I wanted to watch the Bears vs. Lions game on Monday night. I’m a Packers’ fan and evil Chicago leads the NFC North division shared with my beloved Green Bay.
But I just couldn’t do it. I’ve become addicted to presidential election politics. And my last big fix would be that third and final debate, the battle in Boca Raton, Fla.
President Obama’s gang admits the first contest was a disaster in Denver, and Paul Ryan debating the Cheshire Cat in Danville, Ky., wasn’t much better, except that Joe Biden at least occupied his otherwise empty chair.
That second town-hall presidential debate in Hempstead, N.Y., did remind me a tad of a stand-up mud wrestling match, but with more mud. It was all great theater.
The debates only reinforced what most voters had already decided. If you liked the president going in, you loved him afterward, although you may have prescribed a few quarts of Five-Hour energy drink for him after Denver. And if you thought that Romney was your man, nothing happened to shake that opinion.
Since that first televised presidential debate in 1960 that pitted Richard “Tricky Dick” Nixon against John F. Kennedy, it’s been conventional wisdom a candidate can win the debate and still lose the election based upon it. Radio listeners in 1960 when polled said Nixon was the clear winner. But it was the beginning of televised politics, and Nixon, being a macho man, declined makeup. They put enough goop on Kennedy to make soon-to-be-first-lady Jackie envious. And the result was JFK looked great, while Nixon looked pale and sweaty under the hot studio lights and TV viewers panned his performance and Kennedy won the election.
The demeanors of President Obama and Gov. Romney on Monday night couldn’t have been more different. Romney was kicked back and relaxed, glancing down occasionally to jot notes, with a benign grin when he would look directly at the president. He defied stereotypical images of a dour LDS elder.
The president, however, possibly remembering criticisms that he seldom paid his opponent attention in Debate No. 1, stared intently at Romney. Creepy intently. He reminded me of a feline predator transfixing his intended prey with a relentless gaze. Of course, Obama-supporters saw his stare as concentration becoming a national leader.
As I said, the debates only reinforced opinions already held.
But now those direct confrontations are over. I didn’t think to DVR them to watch repeatedly after the election remembering my halcyon days as a political junky.
From now until Nov. 6, the challenge will be not to answer the telephone. Because it won’t be your mother or your brother, it will be a pollster who will promise to take only a few minutes of your time. But then your name and phone number gets scribbled on a bathroom stall wall somewhere pollsters gather that you’re a hot number and will answer a daisy chain of repeated calls.
Mesquite is considered the Clark County boonies. If we lived in Las Vegas or some smaller county than Clark, we could easily cast our ballots in person during early voting. But we’re on the list for neighborhood early voting sites so we don’t get the full two weeks to vote early enjoyed by others. But we get two days, at least: Oct 30 and Oct. 31 – the real Nevada Day, despite it being celebrated tomorrow.
I’ll wait until Nov. 6 to vote, however. You never know what’s going to happen or be disclosed.
Could something come up that could make me vote my conscience? That would be to cast my ballot for Gary Johnson.
Don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of him. Political junkies saw him at the start of the Republican primary process, but, alas, not for long. So since the GOP dumped him, he dumped the party.
Gary Johnson is the Libertarian Party candidate for president. He’s got the resume, as well. He’s former governor of New Mexico.
But his views are obviously contrary to mainstream America. He supports free trade, no tariffs, limited government. He wants government out of our romantic and private lives; he says the drug war is a failure and supports gay unions, while opposing public sector unions and unions in general, saying they protect incompetent workers.
He wants a constitutional amendment requiring the government to operate with balanced budget. He advocates a strong military, but doesn’t want it policing the whole planet. He says he’s cut the military budget by 43 percent, which sounds crazy until you realize that bounces our spending on defense back to 2003 levels.
He differs from 2008 Libertarian candidate Ron Paul’s philosophy primarily because he would allow military intervention for humanitarian reasons, but otherwise what you know about Dr. Paul you can apply to Johnson.
But, of course, voting for Johnson is paramount to voting for President Obama. And that tactic infuriates Johnson, but that’s the way it is in a de facto two-party system, even if the Libertarian Party is the largest of the country’s splinter parties.
I believe it’s time for the president to go, although you know he won’t. Republicans will hate it but even if Barack Obama is defeated or after his second term expires, he’s young; he’ll be around for many years freely expressing his opinions and being as much or more a part of the political landscape as Bill Clinton.
I supported the president in 2008 as having a better vision for the future than John McCain. But he had a mandate that he wasted. With both houses of congress in his thrall, he could have brought the economy roaring back with real, shovel-ready jobs. That’s the kind he wants us to believe he’ll fund if we give him another chance: bridges, highways, schools and other public projects that will be here long after he’s out of office and the massive debt repaid.
But although I voted for him, I was suspicious. I admit to being prejudiced against him – not because of the color of his skin, but because he rose to the top in Chicago, Democratic Party politics. That’s not an environment conducive to honesty and fair dealings.
And besides, being from Chicago, no matter whatever else he is, he’s got to be a fan of the evil Bears.