As far as I’m concerned, the most useful thing to come out of tonight’s presidential debate was this:
The political quiz labeled me post-modern, and for the most part, I agree with the label. I’m generally supportive of the government, regulations, and environmental protection, I’m very liberal on social issues, I’m not overly-religious, and I believe in diplomacy. All in all, I’m fine with the most-modern title.
I follow politics, and I would like to think that I’m relatively well-informed about what is happening in our country, and was looking forward to this evenings debate. I was not impressed. I know who I want to vote for, but I was curious if the opposing candidate would make any points that would sway my decision. However, far from influencing my opinion, I found myself utterly bored, wandering in and out of the room, listening for five minutes and then tuning Obama and Romney out. Neither man said anything that I found particularly convincing, nothing that changed the way I intend to vote. I couldn’t help wondering how swing-voters, people who are undecided about their vote, viewed the debate. Did they get more out of it than I did? Were they swayed one way or the other? I tried to put myself in the mindset of such a person, and I just couldn’t find either candidate convincing.
How much impact do the debates really have? The majority of Americans vote in accordance with their political affiliation, regardless of the candidate. Romney claims that there are 47% of Americans who will always vote Democratic. If that is true, what incentives can be offered to sway undecided voters? Do they vote according to one specific issue, or based on which candidate they would want to have a beer with? It sounds terrible, but I feel that tonight’s debate wasn’t particularly useful. Until the candidates are willing to put concrete plans out in the open, it’s all just semantics.
Also, someone should tell Jim Lehrer that the regular officials are back…he was up past his bedtime.