First Presidential Debate Reflection

The first presidential debate is now behind us, with some predictions fulfilled: Zero mention of quantitative easing, agreements on big government, and in the end, Americans wanting real change lost.

To be sure, in terms of persuasion and smooth delivery, Mitt Romney ruled the night. He was throwing every punch, blocking President Barack Obama’s uppercut attempts, and even sweet talking the moderator (and Big Bird, too!) It was nothing surprising. All through the Republican primary debates, Romney seemed untouchable, as every opponent who tried to take a swing at him seemed to somehow fail. Even with perfect “gotchas”, he seemed to escape unscathed.

So, it would appear, Romney won the debate. But that’s just communication, now let’s talk substance and issues. During the debate, he tried to twice channel Congressman Ron Paul by giving some convincing speeches about the Constitution. Absolutely, this country is an incredible place because of this document and its principles. It was all almost convincing, until it transitioned into a pro-war speech about refusing to touch the military budget.

Troop suicides are at a record high this year, with July setting the single month record. Let that sink in for a minute and reflect on what that says about the morale on the ground. If anyone, and this goes for President Obama as well, supports the troops, then the best way to do that is bring them home. These occupations are going nowhere, we’re not chasing terrorists, but rather defending against insurgent freedom fighters who are only taking up arms after their lands have been invaded.

The occupations also violate the Constitution. A major check on presidential power is the requirement of a declaration of war from Congress. The last time this happened though was in World War 2. Every war we’ve fought and lost miserably could have been prevented ha we held our presidents accountable for violating the Constitution. Those soldiers lost, the veterans who have come back to experience health issues, would have never had this happen had we followed the rule of law. Somebody might want to pass this nugget onto Romney the next time he uses the Constitution to defend the American empire.

The other point is spending. At one point, Romney criticized President Obama for excessively pumping money into green jobs, stating that it could have been spent on education. We’ve now dumped taxpayer money into green jobs and education, a sweet deal that comes with government control, and it has produced horrid results. What was the point here? Big government, which they often agree needs to exist, is required. Beyond that, they both have a spending problem.

For all their talk of deficit reduction too, they also have their sacred cow topics that are untouchable. For Romney and the Republicans, the war budget cannot be touched under any circumstances. If we don’t keep pumping money into dropping bombs abroad, the terrorists are going to win. Similarly, for President Obama and the Democrats, the welfare budget cannot be touched under any circumstances, and if we do, then we’re going to bring on the demise of the American middle class. The truth is though, putting empty and fiery rhetoric aside, is that both of these programs could use significant cuts and serious revaluation. We’re not fighting wars anymore, which were undeclared in the first place, we’re maintaining an occupation. And the welfare budget absolutely contains waste and people who do not deserve to be on it. Opportunities for less spending and thus less deficit creation exist, but neither side is willing to get serious about their rhetoric.

The moderator seemed to conclude every topic with stating the voters have a clear difference in choice of candidates. Not so much. They might sing a different tune on social issues and in rhetoric, but down at the core, they agree on the role of big government, need for maintaining the empire, and excessive spending being required.

As predicted yesterday, the winners of the debate were both major political parties, the television networks who experience a ratings boost, and political websites that have an increase in traffic. But who lost the debate? Americans seeking real change.