Though, really, I still question whether debates are really useful. Most of us have made up our minds and we’re going to view what our party says as having “won.” I think Ryan is a smarmy little liar who never outgrew his Ayn Rand phase (as most normal people do). Everything he said, or didn’t say reinfornces that. Ditto on the opposite side. As for the great undecided, the problem is that the punditry seems to evaluate showmanship rather than content. And I’m not even sure how you can make it this far and still be undecided.
We’re all so filter bubbled, both online and off. It depresses me utterly. At the end of the first presidential debate, I didn’t have this sense that Obama “lost.” The next morning, I was a little shocked to see all my fellow Dems slamming Obama. Would everyone have had the same reaction if they weren’t told over and over he lost, all the pundits repeating ad nauseum what a disappointment he was? I’m not saying he was electrifying–clearly, he wasn’t. But he made his points. He was a gentleman and didn’t outright call Romney a liar. He met accusations and falsehoods with reason. And yet there, splashed all over the interwebz was he lost, he lost, he lost.
What I think is that we’ve all lost. We’ve lost the ability to think for ourselves. We’ve lost the ability to digest information that isn’t presented as a zinging soundbyte. And we’ve lost the notion that we should evaluate information based on content and context. I wish the punditry would just go away; peddling facile insights as breaking news has cheapened journalism. And it gets in the way of people thinking for themselves.
Not, you understand, that I think thinking is a strength of a large percentage of Republican voters. I am still trying to figure out how the Republican party has managed to get a whole group of people to defend a lifestyle they don’t have–and how to get them to back policy that ensures they never will.