Friday, February 1, 2008

Critique of the Reagan Library Republican Debate

I watched the Republican Presidential Primary Debate at the Reagan Library on Jan 30th and I can say, without a doubt, that I think it was the most pathetic and disgraceful debate I have seen yet.

My critique:

1. First and foremost, was this a Republican debate or was this the McCain/Romney debate? The majority of questions, focus, and time - a vast majority - was spent on McCain and Romney. The other two candidates, Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee, received very little attention.

Anderson Cooper even went as far as to skip over Ron Paul on numerous questions, as well as cut Ron Paul's responses off on multiple occasions after Paul merely uttered a few words, only to move back to McCain or Romney for lengthy amounts of their opinions.

Cooper even flat-out lied to Ron Paul by stating he would come back to Paul in order to let him finish what he was saying, which he never did. He tried to do the same thing to Huckabee. Is this the kind of thing we want from our media, deciding for us who we should pay attention too? Is that what it should be like in a Free Country?

An honest debate would provide equal time and amount of questions to ALL candidates. What CNN did in this debate is nothing short of steering the influence of voters by giving more time to some candidates and not others.

It's time we stop letting mainstream media make the kinds of choices that influence We the People and it's time we start holding them accountable when they try such a disgraceful attempt. We can do that by turning off mainstream media and turning independent media on more. Make the ratings drop. We have the power to do this.

2. Not only were we subjected to who CNN thought should be the focus of the debate (McCain/Romney), we also had to witness McCain and Romney snipe, argue, and pick at each other with the kind of arguementive immaturity we see on an episode of Jerry Springer or Bill O' Riley. It was the ultimate battle of "you said, no I said, no you said, how do you know what I said, waa-waa-waa". It was pathetic (I can't say that word enough).

This was a debate for who should be the President of the United States, not a Jerry Springer Show and not an episode of Bill O' Riley. What's even more pathetic is that such immaturity was virtually accepted by the mainstream media and the people at large. I even had someone who I work with tell me that they thought it was a good debate.

Have we dumbed ourselves down so much as to think presidential candidates fighting like 5-year-olds passes for a good debate? Pathetic. And until the most recent Democratic debate, Obama and Clinton are just as guilty.

After the finger pointing, cat scratching, verbal assaults, continuous jabs, and whining like little bitches was finally over and things began to cool down, the smartest thing said all evening was this:

Per candidate, here's a breakdown of what I saw:

A. Romney - A total clown, fully engaged in the most immature debate of "he said, she said" that I have ever seen (next to past Obama/Clinton conflicts). He denied several accusations, only to have his own past words which supported those accusations quoted back to him by McCain and even CNN.

The only good thing that Romney did during this debate was explain his mandated health care plan in a way that actually makes sense, which up until now I have always despised. When he was governor and mandated health care in his state, he did it because he found people in his state who could afford health care yet were going to the hospital without it because they knew the taxpayers would foot the bill. This actually makes sense to me, but I have to think about it more.

B. McCain - A total clown, fully engaged in the most immature debate of "he said, she said" that I have ever seen (next to past Obama/Clinton conflict). He denied several accusations, only to have his own past words which supported those accusations quoted back to him by Romney and even CNN (sound familiar?).

The only good thing from McCain is that he is the only Republican candidate who has really made any kind of concrete effort to address environmental concerns, which is a major issue to a large portion of the country. And, he is the only candidate, Republican or otherwise, who has addressed those concerns in a practical way, although he would do well to add Ron Paul's attention to property rights on his list of practicalities.

C. Ron Paul - It's hard to critique someone who barely had any time to talk. But, what little we did hear from Paul, I can say that the man has a serious problem with charisma. Many people think charisma is not important. I disagree. I think charisma gets the message accross 10-fold. Ron Paul's lack of charisma could be why his message is failing to reach so much of mainstream America.

I think he also dropped the ball in his closing statement, by choosing to focus the entire statement on whether or not we have sound money. He should have focused more on his support for freedom, the Constitution, and how Reagan supported the same.

On the other hand, everything that Ron Paul did manage to say was, by and large, the most intelligent, thought-provoking, and substance-filled information that was stated during the entire debate, as usual. Perhaps that is another reason why Paul is not "winning". In a dumbed down culture that seemingly reveres the antics found on Jerry Springer, anything thought-provoking might not catch on.

D. Huckabee - I'm not a Huckabee supporter because I don't agree with some of his policies, but I have to say that I didn't see a single thing wrong with what Huckabee did during the debate. I think he was practically flawless.

Of particular success was his calling out of CNN's Anderson Cooper for ignoring him (Ron Paul failed to do that for himself), by constantly reminding Cooper that he was also part of the debate. Huckabee also called out the immaturity of McCain and Romney by stating that he didn't "come here to umpire those two".

Most impressively, Huckabee articulated his belief that leaders who make decisions at the top should be aware of how those decisions affect people at the bottom, otherwise those leaders are not leaders at all. I think that was dead on.

Huckabee is also very charismatic; the only Republican candidate left who is (as opposed to McCain, whose personality resembles a wet, paper bag).

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