Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns


I didn’t watch the darn debate. Did something fun instead. Experts say it was boring and muted. Highlights for McCain seem to be holding his own on health care and a classy closing statement. Boring equals safe and Obama wins if he comes away a safe choice. Not a game changer, maybe not even a bleeding stopper. It’s almost always the case that the first debate sets the tone. Maybe I’ll change my mind when I get around to watching the whole thing.

Discussions - 7 Comments

Me too. I played a little trivia at a good Irish bar outside of Philadelphia. I won a little money too. It sure beat the hell out of watching a boring debate.

I did tune into CNN on the way home. They were profiling Ashland County, Ohio. They were saying something about registered Republicans losing manufacturing jobs and being open to the idea of voting for Barak Obama. Is that really true?

I'm sure the Ashbrook Center will "enlighten" them. But if the bar I worked at this past summer is any indicator, the people in Ashland County who are stuck in temp jobs, without health care, and see the war in Iraq as a distraction in the ever-abstracting "war on terror" are going to vote for Obama. Of course, Ashland loves it's conservatives. But if the locals at the bar are willing to embrace Obama and vote for him, I'm not sure how much of a chance the Republicans really have . . .

I watched ten minutes and could not do more.

This happened the other day in a community college classroom in Ohio: I was making a point to my class about syntax. I read a convoluted sentence in a book review -- the author used dashes to set off interesting asides in his sentences -- and the verbal tangle got me thinking about Sarah Palin in the debate the other night. "She was trying to cram too much information into every sentence, which made the point of every sentence unclear or obscure. She was so unclear, it sounded as if she were trying to obscure the point. What did you think?"

One of my students said, "Sarah Palin is an idiot. She was just lyin'! You could tell cause she was just answering any old thing to the moderator and never answering the questions."

I said, "I don't think she is that clever as a politician, yet. Her language was the worst, the most complicated, when she was trying to explain McCain's policies. I thought she was uncomfortable with them, and not clear because of that. On the other hand, Joe Biden's sentences were pretty complicated, too. Yet, he was most clear when he was telling whoppers. He was absolutely direct with those and I'll bet people swallowed them on that account."

"Yeah, him, too." she said.

Someone at the back of the room said, "I wish we could start the whole campaign over with different people." The murmur of assent through the whole class was impressive.

"Which other people? We had other people and these were the people we chose." There was a sort of collective groan.

No one is happy. I wonder how many of my students will vote. That they watched the debate indicates they are politically interested. That they do not appear to like either candidate... I wish I could blame them more being uncomfortable and unhappy with what is before them, but I really cannot.


If it helps at all, I am pretty happy with my candidate.


Yes, I can be happy for you. Who is your candidate?


For the Primaries, I voted for Hillary Clinton, and literally did not know which candidate I would vote for as I went in the door of the polling place. I saw very small substantive differences between Clinton and Obama

But the differences between Obama and McCain are huge, and I have very high hopes for Obama. I am not complacent about his chances of winning, nor do I think that he will instantly reverse the direction in which Bush has taken this country, but I truly feel that McCain is too similar to Bush for my taste.

Am I surprised?

I, too, saw little substantive difference between Clinton and Obama. I wish I saw more difference between McCain and Obama. I don't understand how what you see is "huge". It is, admittedly, a big enough difference for me to choose the other way than you have. I do wish I were happier about my choice.

In the area of "direction the country is going" and "Bush has taken us the wrong way", I think both Obama and McCain will take us in the same direction in too many areas for my comfort. Honestly, except (maybe) for the war, I do not see that Bush took us in any way that Gore or Kerry would not have taken us, it just took longer. Well, maybe there are some Gore-ish nuttinesses that we were spared in the "Save the Planet!" realm.

I think our country has being following a trend that may be inescapable and we have been going that way for a long time. Bush/McCain/Obama, between them our going "that way" is just a matter of slow down or hurry up. I would rather not hurry up. Going slower is too fast for me. However, the current economic distresses will probably hurry us up, no matter who is in office.

I think we lose too much liberty in our flight into security and think that there is no true security in life, except in prisons or in societies that are like prisons. I would not like to go there. I pity us and think that "heaven on Earth" would be a kind of hell. I do look forward to heaven in Heaven, but that is another matter.

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