Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Vacant Debates: My Blank Response
Living in the age of opinionators rather than analyzers, factoid reporters rather than fact checkers, we are left without clear understanding of truth. Claims are presented without contrast, without context, leaving loudness and aggression as the clearest memory.
I look for follow-up analysis and find only partisan cheerleading or carefully balanced gray reportage. All this is carefully choreographed to create the iconic representations of the candidates. War hero maverick. Calm assured diplomat. Rainbow Brite frontier woman w/ maverick highlights. (I've got nothing for Biden except experienced but occasionally gaffe-prone white guy which seems thin even to me.)
Winners of a particular debate are variously declared using specific or specious criteria: polls, style, audience, expectations. Because there has to be a winner and a loser. There are no stark contradictions. There are no lies, no misrepresentations in the mainstream reports. They leave those to be presented by the campaigns.
What would it be like if every campaign claim and counterclaim were strictly analyzed for verifiable facts? For a candidate's historical positions? Deconstruct the assertions with clarity and without bias and see what comes out the other end.
Instead we are tribes battling, shouting taunts and incoherent epithets back and forth, caught up in the identity politics and issues cleaving the body politic.
Color me blank.