Half the members opposite
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
If I were an American Citizen, I'm damn clear on how I'd vote in your forthcoming election. However, I'm not so I won't bother you with my irrelevant would be voting intentions. I imagine most of you are equally sure of how you intend to vote [or maybe already have?] one way or the other. But perhaps some of you are undecided and tuned into the 'debate' last night [I use the term loosely] perhaps hoping for clarification? Or maybe you watched even though you're pretty sure of your voting intention? Either way, I wonder what you made of it?
I was astonished on many levels. I've watched many a political debate. Indeed I've been a candidate in a few - granted for a FAR less important position. For any of you who think I shouldn't be commentating at all, forgive me but America is a huge, wealthy, powerful country, and whoever you elect as POTUS is considered as the Leader of the Free World. Is that changing I wonder? In much the same way that the UK has punched above its weight for many years but is now willfully throwing that 'soft' diplomacy away and becoming an irrelevant little island once again.
Back to the debate. I found it extraordinary that there was so much shouting and talking over. Plus insulting your opponent and/or calling them a liar. I'm not disputing the veracity of the accusations - I'm just wondering if that happens in your parliamentary debates too? Here in the UK MPs aren't allowed to call their opponents liars [even when they are - such are our archaic laws]. There's one lovely story of an MP circumnavigating the rules as follows;
MP - Half the members on the opposite bench are liars.
Speaker - Order! Order! Withdraw that remark.
MP - My apologies Mr Speaker, half the members on the opposite bench are NOT liars.
Basically that sums up understated British sarcasm. But tbh, I found when I was involved in the aforementioned debates, it was best to sit and actually listen to what the other candidates said without intervening. As Bonaparte said - "never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake" [sexist or what?]. Besides, they might be saying something with which you agree - in which case, say so when your turn comes. People don't want fighting, they want agreement.
I recall at one such debate the Conservative candidate kept banging on about 'more lighting'. "What can be done about owners not clearing up their dog's poo"? "More lighting" she said. "What can be done about increased drug dealing"? "More lighting" she replied. "What can be done about decreased footfall in the market"? "Better lighting and signage" she opined. So it went on. Until she gave one such answer [what can be done to reduce street muggings/assault/rape locally - more lighting she told us], and I was next to reply. "I'm so glad B agrees with us that more lighting is important. Perhaps she could have a word with her party colleagues at County level who have just voted to switch off all public lighting from 6 pm until 7 am". Given we were in an area that was REALLY badly affected by the reduction in street lighting that got a HUGE round of applause. However, it also goes to show why I'm not really that good at being political 'cos I felt really bad about shooting the girl down.
Anyhow, back once more to the far more important debate last night. One thing I found extraordinary and yet wasn't at all surprised by, was Trump's refusal to condemn white supremacists. Astonishing because you know, we're talking America - the country that has welcomed so many [let's set aside the treatment of native Americans here which is a whole other story], and yet not surprising from a man that has consistently refused to condemn white supremacy.
Other things struck me but enough for now. How did you 'see' it? Did it change your mind at all about either candidate? Do you think it was a fair debate? Do you think it's been fairly reported? Will you bother watching the next ones? Do you even think they should go ahead? Non American friends - what if anything did you make of it? Forgive all the questions - I'm just fascinated to know the thoughts of you all.