I know I’ve been gone for a bit, for that I apologize. Life has been busy- school and other things you know.
So tonight was the first presidential debate in the United States. To say I was disappointed and frustrated with it would be a rather large understatement on my part.
At first glance, Romney won hands down. This bothers me for many reasons. Of course, the first one is that I really can’t stand the guy. Everything he’s done up to this point has been steadfastly against everything I stand for pretty much. He has blatantly stated he’s against all the major social issues I find important- women’s health choices, women’s equality in pretty much any way possible, gay marriage, social safety nets, etc. He’s also been very much on the opposite side of the spectrum of my beliefs in what needs to be done to help this country get back on its feet without us becoming anything like Greece or Spain. I have found his flip-flopping on issues to be annoying at best, and just plain sad. The odd thing was that tonight, on national stage he has flipped on all the major issues again or at the very least has twisted his original positions to resemble something closer to Obama’s platform. The whole while that Romney is doing this Obama is just sitting there looking defensive and quite uncomfortable with the debate in general. (And don’t even get me started on how both of them were exceptionally rude, Romney especially, to the moderator. I mean, really, aren’t we supposed to be professional here?)
Now the reason I have a problem with this is because of the idea that I know that this country sometimes has a really short memory as a whole. In case someone reading this isn’t aware of this phenomenon, I’m referring to the idea that somehow the public at large tends to forget recent history as we move along in time and in the process of going about things. Because of this issue, I’m concerned that the public won’t realize and won’t fact check the idea that Romney is going against what he’s been campaigning as his platform for at least the past few months if not longer. They won’t remember that half of what he’s saying has already been fact checked as being inaccurate anyway when he’s throwing around numbers against Obama’s administration. They’re going to think that Romeny did a good job. Maybe they’ll even think that he’s a better candidate.
The other problem here I’m having was Obama’s response. I can’t leave him blameless for this loss. He just stood there, shaking his head during most of it. Even when I closed my eyes to listen instead of watching (something that helps to see who is really winning in the debate based on what their saying not what you’re seeing) I found that Obama just repeated the same few things as if he had been caught off guard whereas Romney sadly had a series of varied answers ready at his disposal. Obama was just awkward, defensive, and quite frankly weak. This isn’t the same Obama as an orator that I remember supporting. This sort of perception is going to be remembered. After all, as Americans, we tend to remember the negative better than we remember the positive.
The other thing that bothers me is the people who haven’t watched and won’t watch the debate at all. What they’re going to see is a ton of headlines in the morning declaring Romney as the winner. What effect this will have on the polls and public opinion I’m not sure, but I’m fairly certain it’s not going to be good for Obama. The thing is that these people who rely on these headlines won’t even look up what was really said and how during the debate. They won’t know that Romney flipped on most of his issues, that Obama looked just plain annoyed with the whole thing or that the poor moderator was walked all over by both parties involved as if he wasn’t there half the time. What’s more important is that they won’t have any idea at how many lies were thrown around by either candidate and they won’t be interested in checking anywhere for that information either.
Now one thing I would like to mention is this: I wouldn’t be up after midnight writing this if the content of the debate was the only thing bothering me right now. No, there are other issues at hand concerning this that caught my attention tonight.
See, I like debate, I like paying attention to what goes on in this country and then discussing it with other people to see how they think, how they feel, and how they see things. It helps to get a better grip on what’s going on. What I got tonight though from people wasn’t good at all. It’s not that I found tons of people supporting Romney after all this, though that would have been bad it’s not as bad as what I found.
Yes, I found lots, and LOTS of apathy. It’s a disease of the public, this lack of caring. It causes people to just shrug and say “well, it doesn’t matter” or “My vote won’t change anything.”
This is the most frightening thing of all because it means that people aren’t paying attention. They don’t realize that this presidential election is going to be responsible for a good number of supreme court justices being appointed. It’s going to decide where our country moves to in the next 4 years and how. It’s going to decide the future for us, our children and even possibly our children’s children.
Right now our country, our world, stands on the brink of something large. It’s bigger than any one of us and it’s going to affect ALL of us. Climate change is upon us, economic shifting is happening, in some countries we’re one step away from violent wars, in others that’s already happening. In Europe and in the Arab Nations there is revolution happening at an alarming rate. People there want change now- they’re seeing the need for it and they’re reaching out for it in unison against their governments and against the status quo. Where is that movement here? We started one, if you recall, about a year ago. It was huge, this Occupy Wallstreet movement. Where is it now? They, the government and local law enforcement teams, have learned how to handle it and so have quieted the whole thing. I know because I’ve been documenting it here in my own town and have found records and reports all over the country about similar issues occurring with it. It has caused a new wave of apathy to wash over the youth, the middle-aged and everyone here in this country. Our movement failed, horribly. Sure there are still pockets trying, and I give them kudos for doing so, but overall it’s done and gone I think.
So what now?
I don’t know, but I’m honestly scared shitless right now. My apologies for the foul language, but it’s true and it’s probably one of the only ways I know how to express that sentiment adequately for what I’m feeling. I’m still trying in my own way to get people organized and get them to be more aware and willing to participate in their own government. Voting and protesting are the ways to go for this. I plan on doing both whenever I can. In the meantime, I’m screaming inside with frustration, fear and a sense of hopelessness tinted with hope. Contradictory? Perhaps, but it’s what I have right now.