The Presidential Debate Doesn't Really Matter

The first presidential debate is on tonight.  Great.  Wonderful. 

Does anyone care?  

No, honestly, get off the whole "This is going to showcase who the better speaker is, watch my candidate 'win' everything and hit all these talking points" schpiel. 

Does anyone really think that this debate is going to change anything??

Does anyone really think that American voters haven't decided who they are voting for yet?  That they are waiting for this debate to somehow clear things up for them?  Does anyone really think that anything one of the two candidates will say will sway people away from the other?

If you do, I think you're kidding yourself.

There was a time when the presidential debates mattered.  A time when this would be one of the first times many people heard the candidate's opinions and listened to them speak at length. 

This is not that time.  Our candidates now have been campaigning from the minute Obama lowered his hand from swearing to uphold and honor the presidency of the United States.  We've had four years to watch them go at each other.  We've had four years to watch one of them work, and the other discuss how they would do it differently.  We've heard all their arguments already, their pros and cons.

What am I actually going to learn from watching this debate?  If I am one of the Americans that has a genuine interest in policy and government action, my assumption is that my candidate has said everything important and/or surprising that he needed to say prior to this debate.  I could catch highlights on the morning news, and skip about three hours of discussion on issues I've already heard ad nauseum.  I will continue to support my candidate, because one debate really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

If I am not that American - then I will not be watching the debate anyways.  I will catch the bloopers and criticisms on my news or comedy shows, and I will feel justified in continuing to support the candidate I already support based on the reaction of others.

So great - the debate is on tonight.  Just like it has been on every night for the past four years.


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