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Having actually watched all the recent debates, including the one between Cheney and Edwards, I feel I’m now entitled to vote more than once. In fact, having sat through the entire six hours, I believe it’s only fair that I get to vote half a dozen times. I’m serious. There should be some sort of prize for suffering through the worst TV series since “Manimal” was cancelled.
Understand, I think George Bush and Dick Cheney bested their opponents four out of four times. My problem is with the entire enterprise. Grown-ups, for crying out loud, don’t debate. The skills involved in debating have nothing to do with the job that’s up for grabs. It’s so high schoolish. You might as well have the candidates compete at jitterbugging or by seeing which of them turns out a nicer pair of bookends in woodshop.
I’ve heard some people say that the series of debates reminds them of a TV sitcom. But I’d liken it to one of those reality shows. You started out with nine or 10 Democratic wannabes competing to wrest the title from the reigning champion. Then, one by one, like yuppies being deep-sixed by Donald Trump, they fell by the wayside until only John Kerry survived.
Then, with millions of Americans to choose from, Kerry selected John Edwards to join him on the ticket. Some folks thought it was unseemly for him to pick a running mate who was so much prettier and perkier than his life mate, but I thought it made a lot of sense. After all, when you look like Abe Lincoln on the day he got word his dog had died, you need someone around who can smile without looking as if it’s a rare and painful experience.
What surprises me is that after all this time, there are supposedly a fair number of Americans who still have not decided whether Kerry or Bush will get their vote. Maybe these folks think that it’s just another episode of “American Idol” and they’re waiting for the talent portion of the show to find out which of the candidates sings better.
The scary part in an election that the pollsters and pundits are predicting will be a real nail-biter, these are the yahoos who will determine the future of America and, therefore, the world.
My main concern is that if they made up their minds only after watching the debates, they might well wind up voting for Bob Schieffer.
Doesn’t it seem rather foolish that anyone would choose between the two men – one with 20 years in the U.S. Senate, the other with four years in the White House – not on their records, but by how well they’d been tutored or possibly by the neckties they wore? It’s as if after 25 years of wedded bliss, a married couple took one of those compatibility quizzes that women’s magazines are so fond of … and, based on the results, decided to call it quits.
I mean, what sort of ninny would decide whom to vote for based on how well these two fellows delivered the sound bites they’d spent several weeks rehearsing?
In the future, if I’m going to watch politicians on television, I want to be entertained. So, no more debates. I’d tune in to see John Edwards on a sports show competing in an ambulance-chasing steeplechase. I’d certainly find the time to catch John Kerry on “Marrying for Moolah.” And I’d cancel all other plans for the opportunity to watch Ted Kennedy mow down the competition on “Boozing for Dollars.”