude is "shut up", or, if they consider themselves a 'compassionate conservative,' "shut up and move here." (I'm speaking as someone living in Bush country...)
wailfulrhyme October 10, 2004 04:29 AM PDT
Great blog! I look forward to checking back in the future!
J f Z October 15, 2004 11:00 AM PDT Lyly - I tend to write most of these blog entries fairly fast. Even if I thought about the topic for a while, or spent some time gathering links, the actual text of what I want to say comes quickly. The ones that come together best for me are like a stream of consciousness with which my fingers can never keep up typing them. I generally hit publish and then proofread it and correct typos. I'm trying to remember to use the save draft function of the entry editor more now.
The reason I bring all of that up is because I remember actually typing up that paragraph, that thought, and then debating with myself over the places where I put the word "and". There are several places where "or" might make as much sense, or convey what I was thinking. It's interesting. Change one "and" to an "or" in a sentence, then read the paragraph again.
In the end, I realized that I'm not a great person of analytical logic or someone who has had much more than a few, long-forgetten college courses in writing anything.
At the same time I'm being serious, I'm writing certain things with a very sarcastic voice. Most of time, I put something so outrageously strange or strangely outrageous into the thought so as to make it obvious. Other times, I might reference something so obscure to make an analogy, Dennis Miller himself would be scratching his head over it.
All in all, people shouldn't take everything (or anything) I say too seriously. Because the topic is often politics or another touchy subject, I've had people jump down my throat over something I've written weeks or months later because they just found it on a google search. If I even notice their comments have been made, I then have to re-read the entry to remember what I was trying to say at the time.
Sometimes it's easy. I'm a fairly grouchy person. If they act MORE grouchy than me, they really take things too seriously and need to rent a sense of humor and take it for a test drive.
Oh, and I feel for you. Florida is also Bush country. What kind of good ole boy name is "Jeb" anyway?