Like a lot of people, I watched the presidential debate last night (okay, not all of it – I skipped the last half hour). I expected to see a train wreck given the “explosive” new revelation of Donald Trump’s foul mouth and chauvinist attitude toward women on a tape from eleven years ago that just “happened” to show up three days before the debate.
I don’t know why anyone was surprised. Either at the nature of the tape nor the timing of the discovery. I don’t see how his behavior (which I think is not uncommon – look at a lot of music lyrics and you’ll see the same attitude) was a shock to anyone despite what they say. And the timing? Well, that’s how the politics game is played.
The event was not the train wreck I expected. But it also (much like the first one, which I did watch all of) didn’t seem like much of a debate. I’m not sure what the value of the “debates” are, since all they seem to be, at least this year, are long drawn out commercials. The “base” of each party stays firmly in place because they hate the other party’s nominee and everyone else hates both of them. We don’t learn anything new about the candidates and what they support or how they plan to make their dreams for America come true. We hear 90 minutes of sound bites, on the spot “fact-checking”, and repeated rhetoric that changes nothing. All I have learned so far is that neither of them can go 90 minutes without calling the other one dishonest, mistaken, and unfit to lead. Maybe in this technological age, the time for debates is over.
At this point my biggest hope is that out of all of this the American people will be so fed up with both parties that a new centrist party will emerge. A party that can think fresh, pull the best of ideas of both parties together and compromise to represent the majority of the country. I think both the Democrat and Republican parties are so bogged down, overdone, and bloated that they can’t remake themselves any more. They are like a McDonald’s that has been remodeled many times, but now needs to be torn down and built from scratch.
No matter what your position in this election, I think there is one thing that we can all agree on – we’re ready for it to be over.