Thursday, October 14, 2004

"what my worry is is that, you know, it looks like it's from canada, and it might be from a third world.."

i am really glad that the presidential debates are over. really. i mean, i watched all three of them with great interest, and at the end of the day i'm left with thoughts of presidential candidates who have a very limited vocabulary. if you look closely at the transcripts of all three debates, you'll notice that several issues were handled (by both candidates) with the same responses and same wording over and over again...

it really annoys me sometimes. it makes the skin on my forehead crinkle which causes my eyebrows to bunch up together and forces a sigh from my mouth and a nodding of my head, all the while thinking.. wow.. both of these guys are yale graduates, yet they can't seem to get past all the catch phrases and unimaginative words to describe their policies.

and then every so often my ears perk up because someone says something different, like: "a plan is not a litany of complaints..", or "in his last litany of misstatements.."

ooooh... big word!

but then right after the debate i hear bush's advisor use the same word, and then all of a sudden i'm not so impressed anymore.

i know.. i'm making a big deal over vocabulary which shouldn't really be an issue. but it is dammit! the more you really believe something, the more you should be capable of describing it in many different ways. there's no need for memorization! there's no reason why two intelligent yale graduates who are vying for the spot of "leader of the free world" can't articulate themselves well enough not to be repetitive! i mean, really... what gives?

ok, so now to the meat of last night's debate. they sure did cover a ton of different topics last night, didn't they? let's see..

homeland security
flu shots/health care
outsourcing american jobs
roe v. wade
minimum wage
social security
ban on assault weapons
affirmative action
a nation united
the women in their lives

that's quite a bit for a 90 minute session, don't you think? but i liked it.. i liked the fact that they weren't harping on one topic for too long. and the questions asked were really good.. really solid questions. not questions that allowed you to beat around the bush which, actually, the president is really good at beating around the bush (pun intended) wouldn't you say?

i found it really, really interesting, that the two questions the president completely and totally avoided answering were the ones in regard to overturning roe v. wade, and affirmative action. essentially, women and minorities. that's really interesting to me. and it really solidifies my opinion that he really doesn't care about us.

but i will admit this, and i'm not totally certain how i feel about it yet on a social level, but i agreed with the president when he commented about immigration and giving amnesty to "illegal aliens" by saying "there are plenty of people standing in line to become a citizen. and we ought not to crowd these people ahead of them in line", these people of course being illegal "aliens". on a personal level, i agree with this because i myself am a victim of an over-extended immigration system. i applied for permanent residency (not citizenship) well over four years ago, and have been waiting and waiting and waiting. and i really have no fucking idea how much longer i'll need to wait. so yeah.. amnesty for illegal "aliens" chaps me a little bit because it's taking the immigration authorities' attention away from folks like me and several others i know, who've gone through the relentless and tiresome and lengthy process of doing things the "right way". it just doesn't seem fair.

however, i'm not one to allow my personal experiences to cloud my judgement of the experiences of others which is why i'm not sold on getting rid of amnesty entirely.

another interesting issue that i thought the president clearly shied away from was affirmative action, and the need for it. kerry did a good job of admitting and even acknowledging the fact that yes, there is indeed a need for it. that discrimination still exists. bush didn't even go there. he didn't even acknowledge the needs of women and minorities. all he did was start talking about how people need to be educated.

"do you realize today in america, we spend $73 billion to help 10 million low- and middle-income families better afford college? that's the access i believe is necessary, is to make sure every child learns to read, write, add and subtract early, to be able to build on that education by going to college so they can start their careers with a college diploma."

now, this strikes me in two different ways. first of all, yes.. education, for the most part, is the foundation from which people grow in this society. however i'm struck by the implication of the presidents comments, that all people who benefit from affirmative action are somehow not educated enough.. which brings me to the focal point of my annoyance with some people's perception of affirmative action, and possibly some people's application of affirmative action.. which is that somehow being a beneficiary of affirmative action means that you were less than, but because of your skin color or your gender, you managed to slide in. of course we all know that was never the intention behind the program, but unfortunately it has become a common perception among many non-minorities. and the president's response proved this. yes, we need better education programs at minority schools, and yes we need to start with children on a going forward basis.. but what about the minorities and women who are applying for jobs and colleges and loans and housing now?

moving on, now.. because, you know.. i could talk about the plight of women and minorities all day long.

i'm not sure how i felt about kerry using cheney's daughter's name when responding to the question of whether or not homosexuality is a choice. eh.. i take that back.. i am sure how i felt.. i didn't like it. edwards used her name during his debate with cheney as well. what gives? just because she's an out lesbian doesn't make the use of her name fair game for debate discussions! did they get her permission to use her name in the debates? if not, they should have. i think that was pretty fucking weird if you ask me. and i don't care if it's because she's related to the vp. it's just weird. it's unnecessary.

and why the fuck would anyone ever need and assault weapon if not to bring harm to another person?

woah, where did that come from?

ok, so we all know where my allegiance lies (even though i can't vote), despite my disappointment with a few of kerry's remarks. but he really made up for it with his last comment about "marrying up". that's was damn funny.

still, he could've been more aggressive. he could've taken advantage of some of the stupid shit bush was saying. he could've made bush look even dumber had he pointed out, as i did, the flaws in his affirmative action argument among others. there were several missed opportunities. it's unfortunate he didn't seize them.