Who Won the Debate?  

Posted by Jonathan E Johns in , , , ,

I have been posting recently on a board, and want to post my conversation here,

I will leave the original posters names out of this, because they have not given permission to repost here.

Just curious of those that watched the debate, who won in your honest opinion? Why do you think so? Did the debate change your mind on whom to vote for?

Answer one:
well first of all you have to define "won"

since most republicans are already set in their decision to vote McCaіn no matter what happens

and the same for democrats and Оbama

the only people the debates affect are the 20% in the middle who are arguably the stupidest 20% in the country. republicans may be evil personified but at least they made up their fucking minds. i can't even imagine the intellect of someone who, at this point, still doesn't know who to vote for. and so i certainly can't presume to judge how they perceived the debates.

NAME wrote:
well first of all you have to define "won"

Come on, NAME! You know the answer to this - Whomever gave the best argument wins the debate.

But I understand the rest of what you say. I agree with the undecided people. They're too busy at Starbucks drinking coffee and texting to be bothered by current events.

Here's a follow-up question for those that voted a tie :
Since this is suppose to be McCaіn's best subject, do you think by Оbama being able to hold his ground and having a tie, that he actually won in the sense he kept McCaіn from winning as he was (somewhat) expected to do?

NAME reply:
i don't think the people that matter, i.e. the retarded undecided, actually know what the best argument was. they tend to vote based on hair color and flag pins. so as i said, there's no way to gauge the debate based on criteria that matter to them unless you are one of them.

We aren't talking about them, NAME. I'm interested in your opinion, as the question asks. Who do you think did a better job arguing their points?

My reply:
Okay, I will try not to ramble, or make this another of my long assed posts.

1) My son is a National High School Debate Finalist (It was in Vegas this past summer) So I understand 'official debate' but these presidential debates were aimed directly at what joe calls 'the undecided 20%' (Although I think it is more than 20% of US population, I think it is more like 30%)

In a Harvard School Debate, or courtroom, Оbama would have won, simply because he answered questions asked of him, followed direction of the moderator, and replied well to those issues brought against him by both McCaіn, and the moderator.

In the great debate of the undecided masses, I believe maybe 5% might have been swayed towards John McCaіn, because they liked to see a 'President' who kicks ass and swings a big stick, and simply because there are masses of U.S. Citizens out there who want a daddy in the white house, not a mommy. Meaning, they want someone to kick the neighbors dog when he bites you, more than they want mommy to kiss the bite would, and put some bactine on it.

The unwashed elite, like me, who are cynical, and think the whole process is screwed, think that it was a tie because Оbama didn't take advantage when we wanted him to argue more like a Senator on the floor of congress, and less like the 'good son' who doesn't argue with the senile old uncle at thanksgiving dinner out of respect. Which kind of proove's McCaіn's point of being naive.

But I have to argue a bit with Joe who says that only 20% are up for grabs. I think the winner of this election will have to win over some of the opposition, even if it is as little as 5%-10%. McCaіn trys to win over Hillary's army of angry vaginas by putting Palin on the ticket, and Оbama trys to gain some old people by adding Biden. In that group of wishy-washy decided-undecideds, I think it was a tie as well, because the candidates failed to say anything big, or new, or exciting, but rather went out of their way to not say something that would kill their campaign.

Оbama is inexperienced. But that is almost his entire campaign, he believes we need to change washington from the old school experienced corrupt, to a new team of squeeky-clean politicians. McCaіn made that point for him, sort of.

McCaіn is a maverick, or claims to be, although 'look at the record' and see that he too, like all politicians, only goes maverick when he see no other alternative, meaning, after he's been called out. He was caught in bed with lobbyists, and turned into an anti-pork guy. He found out his republican friends in the senate were about to be busted and go to jail, so he reached across the aisle to distance himself from them.

He's a maverick, but do we want a horse that will pull our cart towards success, or one that will randomly pull our cart where ever he wants to, and bolt into the wild first time we unhitch him? A maverick is something good among a team of strong horses, but as a leader... Not so sure. A valuable asset, but maybe not a leader so much.

Finally, my personal thoughts. I thought both candidates failed at a few important points to me. Both stayed down in the dog-fighting pit of politics, and said things that were not true, in order to make the other look bad. Then both argued semantics. I would rather see my leader stand tall above that crap, call the opponent on it, and move on. McCaіn has a much harder campaign to win than Оbama, it is sad. He has to stay true to the 'core' of the republican party, even though they are not his 'core', plus he has to deal with the eternal fall-out of his running mate, who, no matter what anyone says, is an anchor around his neck. (And we all thought Biden was going to be the one to have shoe polish on his teeth first. Hes so far under the radar you need a weed-wacker to find him.)

He's old. So am I, and I know that this is a Young Mans job, and He is tired, and it shows. He is cranky, and sometimes mean-spirited. In order to win over some of the middle ground, he has to soften up into an old man whom you wouldn't mind playing with your children. As it stands, I wouldn't let him near the fence of the school yard, for fear of him yelling at the kids on the other side.

I Like John McCaіn, and I think his service in the military was fine, but his service in the senate generally has been great. I don't think he would make a great President, but I think he would have 8 years ago. His time has passed, and we face new problems now that he no longer has what our country needs to solve them. I really wish he would have won 8 years ago.

NAME reply to me:
thanks for the very interesting and cogent post (a rarity!).

i disagree that "experience" is important. the job of president is basically four parts:

leading congress (personal influence, compromise, negotiation skills and strategy)
diplomacy (charm, intelligence, character)
leading the people (making a good speech)
and most important, making decisions, which is in large part just managing your cabinet and choosing options they give you.

"experience" doesn't really play a large part in any of those things except maybe leading congress and he has a LOT of experience working with groups toward compromise (most of his career, including leading the harvard review, has been doing things like this).

if you look at the historical record, the best presidents have been the least experienced and some of the worst have been the most experienced. it's not a job like any other in the world. you could make an argument that being OLDER helps because you hopefully have acquired more wisdom but we have all met immature adults and mature kids, so that's not a big deal either.

so to reiterate, i think the whole "inexperienced" argument is meaningless and bullshit.

to your other point, anyone who is voting McCaіn at this point (8 years of republican mismanagement by the worst president ever, corruption, constitutional rights violated, illegal wars, etc.), i just can't imagine what could change their minds. they are obviously projecting something onto McCaіn that isn't there, so it's nothing that a debate can fix. and i think you could say the same for Оbama voters - he's almost the opposite of McCaіn (albeit still in the pocket of capitalism/corporations) so how could 90 minutes of jabber change anyone's mind?
BadHorsie wrote:
We aren't talking about them, joe. I'm interested in your opinion, as the question asks. Who do you think did a better job arguing their points?

if you mean, what if the debate was in a private room and i was the only one in the audience, i thought it was a tie because it was just a meaningless performance. i don't vote based on debates, i vote based on policies.

Original posters reply to me:
Bandit -
My name on this board is "Bandit"

Yes it was a long post, but a very good post. I read every bit of it and agree with most of it. I do not think experience is a good argument to vote against Оbama. I base this mostly now on the fact Karl Rove and Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld had tons of experience and look where it got us. Bush also came from a line of politicians including daddy President and brother governor. I am happy to go with someone with a little less experience and a little more compassion and common sense.

My reply to this:

So Politics can be defined as,
"use of intrigue or strategy in obtaining any position of power or control, as in business, university, etc. "

Although politics is so complex that it realistically cannot be defined in any one way.

I think some of us (Me, for instance) watch the politics with both an eye for 'How will this directly influence me and my family' as well as ' I hope my guy wins, because that will validate my opinion'

Due to the second ideal, I watch the 'contest' with a sort of sporting mentality, rooting for my candidate to 'win' at any opportunity. Though I surely understand that 'to win' does not necessarily mean anything.

'Winning' in politics is akin to actually seeing the bird actually poop on my windshield, once in the lifetime of the car. It doesn't remove the poop from the windshield, nor does it provide me with any way to retaliate, it simply offers me a momentary view of how something actually happens, when more often than not, I never see anything but the dirty result. It is fleeting, and forgotten almost immediately, and in the long run, it means nothing.

Policy-wise, As Joe said, one either agrees or disagrees. Unfortunately, we are all tied up in an exclusive two-party system, which leaves us all with a choice of vanilla, or chocolate (Unfortunate pun unintended)

And like the rest of the voting public, we are forced to compromise, and prioritize. Being a member of a vast Republic, I am allowed to vote for someone who will 'represent' me, but more likely than not, I am voting for someone who will represent my general beliefs. He or she will vote how they think is best, not necessarily how I think is best. And I vote for the person that is most likely to do that.

In some cases of local elections, I definitely have to make big compromises, I might believe we need that bridge out on county road 15 to be re-built, but I definitely don't want to pay 30% more in sales taxes for it. I want the jobs that might come with the new chicken poop processing plant, but I don't want the smell so close to my home. I must prioritize, and compromise. Sometimes this process takes some time, and those who have not yet decided still have a few weeks left to make that decision. I don't hold that against them at all. Let them be undecided, and work hard to learn more, and listen well to understand, and ask questions, and listen patiently to the answers. They may be undecided, but at least they care enough to think about it, and try to make a smart decision.

What puts a burr under my saddle, is that most people don't know diddly about their local issues, and know even less about the history, or policies of the national electorate. And they don't even care. They vote for whoever Fox, CNN, or the weatherman on Good Morning America thinks is today's news. It burns me to think that I have to suffer because they just don't care.

In the recent past, the Democratic party has been lacking in the finer points of 'Intrigue and Strategy' and the Republicans have pwned them at every turn. I don't know how that can possibly change, without inherently changing the party. And I hope that they don't have to stoop so low as to do it to win.

I just wish they would tell it like it is, and reveal the situation in a way that the majority of toothless rednecks can understand. It is revealing that the most successful democrats in the past thirty years have been such citizens. Carter won, he was a southern peanut farmer, LBJ was a Texas sized redneck, and Clіnton was a barefoot rope-belt-wearing hillbilly.

It doesn't lend much hope for an intellectual black man. I don't know if our country is ready for another 'Kennedy-esque' leader, although I believe it desperately needs one.

Original Posters reply to me:
Bandit wrote:
What puts a burr under my saddle, is that most people don't know diddly about their local issues, and know even less about the history, or policies of the national electorate. And they don't even care. They vote for whoever Fox, CNN, or the weatherman on Good Morning America thinks is today's news. It burns me to think that I have to suffer because they just don't care.

Exactly, if someone is still, intelligently, trying to understand what is going on, I don't have a problem.

The fact is that if someone doesn't know what is going on at this point it is an indication that they just don't care.

If you're interested in reading the entire conversation, here it is,

This conversation took place on a board designed for Gamers to converse about games. Most of the posters are probably much younger than I am, and it give me much hope to see an intelligent conversation about important issues.

This entry was posted on Monday, September 29, 2008 at 10:59 AM and is filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


great comments, great debate-on-debate. my favorite was your use of the birdcrap-on-the-windshield. i would go so far as to say it is more like a flying elephant, and that that illustration covers far more of the way our government works than just elections, but still--a great allegory.

October 2, 2008 at 12:21 PM

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