About The Debates: Don’t Subject Yourself To Them

[During this election cycle I’ve tried to avoid politics. It’s causing enough misery without my addition. (Though I occasionally “fall off the wagon”.) Perhaps this is one of those times. However, I post this in the interest of sparing folks of both sides he ensuing feeling of being both stupid and used.]

You might be thinking about watching tonight’s debates. I’d like to offer this helpful suggestion:


Spend time with your kids, work in your garden, read a book, even if you spend the night doing tequila shooters and playing solitaire virtually anything you do will be better than watching the debates. Do not allow yourself to be treated the way they will treat you as an audience member. You are grown men and women and deserve better.

Back in the long gone foreign nation of 1992 I watched my last presidential debate. I’m not a fool, I didn’t expect the Lincoln-Douglas debates. I was well aware that I was consuming a product steeped in bullshit. Even so, I hoped to glean some tiny understanding of the two nitwits who vied to run the government.

I can’t remember exactly when it happened or the exact phrasing but somewhere towards the end of the debate things went from bad to worse. Whatever airhead they had for moderator asked a question about “family”. It went something like this:

“Could you, Mr. Clinton, comment on the role of government in family?”

Bill nailed it! He turned his gaze slightly upwards, as if viewing an imaginary and gorgeous place. Somewhere far off and wonderful. The media did their part too, the camera angle changed. Suddenly we were looking from a lower vantage point upwards to our heroic father figure. He was looking at what must’ve been a studio ceiling but he made it look like he was gazing upon the face of God. He glanced left and then he glanced right. He did it just the way they teach you; so the spotlights catch your eyes and they twinkle. And it worked! His eyes twinkled like he was Santa Claus. Then he said something. After his warm up whatever he said didn’t matter but he nailed that too. It was something about how great family was. It talked about love, and joy, and the mutual bonds we all hold dear.

It was a fucking Hallmark moment. And I was repulsed.

Bush followed suit, doing his best to pantomime the same syrupy message. He didn’t pull off the twinkle but his words were roughly the same.

Thy had both done something abhorrent.

How dare they profane my family by presuming they’re a member!

The president, regardless of who is elected, is not part of my family! You don’t vote for family. The president doesn’t know me. The president is not invited to my house for Thanksgiving. The president is not allowed to borrow my car. The president will not feed my dog when I’m on a trip. The president wasn’t there for my childhood birthdays. The president wasn’t there when I graduated from school or got my first job. He didn’t laugh at my first hangover. He won’t bury my dog when it’s dead. The president does not change diapers, give hugs, congratulate you on your successes, sympathize for your losses, or in any way participate in your family. I will not sit by the side of the president’s bed weeping at the loss that breaks my heart as the president passes away. Nor will the president come to me and comfort me in my time of need.

It was contrived, it was sappy, it was dishonest, it was sleazy, and it was my fault. I hated myself for turning on the TV and I hated them for treating me like that. Even now, 24 years later, my anger over that moment burns.

That was the last presidential debate I ever watched. I will not be talked down to like that. I am a grown man and I know what family is and the president has no role.

Remember that. Whatever the Felon and the Hairball do on that screen tonight it isn’t about you. They don’t know you. They are not going to solve your problems. You cannot vote to be loved.

There is only one answer that would’ve worked in 1992 for that bullshit softball question. And there’s only one answer that is appropriate for the same bullshit softball questions as it is, in just a few hours, rehashed in 2016:

“The president is many things, but the president is not your family.”

About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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7 Responses to About The Debates: Don’t Subject Yourself To Them

  1. czechsix says:

    Hell, I’m not interested in what they’re going to say – the only reason I’m watching is there might be a possible stroke on stage, and hell, I can’t miss that.

    Making memories, ya know?

    • I must admit the possibility of Hillary exploding on stage is amusing but it won’t happen. Her medical team will have her pumped up with enough drugs to animate a corpse for the two hours it’ll take. It reminds me of that one scene from The Wall. I think the song is Comfortably Numb; “That’ll keep you going for the show, c’mon it’s time to go.”

  2. Easily Amused says:

    Dear AC,

    I know how you feel, though I have never had a moment like that myself. However, denying your public your commentary on what happens tonight at this pivotal moment is the true crime against humanity. I hope you reconsider.

    Easily Amused


    I’m stuck in the DC Metro and have no choice but to watch. Tomorrow I will be bombarded all day about it.

  3. abnormalist says:

    This is why I have beer, rye whiskey, and pooh bear

  4. cspschofield says:

    Back in the days when television was first emerging as a possibility, H. L. Mencken predicted that its advent would spell the end of actual political disagreement anywhere the cameras could reach. Everything would be stage managed to a fare-thee-well, and the public would never, EVER, be confronted with evidence that their would-be leaders were anything but stuffed shirts.

    With the single, shining, exception of the Reagan/Carter debates I have never seen anything – be it at the Presidential Debates or the nominating conventions of either party – that has made be even consider the possibility that Mencken was mistaken.

    That we have been treated to shots of Shrillarybot malfunctioning (or whatever her tick and twitches indicate) simply shows that NOBODY likes the bitch. Not even her own tame pressies.

    • Easily Amused says:

      I think her malfunctions just show that it’s hard to keep possession of a body when it’s been reanimated. But it’s nic to think the press might still have a little backbone left… but I severely doubt that of the Mainstream Propaganda machine.

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