Sometime back in the 17th century, political debates were a vital forum for candidates to state where they stand on certain issues, and propose their solutions for the nation's problems (I assume). However, in the current 24/7 news media climate we live in, the whole purpose of these debates seems to be to not say anything of substance, or even answer a question in a straightforward way. These politicians all act like lawyers, making sure they say nothing incriminating, questionable, or concrete that you can call them out on at a later date. The best sound bite that one can hope for is a cheeky comment like the one from Mike "I Heart" Huckabee who, when asked the asinine question, "What would Jesus do about the death penalty?", his cheeky reply was, "Jesus was too smart to run for public office." Oh boy, we've reduced political discourse to a punchline. That's fantastic.
In my attempt to be a good, informed citizen, I attempted to watch one of these "debates", but the candidates' complete inability and unwillingness to ACTUALLY ANSWER A QUESTION was completely infuriating. Here's a sample from the 5 minutes that I recently endured of last week's CNN/YouTube Republican Presidential Debate (the very name makes me want to puke blood). This is taken from the transcript and features the sassy Anderson Cooper trying (and failing) to get a straight answer out of Governor Mitt Romney. (Personally, I would never vote for someone named after a baseball glove, but maybe that's just me.)
Cooper: Governor Romney, you said in 1994 that you looked forward to the day when gays and lesbians could serve, and I quote, "openly and honestly in our nation's military." Do you stand by that?
Romney: This isn't that time. This is not that time. We're in the middle of a war. The people who have...
Cooper: Do you look forward to that time, though, one day?
Romney: I'm going to listen to the people who run the military to see what the circumstances are like. And my view is that, at this stage, this is not the time for us to make that kind of...
Cooper: Is that a change in your position...
Romney: Yes, I didn't think it would work. I didn't think "don't ask/don't tell" would work. That was my -- I didn't think that would work. I thought that was a policy, when I heard about it, I laughed. I said that doesn't make any sense to me.
And you know what? It's been there now for, what, 15 years? It seems to have worked.
Cooper: So, just so I'm clear, at this point, do you still look forward to a day when gays can serve openly in the military or no longer?
Romney: I look forward to hearing from the military exactly what they believe is the right way to have the right kind of cohesion and support in our troops and I listen to what they have to say.
Etc., etc., ad fucking nauseum. He was rightfully booed at this point, which is the exact point I turned it off. Sweet fancy Moses, this stuff is mind-numbing. How the hell are you supposed to decide on who to vote for when no one will answer a question?
Whenever I think I've reached my breaking point with 2008 election coverage I realize, oh my lord, there's ANOTHER YEAR OF THIS CRAP. I have to say that I love all the candidates equally, which is to say I loathe all of them. So I've decided that I'm voting for Hilary Duff for President, which was also my write-in vote for the NY Senate. (Did you know I can't find one single person that I know in New York that voted for the other Hillary? Funny, that.)
As always, the Onion News Network seems to say it best.
Poll: Bullshit Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters [Onion News Network]
"No one party has the monopoly on bullshit . . . "
"I've always been a big fan of Hillary. She's so full of bullshit."
I like how ONN calls their election coverage "War For The White House".
CNN/YouTube Debate transcript [Part 1] [Part 2]