Last Night’s Debate

27 September 2008

I listened to part of the first Obama/McCain debate and then listened to reaction.

The general tenor of politics is disheartening, although these two are more decent than most. . Both candidates believe that large governments and corporations are not really the problem, they just both need to be managed well.

And people, at least the vocal ones and the professional opinion-givers, are not swayed by debate.  People are more complicated than logic and reason, which we expect people to use in making these decisions.  My students often like the idea of a debate, but in the end it never changes anyone’s opinions.

Listening to the reaction, it seemed that the debate mostly hardened people’s previously held ideas.  I wonder if the undecideds just ended up leaning more towards whoever they were leaning towards to begin with.

I’m not ready to go bush —at least, not yet— but the reality of corporatism/statism and its everyday person’s manifestation, consumerism, are the roots of our problems.

These institutions do things for the good of a profit or for political ends; they rarely do what’s right because it is right.

I’m not saying toss Obama out with the trash; he’s the better of the two choices, but folks who are far left (-5 or further on the Political Compass, to give a non-scientific benchmark) should vote/support/donate with the clear understanding that he is not as liberal as they are.  Maybe personally he is, but not as a Presidential nominee or as President.

Especially given the Political Compass, just to choose a benchmark even if it is not normed, it’s clear that most progressive folks I know are not authoritarians.  Probably because of the debacle of Communism in the 20th Century, Stalinist/Leninist leftism isn’t really a choice they would make, especially institutionally/revolutionarily.

Honestly, I’m probably going to write in Noam Chomsky this year.


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