I didn’t watch or listen to the GOP presidential debate this evening, instead spending my time following assorted and occasionally sordid comments about it on Twitter while listening to the Sharks-Blues game (Sharks, alas, lost 1-0). Therefore, I’m unable to comment on the debate directly, or at the least decline to do so as I have no idea exactly what anyone actually in the debate said. I know this seldom if ever stops most pundits from running their mouths; however, I’m a firm believer in the edict that says if you weren’t there, don’t talk about what went on there. But I digress. Instead of commenting on the debate itself, I’ll comment on the comments.
First off, this photo of the average Rick Perry supporters says it all:
Will you stop acting like giggly schoolgirls swooning over your latest crush and face facts? When your best comment about a debate is “our candidate didn’t say or do anything stupid,” you have precious little on which to base optimism. Perry continues to be his own worst enemy with ridiculous gaffes such as forgetting the legal voting age, not knowing the number of Supreme Court justices, and on and on and on. Even more damaging is when he blows these things off as unimportant. Yes, he’s running a terrific economy in Texas. Like it or not, this does not cancel a public image of Perry being the love child of Mortimer Snerd and the Three Stooges. His entire campaign has been a rolling train wreck looking for the next place to crash. This is what the public sees, and no amount of squealing with delight over your dreamboat is going to change anyone’s mind.
Perry is not alone in the overzealous supporter department. Every candidate has their contingent who preach how every word that springs from their chosen one’s lips is pure gold while everyone else belches the fires of hell. Or worst yet, something not equaling their measuring stick for true conservatism or (for the RINOs) practicality. It’s all become quite old, yet the monotonous drum beat goes on. And on and on.
A unifying thread drawing all of the aforementioned groups together is a very real need to see things as they are, not as they wish for them to be. (Before anyone asks, I completely include myself in this group.) They are not shaping the political debate in this country, nor are they changing anyone’s hearts and minds. How can they? No one — no one — outside of their circles, all of which are made up of each other, knows they’re alive. Whatever scant attention the public pays to politics is directed at traditional media.
We need to stop kidding ourselves and break free from this combination circle jerk and circular firing squad mentality. We’re not getting the message to the people. In-fighting we’ve got down pat. Spreading the word, not so much. We need to start talking to someone other than ourselves about what matters, laying out what we believe and why in clear, concise terms.
Part of this involves not talking politics 100% of time, without dropping it altogether from our conversation, and associating, based on our shared humanity, with others who don’t fit the mold from which we came. It is far more important to care and share with people than either always associate with those of like mind or clam up whenever around others who disagree with us. If we genuinely care, we share. Even should we agree to disagree, let knowledge be shared. You never know when a planted seed may blossom.
What is even more vital is getting over ourselves and getting on with the task at hand. We can wail on each other all night during and after a debate. It will not matter one iota. It will never matter one iota.
Rather like our ego, what say?