As students of politics, we’ve seen our share of twisted rhetoric and outright lies, it just seems that it is part of the game that is played and the rules that apply to everyone else really don’t matter if you’re a politician. In this heated presidential race, the debates between candidates are supposed to be a banter of congenial disapproval and fact slicing against the opponent. In stead we have finally gotten to the heart of the issues that face nearly 50% of Americans. Forget about the 47% that Mitt Romney quoted or the silent minority that President Obama is trying to sway, it really comes down to a divided society of wealth and those who can afford to buy enough influence to persuade the American people the other candidate is worse than they are…
We all know that some have the money and most do not, but the divide is growing and the ideal of an independent America where all people are “created equal” is a dream still not realized since our forefathers created this great nation. Can true equality be reached? Can equality that was once considered only to be divided by race and gender spread to the equality of wealth? It takes money to survive – to buy food, clothes and shelter; everything else is a luxury that can be afforded by those who can afford more. A better car, a better house, a bigger boat… all things that are not truly necessary but are the spoils of the wealthy and those who can afford the lifestyle. So why should they give it up? Why should they have to give up the riches to help those less fortunate? It’s not about writing a check once a year to your favorite charity or passing out turkeys once a year to appease the ‘little people’, it goes much further and deeper.
Sure, some say becasue they could afford to go to an Ivy League School or got hand picked to take a million dollar a year salary and multimillion dollar severance package that they are more important somehow; ask each of the candidates this question and you will get a different answer. Ask someone who grew up or and accumulated some wealth and ask someone who has lived a privileged lifestyle since birth about what really matters. Those who grew up with privilege believe it is a right and that all economic woes are the fault of the ‘Average American’ not buckling down, working hard and contribution to society. Those who grew up poor and have achieved some sense of wealth will say it is the responsibility of those in power to help those less fortunate. Either way, neither is right.
What it truly will come down to in this election between Romney and Obama is which candidate can more effectively make their opponent look like they don’t care about the growth, prosperity and equality of all Americans. The one who can do that is the one who will occupy the White House next February.
We all know that you have to have some twisted chromosome if you want to be leader of the Free World, but what traits actually are needed for the President of the United States? If we look at history, the good ole’ USA has had some big talking, big stick carrying leaders that wielded power to their advantage and sometimes crushing opponents to shine a light on the best traits that appeal to voters. Both candidates have charisma and a certain sense of Hollywood charm, but getting past the popularity contest and the campaign smearing – it’s about who really can be a better leader.
Joblessness, economic collapse, high debt, foreclosures, higher taxes and lower wages are all on the list of concerns for most Americans. In the recent Presidential Debate, it was clear who was a better talker and slinger of the words that needed to be heard by the onlookers. Obama (who openly admits he’s not good at debating) looked like the sheepish schoolkid trying to defend himself instead of taking a commanding lead. Romney, on the other hand has had lots of experience in slinging the corporate B.S. to the workers who believed their leader would lead them to salvation while sucking the pockets dry of resources until they wither and die.
So who really wins in a debate? Obviously people are standing by with Olympic style scorecards as they rate every question and quality of response, but we never see that; nor do we see the audience with hand buzzers rating the responses as they are blurted to the world. We could make some things a little more interesting for the next presidential debate, try a few of these:
In the mean time, we’ll get to see the battle continue and the lies and accusations fall from each side. Who is the better candidate? You really have to ask yourself the question it usually comes down to… who do you hate least?
It really doesn’t matter who signed what or what was said before the election race began shortly after Obama won the White House, it’s all over now. It used to be: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all…”, but not in American Politics. In fact, it has gotten so bad that neither candidate can no longer talk about their own strengths, they are forced to defend themselves against false accusations and innuendo coming from all directions. The strength of a candidate used to be based on what morally upstanding, personally responsible and ethically understood by the ‘the people’ – now it is who can get off more digs and more jabs from the verbal and visual media slingshot than the other guy. Defend yourself by defaming the other so badly that you look like the better of the two candidates – or four candidates if you include the VP.
It’s changed so much that it can be judged by who has the most Twitter followers and who can cause the viral content blasted through the internet in seconds. In today’s youth based technology society, it may be preferred to vote with your phone like an American Idol, but in the case of the Presidential Election, you actually have to get off your lazy ass and go to a polling station, show your ID and wait in line to cast your vote behind a curtain. Then, in what is supposed to be a truthful and transparent process, your votes are tallied and given the “the smarter’ Electoral College who then votes based on – well, pretty much however they want.
All of the whiners and bitcher’s for the last four years will hear the uproar of the media and those who thought they voted for change will probably get it – just not the kind they were thinking of…. It’s a game that gets played out every four years as the country gets sucked into debates that weigh little on the long term solutions but more heavily on the character flaws of the opponent and the negative progress that may or may not have happened. Say what you like, but EVERY President has success and failure – the same as any challenger. It comes down to who you believe in and who has the best line of B.S., becasue no matter who wins, there is no way they can fulfill all of the promises made as part of a campaign. Or did you think everything they said was true… If you did, we have a timeshare in Florida that is right up your belief system.
It seems all the right wing conservative Republicans have quickly adapted the ‘spin’ on Mitt Romney‘s latest ‘words’. The spin is the fact that 47% of Americans will not vote for him. Okay. We get that, although the numbers may be changing. The spin puts an even 47% Republican and 47% Democrat with a 6% Independent or undecided. Sure. That makes sense. Sometimes people can be persuaded to change their minds, but for the most part, Americans are divided about what they believe in and who they trust. If you look at the past, pollsters would say the majority of Hispanics and Blacks are Democrats because they are more liberal and rely on the government for assistance. White, southern, evangelical Christians tend to be more conservative and Republican. For the most part, you can look at demographics throughout the United States and know who is going to vote for whom. Republicans don’t campaign heavily in Democratic states because they believe it’s a waste of time and money – the same can be said for Democrats. It is what has become named the “swing states” that draw the most attention since the hanging chad incident.
So the swing states may be the key to the victor and the spoils of reward lie in the hands of the undecided, but the winner of the 2012 Presidential Election may lie in the hands of those who get pissed off enough at one side or the other to motivate them to get off their asses and actually vote. Republicans have the upper hand becasue the voter base is committed and usually it can be proven to be a larger early voter turnout and support base that encourages participation. Democrats may have some that vote early (and often according to some) but the majority wait until election day to get to the poll and cast their vote. Both sides prefer a strong election day turnout and bombard true supporters to encourage, remind and persuade them to get to the polls no matter what, and it works for the true believers – and it works. It’s the 6% of the undecided that both Republicans and Democrats try to convince their side is better than the other and can change the United States for the better against the evil of the other person.
It’s not always about experience, ability, or quality of the candidate, it’s about how much money they can raise, how much they can trash talk their opponent and, most importantly… not screw up. For some, they can’t believe a ‘black man’ became president and it’s about his record over the past 4 years – which it should be. For others, it is about getting Obama out office and replacing him with ‘someone’ who looks the part. Does Romney have the experience to run the country? Does he have the connections to make a change or do what he claims is “turn this country around?” Given the very public record of Romney in business and even as Governor of Massachusetts, the differences between the tow candidates are not dissimilar. Has Obama done anything in the past 4 years? Could we be in worse shape than we are now? Do you think it will get better or worse no matter who is in office? All of these questions will be answered soon… stay tuned.