Debates = NASCAR
By @alexcornell // 11.01.12
Presidential Debates are like NASCAR: boring, predictable, and circular – people just watch to see if someone will mess up and crash.
It’s actually quite amazing how calculated the Presidential Debates are, given the variables in play. You would think that, given there are two living, breathing humans on stage, something unusual might happen at least once. The only other time you can guarantee the outcome of a conversation with such certainty, would be between two actors onstage at a theater.
What allows candidates in a Presidential Debate to stay so remarkably “on script” as it were, is the fact that they are permitted to lie, ramble and hedge. Mercilessly. If they don’t have an instant rebuttable to something, the tactic is to just keep speaking at all costs, truth be damned. I wish a moment’s pause was looked at as an acceptable way to begin a response during a debate. I consider a thoughtful pause an asset of a skilled conversationalist, not a weakness.
So why do people watch? If people watch NASCAR for the crashes, people watch Debates for the zingers. Those sought after one-liners designed to destabilize an opponent and, for a brief moment, upset the humming drone of the debate’s cement-like cadence.
For me, I don’t like watching people crash at 200mph. Endless laps around a track in Indiana mixed in with the vague potential of fatal injury does not add up to an entertaining sport for me. I hate NASCAR and thus I suppose it’s no surprise, I hate the Presidential Debates.
And don’t even get me started on “undecided voters”…