Thursday, August 06, 2015


I haven't decided whether I will watch the debate tonight. On the plus side, I probably should stay informed. On the minus side, I might get rather upset by what the candidates say. And then there is the structure of the debate with 10 people on the stage. I can't imagine that will go well.  

I have been watching the TV show The Newsroom. The shows after the first episode are about 55 minutes. It's just about the right amount time for me to be on the treadmill and take a little break in the middle to wiped down the equipment. So I've been watching the first season, which wasn't quite as bad as the second season.

It also gives a little bit of insight into the current election. That's done by looking at the election from four years ago. You'll recall that Michele Bachmann was a candidate then. In my opinion, she is the one who has enabled Donald Trump to be a candidate now. The public is getting all too used to this sort of thing.   

A question I have about the tone of the debates may be more important than the substance that's in tonight's show. This is how much the candidates will play to the fears of the audience versus creating a vision for change in the country. Since 9/11 fear seems to be the name of the political game. Playing to that fear may be a way to get votes, particularly in the primary. But it is not a good way to run the country. I wonder if any candidate can communicate that.

I am also particularly interested in seeing whether John Kasich can show well and differentiate himself from the rest of the candidates. Most of us think his candidacy is already doomed since he's not conservative enough, though there has been some gallows humor that he's a likely vice presidential candidate because Ohio will be in play and his running might tip the balance to the Republicans. I'm also kind of curious as to whether Jeb Bush can look respectable and offer coherent arguments. These are each reasons to watch.

I do have the feeling we are seeing a remake of the Frank Capra movie It's a Wonderful Life. But in the remake George Bailey does not come back and all we have is Potter's Field. A friend in Facebook posted a link to an essay by the former chancellor from the University of Wisconsin. It's about the decline of that state over the last 15 years, with that accelerating under Gov. Walker. It's chilling to read. And it does get you think that the Republicans champion the Mr. Potter view. I wonder if characterizing the Republican view that way will appear in Democratic ads as a way to appeal to ordinary White voters. Or am I simply too old to use that movie as metaphor for what's happening?


This post was dictated and then edited. Most of my sentences are shorter this way.

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