The Romney vs. Obama debates have brought out the worst in all of us. Instead of watching the debates to understand each candidate’s positions, we view them to see how our guy does against the other candidate. Romney and Obama bludgeoned each other with their talking points instead of constructing well reasoned arguments.
The candidates did not respect the process and they buffaloed the moderators. Throughout the campaign, the press has abdicated its responsibilities as the fourth estate. They’ve joined the partisan bloggers by voluntarily writing propaganda for their candidates.
What amazes me is how we can all all look at the same facts and arrive at such different conclusions. I was talking with a friend this afternoon and he scored Romney as the winner while I said Obama won. The weird thing is how we were both citing the same data to support our conclusions.
Most people on both sides of the aisle see what they want to see and work backward from their conclusions. They cherry pick their facts and reach conclusions based on their emotions. This means we’re in big trouble because the problems we face require objective decision making. They can only be cured by truly understanding the data, agreeing on the problems and proceeding with logic and determination.
Essentially it’s not possible to fix the problems because we cannot agree on what they are.
Apropos of cherry picking data, Pundits from the Romney camp complained that the town hall debate held at Hofstra was biased toward Obama because Long Islanders are liberal. Now, I don’t which Long Islanders they were talking about. I grew up there, visit frequently, and still have family and friends there. Nearly everyone I know from home is very conservative and plans to vote for Romney.
In fact, the Republican Party has run LI as long as I can remember, which is getting to be a long time now. Even I was a registered Republican. I was a Republican Block Captain while I was in college and voted by party until I stopped life guarding for the town.
Parenthetically, I’d still be a Republican if the religious right hadn’t hijacked the party and used it as a tool to impose their draconian social agenda on the rest of the country. Republicans like Nelson Rockefeller and Bill Weld or Teddy Roosevelt are more my cup of tea. They had position and money and social consciences but stood for fiscal conservatism, business, law and order, and defense.