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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

No, to Debates and Speeches

I probably didn't have a way to anyway, but I didn't catch the debate between B. Obama and J. McCain last night. I can think of few things more futile and toxic to the soul than listening to arguments, and so I avoid them like the plague, even the ones in the movies that don't concern me in any way.

In any case, in a debate like this one, you get out of it only what you bring to it. That is always shown in the news reports the next day. In their hurried attempts to announce who "won" and who "lost," their decrees, as in this one, tend to fall all over the place, depending on where they're coming from in the first place.

Maybe it's a sign of my own predisposition that from the reviews I read, I got the feeling that the debates were chiefly characterized by McCain's usual hyper-pugnacity and -- reserved especially for his dealings with the likes of B. Obama -- his extreme resentment. I don't know what it's like now, but a naval officer of McCain's day got used to seeing men of Obama's hue mainly alternating with Filippinos in serving him coffee and meals in wardrooms. That was their "proper place." So it must gall him no end not only to have to compete this late in life with someone of that persuasion but even more to do so with that "inferior" having a good chance to win, and in a contest with such tremendously high stakes as this.

For related reasons I never listen to campaign speeches either. The promises that candidates make usually don't have much to do with their behavior once they're in office. And that's logical, because the events to which they'll have to respond are mot openly waiting just ahead. In fact, sometimes there doesn't even have to be such an event.

The most egregious example of this in recent times was provided by GWBush. While he was running in 2000, to my recollection at no time did he tell the electorate that if elected he would invade Iraq. And yet that criminal act alone has shown how tragic it was for the Iraqis, the Americans, and for humanity in general that those machinations succeeded in landing him into office.

A person's own words are good for supplying his vital statistics, but to learn more about him it's best to rely on other ways.


Blogger Steve Bates said...

Here's what a lot of people, including me and including more than a few pundits, took away from last night's "debate": McCain seemed completely unable to make eye contact with Obama. John either hates or fears Barack; it's hard to tell which, but many of us are pretty sure it's one or the other (or both). Forget all the verbiage if you like, but remember that McCain could not look Obama in the eye.

7:09 PM  
Blogger Carl (aka Sofarsogoo) said...

Thanks, Steve. I believe that it is both fear and hate.

Looking another in the eye is a powerful thing. In romances these days it seems to be a testimony to love, but in inner cities in recent times it has been a dangerous thing to do, akin to "dissing."

My guess is that failing to look Obama in the eye came out of equal measures of not trusting himself in the bitter presence of his opponent and in not wanting to give the appearance of regarding Obama as existing on the same plane with him. But then, as we both know, who would want to be in a plane with McCain? :)

6:39 AM  

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