- By Dan Veaner
On Tuesday the news was that people were astounded and mocking the so-called COVID-19 barriers to be used for the vice-presidential debate Wednesday night. Thursday morning the headlines were about a fly that landed on Vice President Mike Pence's head during the debate. These two headlines were the deciding factor for me on who I will vote for... oh wait a minute... no they weren't. It was just two more pieces of the noise distracting from actual issues.
Because neither the mainstream press nor the candidates seem to want us to vote based on facts and on how they will govern us if they are elected. That insignificant piece of information is lost in the chatter. Meanwhile, our President, who has contracted COVID-19 is refusing to participate in the second presidential debate because it is being held online instead of in person, and he is ignoring masking and social distancing in the White House where more people are testing positive. Again, not directly a policy issue, except for the fact that Trump is being blamed by progressives for the high death toll because he has minimized the importance of taking measures against the virus, and publicly ignored them himself.
Still, these things only indirectly address real issues. I note that after every debate at least one of the mainstream media outlets does a fact checking article, and that neither side is found to be entirely truthful. Again, not a direct addressing of issues that will impact our lives and security.
The President, who is trailing in the polls, seems to want to lose. The leading candidate is typically the one who has the most to gain from not debating. He also halted talks on a new stimulus package Tuesday, a very odd thing to do when running for reelection, especially when the economy is a key selling point in your campaign.
It brings to mind my own little conspiracy theory, which was that Trump ran in 2016 with no intention of winning, but ran for the sheer vainglory of being in the news, and was surprised and annoyed by actually having to be President.
He certainly knows how to be in the headlines. His childish rants and proclamations are irresistible click-bait to the media, and to the hoards of rampant Trump lovers and haters who put their own spin on them. But who knows? Maybe he loves the power. He certainly seemed to on his reality show on which every episode ended with Trump telling a contestant with glee, "You're fired!" (He still does that regularly in the White House. Go figure!)
All that aside, it doesn't help me decide who would best lead the country. Even if you think Trump is a repulsive person it doesn't necessarily mean he isn't the best choice to lead us. Yet distractions are that kind of metric that drives American elections more and more. When candidates do talk about issues they don't talk about problems and how they would solve them so much as they use them as political battering rams to deflect any intelligent consideration of the issues. Look at the debate on healthcare. Trump bashes Obamacare, calling it a disaster, while promising a better plan (that has failed to materialize). I don't see the Biden camp addressing the cost of the program in any meaningful way. If there are any real answers to how candidates would lead you have to dig for them, and who actually does that?
When I think about who I am going to vote for, I think one of the candidates is a disaster for our country, and the other isn't. That is not to say that one or the other would actually be good for the country, but that one clearly (in my estimation) does it harm. It doesn't say much for our political system. But for me it is an improvement over the last presidential election during which I thought both candidates represented disaster.
Presidents don't come with a warranty. So if whoever gets elected turns out to be a disaster, we can't just return him for an exchange or refund. Still it would be nice to be able to vote based on real information rather than just throwing the dice and seeing what comes up.
Meanwhile, it's the same old arguments on both sides with no new thought or innovation. No thought as to what our problems really are, or solutions that actually help Americans.
I may have to vote for the fly. At least it told the truth about what politicians do: take the "f" off of "fly"and you'll get the message.