Taking a break from political debates


I have decided to take a break from watching the debates and town halls held by the Democratic and Republican candidates. I started watching the Democratic town hall on Wednesday but soon got tired of it. I think it is because as a fairly close observer of politics, I am not learning anything new about the candidates’ views from these events. I think I pretty much know where they stand so watching would be largely for style not substance and I am not that interested in style. I figure that if they say something really new or interesting, I will hear or read about it elsewhere.

I know that political candidates like to have more such events because it gives them the much desired visibility and I can understand why. Not everyone is a close observer of politics like me who is able to set aside the time to watch these events. Many people have other things that they have to deal with in their lives that take precedence. Hence having more such events increases the chances that a regular voter will tune in to at least one and hear what the candidates have to say so I think these are in general good things. But I have had enough, at least for the time being.

So I did not watch the Democratic debate last night. I am not planning to watch the Republican debate on Saturday either since not only is it highly unlikely that I will learn anything new about their stances, what I know they will say repulses me. However, I may change my mind if early reports suggest that it is turning into an ugly slugfest. Because then I would be watching for entertainment value, not information.

Comments

  1. raym says

    Another problem is that the entire election cycle in the US has become continuous; as soon as one election is over, the next one takes its place. That, coupled with the endless begging for money, both by phone and email, serves simply to put me off rather than enthusing me.

  2. says

    Because then I would be watching for entertainment value, not information.

    If you consider that sort of thing entertaining, why not watch MMA fighters kick the crap out of eachother. At least they’re not yelling lies while they do it. On the occasions when I want to see violent conflict as entertainment I usually watch Lechi Kurbanov kick people in the head on youtube. Besides – in terms of skills focused on what he does, he’s a real professional and these politicians are amateur hour in comparison. Isn’t it weird that our politicians are generally a bunch of amateurs, or they play down their professionalism? I’d expect Hillary Clinton to be saying “Listen, I’ve been a professional bureaucrat, servant of the oligarchy, and finally oligarch my whole life. I know how committees work and how deals are made. These business people – what do they know about how to work in Washington? Trump can buy a congressman but he doesn’t know how to work one!” Instead we get (like last cycle) “Hey I learned enough selling pizza that I could negotiate with Putin!” (Putin would love that, lunchmeat)

  3. Chris J says

    I got to the same point of not caring about the debates anymore. I watched the last Republican debate only because of the whole Trump not being there thing, and at least I was able to see Fox putting videos of the candidates up during the questions.

    But yeah… my mind’s long been made up, so if I watch I’m watching for entertainment more than anything else. And even then, I’ll be doing something else (like playing games) on the side.

    The thing that’s put me off is that, while I have been following the election pretty closely, I’m not quite that informed about the candidates’ backgrounds or political speak. So when I watch the debate live, I find myself nodding along with answers that, in hindsight, really aren’t answers. I don’t necessarily recognize when a candidate is struggling to find an answer, or when an actually strong line is delivered, so I don’t get the joy someone else might have of recognizing those moments.

    Democracy, everyone. Woo. Where ratings are a major part of the discussion around the debates, and even interested people find themselves having to cast the whole thing as reality TV.

  4. StevoR says

    Election fatigue already and the electionis still almost all of a year of and the first round just held. Yet this si sadly unsurprising and feels about right.

    Has there been any movement in the US to reform their system and make it say, a bit shorter on endless elections and a bit longer on effective actual governing? Coz distant outsider as I may be, it sure seems like such reforms would be extremely nice and welcome. (Note that your nation affects ours and the rest of the world so much.)

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    StevoR @ # 5: Has there been any movement in the US to reform their system and make it say, a bit shorter on endless elections and a bit longer on effective actual governing?

    Got any ideas for that which wouldn’t involve flat-out political censorship?

  6. Holms says

    If you consider that sort of thing entertaining, why not watch MMA fighters kick the crap out of eachother.

    Because it is not the same thing, would be my guess.

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