A Viewers Guide to the Big Dang Debate and Snake Oil Clearance Sale

Tuesday, October 02, 2012
by Patrick Dorinson

Well it is finally here. The big event we have all been waiting for with great anticipation.

No it isn’t the baseball playoffs and World Series.

It is that quadrennial event that all the pundits say will determine who going to be president of these United States for the next four years.

The Presidential and Vice Presidential debates, although I still haven’t quite figured out why we need a Vice Presidential debate since that person’s job is that of a back-up quarterback. He gets up every morning and if the President is still alive and kicking goes back to sleep.

Every cable talk show, commentator and failed candidate of the past weighs in to give advice to the two candidates on how to prevail.

Many of them talk mostly about how to come across as “likable” and that you “feel the people’s pain”.

Paul Craig Roberts, a veteran of the Reagan Administration once said, “As the growing emphasis on feelings crowd out reason, facts will play a smaller role in the public discourse.”

And that ain’t good.

Issues? Hard unvarnished truths? Real world solutions not pie in the sky pain-free solutions?

Are you kidding? This is a Presidential debate not a real discussion of how to get out of the hole we collectively dug for ourselves.

So instead of giving the candidates one more piece of advice that they don’t need or won’t heed, here is a guide for you the viewers.

First when you listen to their answers remember this.

The length of a conversation don’t tell nothing about the size of the intellect.

The President is fond of giving answers to questions with a lot of words but no meaning. Just watch one of his press conferences.

And Mitt Romney sometimes gives tortured long answers using phrases like the “progressivity of the tax code”.

If Romney is asked about taxes and what he would do, he should say, “I will throw the tax code in the Potomac and we are going to start all over. Period.”

The President will try to run out the clock saying how he has cut taxes forgetting that next year the payroll tax cut will be gone and the sugar high that went with it.

The second thing to remember?

A man with an edgy smile is like a dog with a waggin’ tail: he ain’t happy he’s nervous.

Since this campaign has been like a canoe trip down a sewer with all the trash talk between consultants hollerin’ at each other on TV and the candidates through ads, both campaigns have told their candidates to be on their best behavior.

And you can count on each to get a question they really don’t like and don’t want to answer or possibly can’t answer-truthfully that is. Then watch the edgy smiles come out.

So if the smiles look too forced or phony from either of them they’re nervous not happy.

Finally, something you won’t hear on Wednesday night—the truth.

Will Rogers once said, “If you ever injected truth into politics you have no politics.”

There will be a lot of snake oil sold at the debate by both sides because they can’t tell the truth about what is really coming next year and the year after that.

In May 1940 Winston Churchill gave a short speech to Parliament wherein he told his countrymen the truth of what lie ahead.

But these two ain’t no Churchill.

Now each candidate will give closing remarks.

Here is what I would like to hear.

“Folks here is the truth. The road back to prosperity is going to be long and difficult. There are no shortcuts or pain free solutions.

If you think that by taxing only the rich you will be spared the pain because you are not rich you are living in a fool’s paradise. And if you think that tax cuts alone will return us to the good old days you too are living in that same false paradise.

The years ahead will test us a nation not of special interests groups each vying for a piece of a shrinking pie but as a people united to finally face up to our problems like generations of Americans did before us, look them square in the eye and conquer them.

I have no allusions about the difficulty of the task before us nor should you.

If you want to buy the snake oil from the opposition you will only forestall the pain that is to come.

All I offer is a good dose of castor oil. And just like your mother gave it to you to get you “moving” we need it now to get America moving.

 And so it is with great humility not hubris that I ask for your vote.

You may vote for my opponent which is your right as an American. And he may prevail.

But whatever happens on November 6th my conscience will be clear because I will have told you the facts and the truth.

One more thing I fired all my consultants yesterday!”

So enjoy the debate.

But don’t expect any real answers.

Here is a link to Churchill’s 1940 speech: