Debating the Truth
7 months ago
From Big Bird to boldfaced lies, the first presidential debate proves we need to educate ourselves during this election cycle.
Watching debates are always more than a little stressful to me. I get wrapped up in the rhetoric, angry with ineffective moderators, and pissed off by the half-truths and straight up lies. So of course last night’s debate had me turned up to eleven. Here are my top takeaways:
Folks really love Sesame Street. When GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said that he would wipe out the deficit by getting rid of the famous kids’ show, which has been running on public television since 1969, the Internet lit up. Facebook was immediately populated with pics of the show’s famous Muppets in angry stances, and Big Bird suddenly had several new Twitter accounts, including one that already has nearly 17,000 followers and spouts missives such as “Tonight’s Sesame Street was also brought to you by the numbers 4 and 7.” But I’m not surprised Romney has beef with Sesame Street. It’s clearly a bit hood (um, Oscar the Grouch, anyone), hella integrated (Black folk, white folk, Hispanics, and monsters, son), and full of lessons about doing right by the community—all things that haven’t exactly been hallmarks of the Republican candidate’s campaign. Romney had better pray he doesn’t win this election; the toddlers I know would cut him for messing with their show.
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Undecided voters are ridiculous. I watched the debate on CNN, and they had a panel of “undecided” voters watch and weigh as the candidates spoke. I probably spent way too much time watching the squiggly lines jump around at the bottom of the screen, but I spent even more time thinking about a skit on last week’s SNL that had me dying laughing. In it, undecided voters were portrayed as idiots who ask questions such as, “Can women vote?” and “What are the names of the two people running, and be specific?” and “How long is a president’s term in office? One year? Two years? Three years? Or life?” With just 32 days to go until November 6, I just find it hard to believe that there are folks who are waiting until after the debates to pick a side. Who the hell are these people? Are they the people who pop up in my Facebook feed posting pictures of what they had for dinner when everyone else is talking about the debate and inventing new Twitter hashtags (#imaginaryundecideds)? I’m beginning to think they just want to be on television; stranger things have happened for 15 minutes of screen time.
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