Image: DonkeyHotey, from Wikipedia Commons
Who won the Presidential debate? That's the question that media consultants, analysts, pollsters, pundits, and everyone else are and will be asking everyone, and everyone will have a different opinion that will be wrong.
The right answer is that America lost. Mitt Romney has no specifics he is willing to divulge; President Obama has a record of nearly four years as President that he has to defend ... but the point isn't that one of them could have won the debate.
I'll explain. It's a two-party system, American politics, that doesn't allow anyone else to get in on the action. We have an electoral college/representational system that doesn't allow votes (like mine) to be counted with all the other votes throughout the nation (I'm a registered independent in a red state that thinks Jesus has personally come off the cross and approved Mitt Romney and that Obama is a Kenyan Muslim with a "fake" birth certificate and he's out to destroy America).
Romney wants deregulation. I disagree vehemently. Investment banks, with their fraudulent "toxic" assets, subprime mortgage lending practices, and bullshit credit default swaps were exactly what put this nation on the razor's edge of another Great Depression ... and we could all be easily standing in line at soup kitchens and waiting in line for a cot in a rescue mission if it weren't for the fact that the government realized (very nearly too late) that it was going to have to engage in "socialistic" behavior and bail the financial industry out even before Obama took office.
This is not an endorsement of Obama, at all. President Obama ramrodded the Affordable Health Care Act down Nancy Pelosi's throat when she tried to dissuade Obama from pushing it through Congress. Americans don't like to have government force things on them (even in emergencies), and Obama spent enormous political capital accomplishing his major initiative. He succeeded ... the price was just too much for the payoff.
Undecided and uncertain voters know that the choice between a hawkish deregulator (Romney) and a pragmatic but hopelessly stubborn progressive is like the choice between taking that job as a minimum-wage janitor in an underfunded morgue that's plagued with endless sanitation violations and taking the other job in a fancy, well-decorated office that pays little more and where you'll be stuck under a ceiling vent that spews small asbestos dust-bunny balls down upon you while you're trying to print out another resume to get you the fuck out of this dead-end civil service nightmare. As they say, it's a huge shit sandwich and we're all going to have to take a big wet bite and swallow.
My solution (which will, admittedly, probably fail if implemented ... but why not give it the suicidal last-ditch effort?) is to storm the castles (metaphorically) by writing, calling, and denouncing -- in editorials whenever possible in whatever media outlets you can find available -- the whole political process of the two-party system. Make the argument that every vote should count; that the Electoral College is out-dated, anachronistic, and superfluous. Let the people's vote (all of them) count. Demand your congress people insist that a Constitutional Amendment be created to disallow for-profit lobbying, get corporations and unions out of the political payment business, and give the fucking vote back to us, the people, who easily know how to fuck up this nation just as well as some asshole or some monolithic industry who's found access through money to whisper into the ears and tickle the rib-bones of the gate-keepers of the two-party system.
It's just a thought. I don't have faith, really, in the possibility of a rational expression of popular political will ... but what the fuck ... it can't hurt to try and fail.
It only hurts to not try and fail.
Richard Reynolds, AKA Mr. Doomed Stuffing