I have to say, the commentary I’ve been seeing about the presidential and vice presidential debates has been surprising. Just to be clear, what is surprising is finding out that my friends were watching the debates. I wouldn’t have guessed.
Mind you, I did not watch the debates. I usually find the debates to be more of an emotional appeal. Even when they include facts, the effect of presidential/vice presidential debates appears to be primarily emotional. I’d rather read summaries of the debate discussion to see positions on the issues so I can figure out what I need to about candidates without subjecting myself to purely emotional influence.
I mean this regardless of position on either candidate, or any particular election. Even since the Nixon/Kennedy televised debate where Nixon clearly lost to Kennedy because he couldn’t keep his tentacles inside his mouth, televised debates have come down more to how we feel about candidates and how good a face they put forth as opposed to what they say. This is not a criticism of particular candidates or parties, just an observation on the phenomenon.
So, I generally don’t choose to watch these debates. I didn’t think most of my friends did either. Given the commentary I’ve seen, on both sides of the political spectrum, I can only say that I am surprised. The reactions didn’t tend to surprise me, but the fact that they were watching the debates did. I never would have guessed that so many of my friends were watching the debates. I just have to admit I was wrong.
However, this raises an interesting question. Given how much interest there has apparently been in the debates…can we expect to see a better voter turnout? It seemed like EVERYBODY (but me) was watching the debates. If we don’t see a majority of registered voters actually voting this time, then I am going to really have to wonder why the heck they were watching.