04 October 2012

on the absurdity of the debates

I watched the Presidential Debate last night, and I wanted to throw something at the TV only a handful of times.

Given my record of yelling in my car during political commentary {most memorably at the Not-So-Super Committee}, I think I should be rewarded for this.

I turned it off before Jim Lehrer could ask his third question {so...that'd be over an hour in to the debate}, and this morning on my run, I kicked through the fall leaves and thought about how I would improve the debates.

Just so you know, when given the choice of working out your aggression by kicking leaves or kicking the TV, choose the leaves.

Kicking leaves is a much more useful/fun way to channel frustration at a debate full of:
  • blah blah blah rhetoric from both sides
  • a moderator who said approximately 17 words the whole time
  • snippets of sentences that you immediately knew would become soundbites {OMG, Romney hates PBS. A vote for him is a vote against Downton Abbey! Vote for Obama if you ever want to see the Dowager Countess ever again!}
Here is what I came up with on my run, based partly on this really terrible idea I had about the Olympics in August.

I decided, as I watched the Parade of Nations, that we—as in the world—should use the Olympics as a way to solve conflicts.

That is: North Korea and America have some, shall we say, ideological differences and general hostility toward each other. Before the Olympics begin, they pick a sport they're both competing in and say, "Okay, whoever wins this game is declared the winner of whatever conflict we have going on. The other country has to accept defeat, and we all move on. End of war/aggression/conflict/whatever."

Same deal for Greece and any country in the Euro Zone. If Greece wins, out go the austerity measures, and the Germans have to swoop in with loads of money and everybody drinks embarrassing amounts of ouzo.

There are so many things wrong with this plan, I know, which is why I said it was really terrible. But it does have a certain "clear the air on the field of sport" charm to it, kind of like something that might take place at Eton.

Which brings me to my plan for the debates. The next two debates will be replaced by a three-sport competition between Romney and Obama.

First Sport: Basketball {clear Obama advantage}
Second Sport: Polo or Rowing or maybe Cricket {whatever sport Romney is good at}
Third Sport: Carrying an Egg on a Spoon while Running Down a Hill, Followed by a Three-legged Race with Their VP {need to get Ryan and Biden in there somewhere and we all need a little lighthearted relief these days. Watching men in suits in a three-legged race might do the trick.}

Anne and Diana in their three-legged race in Anne of Green Gables. The candidates may want to study up on their strategy.

And the winner of those contests will be declared the winner of the debates, and the pundits can analyze performance for days on end. ESPN can be brought in for expert commentary.

Give me a few days/a few more runs while kicking leaves and I just may come up with a similar plan for deciding the whole election.

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