Monday, October 11, 2004

Dred Scott? Judging from what I've seen on the Internets, most people think Bush did better this time at Friday's debate while Kerry still held on to his edge. Neither candidate apparently gained much from the exchange.

I was disappointed. This debate lacked the substance of the last confrontation. I watched it with my girlfriend, who disagrees with me on the Iraq issue, and we were articulating more informative arguments than Bush and Kerry during their debate.

Bush was a bit too excited early on. He wanted to appear more aggressive, but he just came across as hyper. I half expected one of his aids to come out and put an Abu Ghraib leash on him to keep him under control. The SAT word of the night: "facile", describing how he wants to improve the military. Not as many syllables as "vociferously", but we can tell Bush is still trying to shake off his dummy reputation.

Kerry seemed adequately sedated. But he was just a downer to listen to. I found myself dreading his moments to speak. After Bush would tell us what great things we're going to accomplish, Kerry would attempt to shoot everything down and convince the audience that everything is going horribly wrong.

I understand that Kerry is the challenger and that he has to criticize the incumbent to convince voters to change presidents. But some politicians have a knack of criticizing the current situation while staying optimistic. Kerry doesn't know how to do that. And I think that turns a lot of people off.

Instead, Kerry just declares that the crucial and historic work President Bush has done is failing and is the wrong path to take. Kerry tells everyone that he can do better because he has "a plan". Unfortunately, he never gives the specifics of any of his plans. He'll tell you the goals, like getting more allies in Iraq and reducing U.S. troop levels (both of which won't happen), but he never explains how he will accomplish this, other than claim to do what Bush is already doing.

Sure, there's plenty to be negative about. Things are not going as well as we would like. But I don't hold it against the president to try to stay optimistic. Bush talks about what we can do. Kerry talks about what we can't do. Confidence tends to rub off on people for the better.

By the end of the debate, we didn't learn anything new, and my girlfriend had already fallen asleep. I don't expect any surprises in the next debate, considering they'll be arguing over the same domestic issue politicians have argued about for generations. But it will be the last time they'll have a chance to connect with voters directly before the election. Hopefully some of them will stay awake.


Post a Comment

Copyright © Staunch Moderate
Using Caribou Theme | Bloggerized by Themescook