It’s Debatable

Here’s my weekly confession. I didn’t watch the debate. Clearly because I am typing as the two candidates duke it out on the international stage. I know what you’re thinking. “Don’t you want to know where the parties stand on the issues?” I know where they stand. On opposite sides of a strip of duct tape that goes smack down the middle of the living room.

Democrats? Republicans? They’re just two parents in the middle of a nasty divorce, and you have to decide who you’re going to live with for the next four years. They’re so busy hating each other and trying to take the biggest piece of pie that they have forgotten that they love you at all. And you’re not sure you like them, either.

They scream at each other at the dinner table every night for spending too much money and hide their own receipts under the bed. Each blames the other for the drop in their property value, missing the truth, that the entire neighborhood hates them both because they scream at each other in the middle of the street and embarrass everyone. They play nice when it’s time for vacation then forget they ever agreed on anything the moment the minivan pulls back in the driveway. And they never take you anywhere fun.

And you secretly wish upon every star, wishbone, and eyelash that you don’t actually have to live with either of them. That maybe there’s an auntie you never heard of who will swoop in and offer you sanctuary. Or a fun uncle that will set firm but loving limits because they really do have your best interests at heart. Someone who will tuck you in at night and wish you sweet dreams. And you do dream, and sometimes those dreams even come true.

And all the while, your parents are calling you every night and begging you to please, please do the reasonable and grown up thing and choose them. That your life won’t be worth living if you don’t pick them. And you know then there’s no cool relative to save you, so you pick the one that seems least likely to drop their pants at the grocery store at the moment and hope they don’t quit taking their meds.

Nah. There’s no need to watch the debate. You’ll see them around the table at Thanksgiving. I’ll bring the mashed potatoes. You bring a new roll of duct tape. This mess is going to go on awhile.

Yeah, your pet eagle may have pooped on the living room drapes. And those were new, too.

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157 thoughts on “It’s Debatable

  1. Heather, this is an awesome post!! I’m glad you skipped watching and got to writing. Very insightful perspective indeed. Will you run for president? I need someone to vote for! Anyone who can find a creative use for mashed potatoes and duct tape is the candidate for me.

    I was also a non-watcher / non-listener. I figured I’d hear the highlights whenever I turned on the radio today. Turns out I was right, so very right. And I’m still glad I wasted my time on something else.

      • I know I’m late to your FP party, but congrats! No need to reply. I’m sure have plenty to do after all of that. I told you – I know a good piece when I read it. And if it’s any consolation to you, I skipped the VP debate too. Have a great weekend, Turtle Lady. :)

  2. Obviously the debate wasn’t on here in Sydney so I didn’t watch it, not that I would have anyway. Your interpretation is the most spot on one I’ve heard yet. No matter how it turns out, no one will win.

  3. And you know then there’s no cool relative to save you, so you pick the one that seems least likely to drop their pants at the grocery store at the moment and hope they don’t quit taking their meds.

    This. Sadly.

  4. I didn’t watch it either, and I have to say I think the debates would be more useful if they were done earlier. At this point, most people have made up their minds, and from what I read online, the debate only cemented their opinion of the guy they have already chosen. People see what they want to see.

    Of course to have the debates sooner, parties would have to select their candidate sooner, primaries would have to be sooner, everything would get bumped up, the exhausting political season would last even longer, and people would just make up their minds sooner, and the debates would still be pointless except for undecideds, so… never mind what I said. Stupid idea.

  5. Let me reiterate the other comments…perfect analogy. I’d also like to add that we should remember that since they(the divorcing parents) can’t agree, these issues will end up in court (House and Senate) before a judge (a vote.) That’s who we should really worry about.

  6. I’m so tired of this whole process. I haven’t been able to watch a newscast in months. I simply have no interest. The mud slinging is endless. I find I’m making decisions based on who’s the least distasteful. I’m embarrassed to admit that I will be out of state on election day and I’m not making the effort to submit an absentee ballot. The fundraising amounts are obscene. I wish there was a law requiring every political candidate to put even 3% of the dollars raised toward our nation’s debt.

  7. I did watch. And I know the difference.

    One party is getting us out of trouble.
    One party put is into it and is still listening to the same folks who blew a $4 trillion

    One party believes we’re all in this together
    One party believes we’re all in it for ourselves

    One party believes in science and in women’s rights
    One party believes in denial and that women’s bodies which they don’t understand should be subjected to laws made by men

    The difference is enormous. I’m voting Democratic all the way.

  8. And the congressional candidate that shakes my hand at the train station is my mom’s new boyfriend, trying to befriend me while I eye him suspiciously.

    I didn’t watch either.

  9. I did watch because even though it seems beyond our control, I like to be informed. I’m tired of being a person who has a lot to say about my political opinion but doesn’t know anything about politics or the government. If the people of America knew more about economics, the constitution, and federal and state institutions then maybe the entire election process along with the candidates wouldn’t exist as the farce they are now. You can’t determine everything by the news stories about the debate. Why? Because everyone is biased and I want to own my opinion by hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth, doing my research, and then deciding that everyone loses anyway. At least that way, I know. That being said, I agree with your sentiment that the candidates are two adults fighting like children… but what else can come from the quest for power? ;) Maybe you should check out my recent blog post on the Presidential Debate. It’s not so much informative as it is opinionated.

  10. love love love. Can we just demolish DC and have the capitol somewhere it takes a lot of commitment to even be there–like Wyoming. It would even increase the population.

  11. Loved that line about parents complaining about the other’s spending while hiding their receipts. While I think that the debates and the Presidential electoral process is more of a theater than anything else, I actually like the idea of two or more parties warring for our affections. Having polarized politics imposes checks and balances on either side—in theory.
    Also, debating skill is no indicator of the skill to govern, or negotiate, or bribe, or intimidate—all things that a President must be able to do. However, having such an onerous climb to become President ensures that the winner—or the people who helped him win—is seasoned in politics.
    What do you think?
    Nice post. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    • I do think of it as dinner theater. Like Rocky Horror Picture Show -messy and people throw things. Debates do allow us to see how a candidate performs under pressure, but I still don’t think we get to see who they really are.

      • I guess if we became as cynical as the candidates, we could say that we get to see not who they are but who they think we want them to be.

      • Or maybe an understanding that there’s more than one way to view the world. As shocking as they may find that idea to be!

      • Another way to view the world?… you are going to be responsible for some heart attack…
        You know what I find the funniest, that all these people who are ‘strong’ and they fight, and fight the hell out of everyone who come in their way are infact so weak…another point of view is a heavy heavy un-lift-able burden…so weak!

  12. I love this…and love that you love snakes…we have a California King snake named “King of the Cage.” We’ve had it for years now…it’s a beautiful chocolate brown and cream color…about 4 feet long…I’d rather watch it shed it’s skin, and open it’s jaw to eat a frozen “fuzzy” than watch a presidential debate…though I did watch a bit of it…just so I’d know who was running against the President!!

    Can we please see choice three????

  13. Americans by the 24 / 7 brainwashing govt media having been taught
    to praise the most cunning the most deceitful the biggest liars cheats.

    Americans have been brainwashed NOT to think that the govt will do
    the thinking for them thus they in reality be but bystanders to what be
    in reality but a appalling election farce. The news media spin out their
    utter nonsense in support of one party or the other, not because they
    wish doing so / but because the 1% owning 87% of the nations wealth
    also own all the Newspapers as Radio and TV broadcasting channels
    whom ever spin out their own agenda / supporting the politicians they
    having funded to carry out their private agenda / and such agenda is
    protecting their own power / their own wealth. They control the federal
    reserve bank ( it be their money ) they have bought all politicians as
    control and own the media they control the police the secret services
    indeed the run the whole show the people treated as mere sheep for
    them to fleece their children but lamb for slaughter to die in pointless
    wars wars that make the wealthy far wealthier /their selling arms unto
    all sides of the conflict. / SYRIA the present example / an conflict but
    continues which but an cover for the sale of arms. The slaughtering
    of people’s / the destruction /the suffering / interests not the wealthy
    they via their vast corrupt media organization bring conflicts for the
    conflicts bring profit as power / setting up of ever more puppet govts.

    BARACK having broke every promise in coming to office as president
    rather than protect the rights of the people he removed the few rights
    they had remaining / even the right to a trial removed by a stroke of a
    pen as the nation slept as the media remained silent to a great wrong.

    Another election and BARACK but follows the same formula with ever
    more empty promises / the flagship empty promise be HEALTHCARE
    funding for the HEALTHCARE BILL only exists in the TWILIGHT ZONE
    the HEALTHCARE BILL a gigantic fraud to win enough votes in giving
    BARACK another term in Govt / where the focus then a attack on IRAN
    thus to divert the attention from the nations true problems / once again
    the media propaganda machine / spinning out anti muslim malice /hate.

    BARACK’s the Al Capone of politics a appalling fraudster whom only in
    office / due the funding of hundreds of $millions by his wealthy backers.

    It time american people opened their eyes to reality / starting by their
    eviction of BARACK from Govt along with his band of fellow democrat
    fraudsters whom have abandoned all intentions of serving the people.

    • Thank you so much. I would be more into politics if it didn’t feel so endlessly frustrating. I am taking a harder look at things on my local level. I may find I can make an actual difference there.

  14. Wow. Marvelous, well written analogy. I struggle between having the same feelings and deciding where my responsibility lies as a voter, but then again you were only talking about the debate. Great post

    • Thank you. I, too, struggle with my responsibility as a voter. It’s a right that must be taken seriously. I often wish that we were doing more than choosing the lesser of two evils. Ah, a post for another day!

  15. I’m honestly floored by how little people take politics seriously and how they mistake campaign strategy for governance…This is isn’t a game…People’s lives are at stake…People need jobs and can’t afford healthcare and even necessarily put food on the table…How anyone would think that a clash of ideologies is like a messy divorce instead of struggle to make human civilization a livable project, I don’t know…Explain that to me…

    • When they are so tied up in their own ideology that they can’t see the way to compromise even a little so appropriations bills are stop-gap measures that last merely a few months, I feel pretty okay in making fun of them.

  16. You had me at, ‘I live in a zoo.’ Politics, pfft. Too much politics in politics. Thanks for the funny. My mind made smiles. Alas, it’s too late for my physical face to catch on. I’ll be back … ironically, the only politician I like.

  17. I didn’t watch the debate and I am not ashamed! I know who I’m voting for, the debate would not have changed my mind. I vote every election because I believe that’s the only way I have a legitimate right to complain about how the country is being run. My only wish is that someway, somehow, someday all the politicians would wake up and realize that the best way to benefit the country is to unite and work out a solution together instead of all this penny-ante infighting and nasty, nasty mud-slinging. Where is that auntie when we need her?

    I love your analogies, this post is so deserving of being Freshly Pressed.

      • Ahhh, there’s the rub! I don’t think there are any actual grown-ups who want the job. My thought is because it will take too much hard word and it really is a thankless job. America may be over 200 years old but we are still a bunch of whiney babies, myself included. We need to pull up our boot straps and get to work. Only then can we make something of ourselves.

  18. I hope that you will care more once your journey to become a mother has been realized. The politicians were unleashed when we became so uninterested and despondent that we can’t bring ourselves to do our civic duty and watch a 11/2 hour debate. We still have a chance to reign in the wannabe oligarchs. Our nation is set to sign treaties that will have EVERY American paying taxes to the U.N. There is no recourse for you at the U.N. by the way. No election by the governed and taxed. You better wake up; or your future children will be hopeless slaves. Politicians abuse us because we aren’t paying attention and they know that they can. The fact that you chose to write a blog post rather than inform yourself speaks volumes.

    • Actually, I think voting records are better places to start than debates. The debates are show-boating for both parties, and I learn nothing except who speaks better under pressure. A candidates’ voting records tell you what they’ve already done instead of what they say they’re going to do. I know which candidate has already worked to protect the interests I hold dear.

  19. I listened to them – many face palm moments. Don’t write them off – the presidential debates are very entertaining.

    • They can be entertaining. In the way the Hunger Games might be entertaining. Watching candidates try to kill their opponents.

  20. I really enjoyed this post!! I did watch the debate and you’re right you didn’t miss anything! It’s all the same BS that we’ve been fed during the entire campagn.
    I had a friend post on FB asking how we could all watch the very same thing yet walk away with different points of view. It’s easy to see that we’re swayed by what appeals directly to us, but just like you said, neither one of them has said anything I want to believe. I prefer Obama over Romney but that’s just my opinion!

      • You can either get blue about it or plainly state your opinion and maybe just one person will listen. In our culture, as it stands today, there’s not much the average person can do. Intelligence and wit are not valued as they once were. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, written today, would be featured on Oprah (or whatever talk show covers that kind of thing now, I don’t watch much TV) and quickly forgotten, for instance. The hope is in the internet.

        Of course, by that I mean lolcats.

  21. Congrats on being FP-ed! I am sorry I am arriving late to your par-tay!! Great post! Excellent points and I love your analogy about the divorced parents. Spot on! Even though I know who I am voting for and have very strong feelings as to why… you are 100% right about them blaming one another time and time again. And it IS going to go on FOREVER. Thanks for making us laugh about it at least.

    • Thanks! I have strong feelings about a candidate, also. The parties are where I have my biggest issue. Not to mention people who vote strictly on party lines rather than looking at the issues.

  22. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. Loved your analogy from start to finish, and would like to nominate your eagle at the new national emblem. It is easier to draw than the current one. :)

  23. Becomingcliche, some parents are wicked, deceptive and abusive. We’ve no interest in subcombing to their cruelties. It seems both are interchangeable and as long as they are housed somewhere the cycle will continue. How about some serious renovations? Mom or dad, dad or mom, all of their equally nasty relatives seem unworthy of dining at your table this thanksgiving. Let’s tell em to screw and refuse to invite them! They can prattle on all they like but we’ll vote rather to be among friends. And then plot accordingly over glasses filled to the brim.

  24. Yay! You did it again! Since I’ve been MIA as of late, I am so glad I was trolling the archived Freshly Pressed posts or I would never get to say CONGRATS!

    So loved this post. Poignant and funny and spot-on.

  25. What if instead of the debate, the two candidates have to do a few legs of the Amazing Race and go through those challenges? I think we’d see a clearer view of our nation’s bickering couple.

  26. Pingback: It’s Debatable | Block That!

  27. The analogy presented here was worth the read all by it self. However, you expounded on the conflict and it is a great piece. At the time of this comment we are one day post the re-election of Barack Obama. I guess the parent we are already living with deserves another chance to get it right. Life is full of second chances, but it’s what we do with that chance that counts.

  28. I enjoyed your article, it was well written and to the point. I disagree that this nation is dividing. A handful of radicals on the internet does not translates to a divorce, it translates to a few unruly children that are embarrassing themselves in public. I do agree that the concept of responsible journalism has been abandoned. But at the end of the day, we are each responsible for our own actions and our own lives. Pick your battles, stay informed, and move forward.

    • It’s an interesting notion that only vocal few are embarrassing themselves. I’ll have to ponder that. And we’ll see if Congress can actually work together or if they stub up and make decisions blindly along party lines. I’d like to think that there are a few that think with their own brains and not their party’s.

  29. I really enjoyed this post. Unfortunately the “unruly children” mentioned cleverly above get all the attention, and thus think they are in control! Thanks for this true/funny take on the subject.

  30. It’s always interesting to observe all the political comments posted by my friends on facebook. My Democrat friends post article after article showing how hateful the Republicans are and that everything they say is a lie. And my Republican friends post article after article showing all the lies by Democrats and how hateful they are. It really is a shame to see how divided we’ve become as a nation, and how each side demonizes and vilifies the other. It’s also difficult to imagine how the two sides can compromise when they take opposite sides on each issue. How do you compromise when one side wants to grow a big government and the other side wants a smaller government- do we just grow a bigger government more slowly?

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