Friday, August 7, 2015

Avoiding Political Debates

Apparently there are several thousand would-be candidates seeking the Presidential candidacy these days. Last night was the first in what I can only assume will be dozens of televised political debates. I tend to avoid political debates for a number of reasons:
  • One of the simplest reasons is that I don't pay attention to airdates. Very rarely do I watch live TV; we have TiVo, so I fast forward through ads and usually miss announcements for these sorts of things.
  • I don't find them especially interesting. I have a limited (probably short) attention span, and can only listen to people talk for 45 minutes or so because I need to refocus my attention. 
  • On a related note, I need to stop and think a lot. I process things more slowly when a lot of talking is involved. If a debate involves the printed word, I can take my time and ruminate, perhaps do some research and educate myself, etc. I enjoy reading fact checking articles, regardless of political affiliation. (The first Republican debate was last night; once the Democrat debates are televised, I'll enjoy reading those fact checking articles as well.)
  • Because I'm a ignorant lout, I prefer to focus on specific parts of debates that relate to things that I do know and care about, mostly issues relating to social justice issues and educational reform. Foreign policy, the environment, and many other matters are as important, and I recognize their significance, but I do not have the mental capacity to do extensive research on every potential issue and become knowledgable about each matter. Therefore, I often tend to judge and vote for candidates on education reform and social justice issues, since those are the topics on which I place higher importance.
  • To paraphrase Grandpa Simpson, these sorts of debates just kinda angry up the blood. The moment I encounter a candidate personally insulting an individual or group, as far as I'm concerned, that candidate has lost my vote. There's a difference between criticizing an idea and criticizing a person; many people are not good at differentiating.

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