Master Debating

I don’t generally partake of presidential primaries. I haven’t “belonged” to a political party for quite a many years now, so I figure each party should just present me with the best they’ve got. I’ll then decide which flavor of evil I’m willing to vote for. I have taken part in exactly one presidential primary in my entire voting life, and that’s because I was fired up and ready to go. In 2004, after hearing Obama speak at the Democratic convention, the first words out of my mouth were “He’s going to be President someday.” I did everything I could to make that happen, and I was not unhappy with the outcome.

So for me to bother even watching the very first debates between a gigantic mob of Democratic hopefuls, is an unusual event. But I did that. Mostly. I did, in fact bail on the second debate for a while, because my god, what a cacophony of shouting. And all I can say after two nights of this is that I continue to have pretty much the same opinions about the whole clown car full of Democratic potential nominees.

Now that I have gotten through this first round of debates, I will go back to not paying too much attention to what any of them are doing or saying until after I have celebrated Christmas and New Years. It’s ridiculously early for me … or anyone, really … to have strongly held opinions on who to vote for months from now. I’m one of those people who is deciding how to vote on things weeks, and sometimes days (or even hours), before voting on them. Not because I don’t care. I care very strongly about a great many things. I don’t bother paying rapt attention because the closer you get to voting day, the more clear the history of the candidate or measure or whatever is. I know where I stand on things, and I have been unwavering in that for decades, what I need is to see the data … what candidates have been saying and doing or who has been spending money to defeat/support ballot measures.

It’s not at all that I make split second decisions. Ever. It’s that ten years ago I was contemplating potential outcomes from some scenario, and I can then apply that to whatever decision it fits with in the present. It’s how my brain works. I contemplate potential outcomes for all manner of scenarios. I see patterns in how things are moving, and I follow them to their most likely final position.

And I update my internal database all the damn time. I keep up with that’s going on. As well as all the things that have already happened, because I’m big into history. It takes a lot of time and energy to do this, so I get why not everyone does. Hell, not everyone can. I’m lucky, I worked my butt through way the hell too much education, and my life is mostly not filled with having to just survive (though sometimes, it is). Anyway, I’m done with politicians trying to convince me they are the chosen one until after January 1, 2020. Possibly later than that. I’ve run scenarios.

With that said, I have formed some very mild, lukewarm opinions of the rabble that is running for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The people I am mildly interested in hearing more from at some date are Warren, Harris, O’Rourke, Gillibrand, Castro, Buttigieg. In no particular order, though I suppose the order my brain thought of them might mean something. I’m sure I’m forgetting someone, but if I can’t even remember you right now, then you probably don’t matter much and will be eliminated long before the Texas primary, or you are one of the people I actively cannot stand and already knew I never needed to hear from again. I will refrain from stating their names, because I don’t need any hate mail.

Now on the subject of the debates themselves, I do have some thoughts. The format sucked. All it did was ask for and produce sound bites. Important thoughts cannot be compressed down into sixty (or thirty) seconds. And my god, none of the moderators moderated. There was zero control of the situation. It’s the same clown car fiasco the Republicans went through when they had ten million people running for President. It is now that I will remind everyone … that process gave us President Trump. The Republicans didn’t get the best possible Republican nominee. They got the person who could best sell themselves in sixty second sound bites and string together words in catchy slogans (with maybe some help from outside sources). If you think this can’t happen on the left side of the political spectrum you are fooling yourself. Evil and/or stupidity can exist on all points along a political line from left to right. It’s a thing I wish more people on the left would keep in mind while rooting for their team mascot, whoever that might be.

So … I’m out. All the back stabbing and mud slinging can happen without me paying attention to it. I’m sure I won’t be able to completely avoid it, unless I give up existing on the internet, but generally speaking, I’ll check back in when we’re closer to the Texas primary. It’s possible I will have less mild opinions about whoever has survived that long, and I will take part in the primary. It’s also possible I will continue to feel only mildly interested in anyone, and I’ll let other people pick the nominee, because any of them will do as well as any of them, which isn’t as sad as it sounds.

I will now watch cat videos on YouTube and cleanse my brain, before curling up in my comfy bed and having a nice long snooze. Hopefully, I will not dream of politics.