Friday, 10 August 2012

Yes We Can! (have an Educated Debate)

I’m going to take a break here for a second, and address the internet. Yes internet, I am looking at you. Listen closely; I have a little anecdote to share.

In elementary school, we had a student council which I headed, and I remember one kid really wanted to be on it. He said he had good ideas, was enthusiastic, and seemed fairly bright. There were two problems. He came from a rather wealthy family, so a lot of kids out of pure jealousy grew a dislike for him. Secondly, some of his ideas were blatantly ridiculous. For example, he thought it was ridiculous that we charged three dollars on non-uniform day to wear plain clothes – absolute tyranny. What he didn’t know was that collection formed a good majority of our budget, and without it we probably couldn’t do anything at all.

The time came where a member of student council transferred schools, so we had a by-election to replace him. Obviously the enthusiastic kid jumped at this chance and began putting up posters. Some of his ideas were pretty cool, like trying to bring in “Jumping Castle Day” or “Water Fight” day. His opponent was a relatively clever girl. She created a rumour that the enthusiastic kid had stole Pokemon cards and stashed them in his locker. If you remember, Pokemon was a huge deal back then.

Well, it was war. The students demanded he open his locker, which he refused. He was subject to ridicule, embarrassment, and the occasional wedgie. He lost the election by a landslide.

I approached him after the election, and asked him why he hadn’t opened his locker. He looked at me, sighed and removed the lock and swung the door open. Inside was a picture of his Dad hugging him.

“He died in Afghanistan years ago; I didn’t want everyone to know I didn’t have a dad”

And I realized how stupid it was that he lost an election because he didn’t want to open his locker.
The internet loves to capitalize on some rather embarrassing policies of the Republican Party, specifically the Tea Party. Yes, a lot of rather humourous ideas come from that group, but a lot of even more ridiculous theories have come from the Occupy movement. I realize the lovefest for Obama, but truthfully the guy hasn’t done much in office that differentiates him from any other President. The Dodd-Frank laws are a regulatory mess, Obamacare caters to big Pharmaceuticals, and he has failed to adequately address the budget deficit and push through the taxation increases needed. Yes, I realize he has been stifled by a Republican congress, but honestly Obama hasn’t been that special.

Enter Mitt Romney. No one can deny the guy is a brain. He was great at his job, whether you agree or disagree with what his job entailed. Sure, his public speaking skills needs work (okay that may be the understatement of the century), he comes from a wealthy family, and he flip flops on issues a lot.

Why does he flip flop? Well, it’s because people force him too.  Romney instituted a similar health care system in Massachusetts that was used as the base of Obamacare, yet Romney has to cater to his voter base – the extreme right of the Republican party. Why can’t Romney issue a better tax plan? Well, according to Republicans raising the taxes on the rich is equivalent to declaring Jesus was a homosexual and endorsed gay marriage.

Romney needs to appeal to his voter base.

And let’s cut out the ridiculousness of Romney not releasing his tax returns. Who cares? Does this actually matter? Internet, you lambasted the right for demanding the birth certificate of Obama, but now you are demanding Romney release his tax records? Yeah, I know anyone who runs for President by tradition usually release them, but Romney isn’t. Who cares? All those tax records will do is create more arguments of stupidity that are completely unrelated to the actual debate that should be occurring – which leader has better ideas on national security, American debt, reacting to the Euro crisis, or ensuring Iran doesn’t block of the Strait of Hormuz.

Internet, if you think you’re smarter than the typical voter, stop attacking Romney on trivial matters – who cares he won’t open the anecdotal locker. Let’s stop the one sided attack of the Republican Party, the Democrats surely have done similar dirty tactics (both parties are funded by the same freaking people). It just makes this election more painful to watch.

Let us, for once, have an actual educated debate about the issues that matter. This may be too large of a wish, but like Obama’s 2008 campaign, I believe in change, not more of the same. 


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