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The Debate That Could? September 26, 2008

Posted by -s in Politics.
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The presidential candidates debate that for a while looked as though it would fly with or without the Republican candidate wrapped up moments ago.

I won’t make any pretentious claim to proceed in some pure spirit of objectivity as I knew who I would vote for nearly a year ago. That out of the way, here’s what I thought of tonight’s much anticipated event.

No Surprises
Anyone who has been following the campaigns since at least the Democratic Primaries began could not have been surprised by anything said in this debate. In fact, it was hardly a debate. The fundamental base of each party stuck to its respective candidate; Proponents of privatizing services like health care and social security, a laissez-faire attitude towards the economy, and government involvement in regulating social values sided with the Republican candidate, who just happens to be John McCain. Those in favor of increased government oversight and regulation of the markets, “socialized medicine,” and tax codes that focus on the needs of the middle class sided with Barack Obama.

I don’t think the debate changed anything as far as platforms go; Perhaps citizens who are just tuning in got a chance to become acquainted with the two candidates for the first time (sadly, but then again, better late than never). One thing I do believe has benefitted John McCain is that it gave America a short break from, in the words of Chris Matthews, the “razzle-dazzle” campaign streak we’ve witnessed since the Palin announcement. These past few weeks, the instability, the theatrics of the McCain campaign, have captured the media headlines. After tonight, perhaps there will be something else to talk about…but again, time will tell if we’ve been spared from our Razzle-Dazzle candidate.

Speaking of coinage of candidate nicknames, I keep hearing Obama referred to as the “Cerebral Candidate.” Does anyone else get an immediate image of Professor X in his hover chair, presiding over the activities of the X-Men? Granted, Patrick Stewart is not African American, but there is some uncanny similarity between the two figures. What baffles me is how someone would not vote for Professor X if he was running for the presidency. He probably wouldn’t be much fun to go to a bar with, but again, I’m Muslim. I wouldn’t be much fun to go to a bar with either. More importantly, I don’t want to imagine a hammered bald brilliant man on a hover chair coordinating responses to humanity’s crises. Would you?

There was an excellent article in Time Magazine by Joe Klein the other day describing the cultural crossroads that underlies this particular election. I would encourage you  to read it through to the end, regardless of your political leanings, and let me know if Mr. Klein is truly onto something or completely off. Click to read “Sarah Palin’s Myth of America”



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