So You Want a Debate…Really?

Official RACE 2012 Blogger! Yay Me!

I’m listening


Wanting to know what
Drives us to walk about
Dance around
Skip along
Pretending…that all is well

When in fact the writing is on the wall
Worlds crumbling like
Silence is golden
Succumbing to a political correctness
That holds us all hostage

Every subject taboo
Every emotion offended
Though it is only through this dialogue
This reaching, this breaking…bread…barriers…ground
That real healing is effected.

We avoid being affected
Though awareness abounds
In turn
We become
Deep into dispositions of melancholia
Some call it depression

Debates make mockery
Of our meaningful pleas and demands
Our cries become vanquished beneath mere chicanery
The dialogue becomes the ineffectual, dissonant, din

Breakthrough becomes
Shattered by soundbites
Devalued by media spinsters
Rescued instead only posthumously
In obituaries and iconic reflection


I’d love to know your thoughts and expectations about presidential debates.  If you are reading this after viewing the first presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, I definitely want to hear your reaction.

This special blogging project, for which I am an official blogger, coincides with the thought-provoking documentary, “Race 2012: A Conversation About Race & Politics in America” airing on PBS on October 16, as well as promote conversations across the country on the subject. (Please check local listings for exact times.)  As a part, I hope to spark some civil and candid conversation here as well. Are you ready?

In the meantime, please do catch up with fellow bloggers on this project and read their unique perspectives. Click here for a complete listing of contributions thus far.

Let’s get it started, y’all!

22 thoughts on “So You Want a Debate…Really?

  1. Love this. I was exactly as you describe: listening attentively, ardently and passionately, fully present( your words are beautiful, moving and meaningful) ready to call Mitt Romney out and say to our President, you just keep at it, be patient, unruffled and cool. Instead, I was delighted he was even cooler than normal, slow and steady in his approach. I began to think lackluster at the beginning, but then he said somethings I thought were brilliant, because the man has a brilliant mind. I listened to every media outlet, every pundit even the young young journalist on CNN who called him out last weekend for not making eye-contact. Listen,his demeanor is nothing new to me. My husband is very much like this. He wears you down with his unwavering patience, doesn’t let anything ruffle him and keeps a cool head regardless – all wonderful, but every now and then, I want to say, okay, could you just argue back with me 🙂 I don’t think I would change a thing about the debate, those who have made up their minds, know what they want.

    I look at Romney with his business like manner, treating everyone like a business, firing aggressively, his slicked back hair and slightly arrogant chin and ask myself, who is this man? does he have feelings? is he a businessman at heart and how could he ever run the country? can people not see this? My answer is, as always, people want instant gratification, they don’t like slow and steady, they don’t seem to understand that 4 years is not enough to get where the President wants to take us, so they want a change. How fickle human beings are. What a pity. Today, on the eve of the Vice Presidential debate, I know Joe Biden will make it interesting. He always has much to say and surely Paul Ryan will fire him up some more.


    1. Hello! So nice of you to stop by and chime in. I love visitors. 🙂 I think you hit the nail right on the head when you confirmed that “…those who have made up their minds, know what they want.” Precisely.

      You also made an observation worth noting regarding what people mean when they say they want “change”. Most people who know anything about change understand fundamentally, that it doesn’t come quickly or automatically. “Fickle”, indeed!

      Thank you for adding your voice to the discussion.


  2. I can relate to how you say, “distanced” this I think is a huge problem. We do it to protect ourselves but I think it ends up to be far more damaging. Very thought provoking!


    1. Totally, Jodi! Pardon my late response; apparently, this comment went to my Spam folder. Thanks again for stopping by and taking the time to read “So You Want a Debate…Really?”


  3. I agree with Coco – our President looked like he hadn’t slept in a month. My boyfriend quipped, “He’s busy running the country”. Yes, I get that but the average undecided voter might not. So it was really bad timing. The substance of what he said was pretty good – but I had to concentrate to get his main points. It’s like listening to someone who’s exhausted try to explain something really complicated. It’s not ideal.

    I was so happy though to see him full of fire the next time he appeared on tv. One thing I found amusing though is that he did seem exasperated with Romney – like a parent talking to a child who keeps asking for a motorbike. One of Obama’s best features is his calm, parent-like demeanor. Again though, I don’t know if that wins elections.

    I do have to toss it out there that Romney was impressive. I lived under his as governor – so trust me, I don’t support him. But he went from robot to cyborg, a pretty amazing feat. I like to tell people though that he may flip flop but trust me, he’s a bad leader. He tried to wiretap mosques in Massachusetts. So his comment about freedom of religion – bullcrap. What a lie.

    He also tried to use that early 1900s racist law to ban non-resident gay couples from marrying. Why do so few people call him out for that? He also made health insurance mandatory. Great – working class people who earn “too much” (ooh, a whole $12 per hour) don’t qualify for Masshealth. So we get our $300 refund taken away if we can’t afford $500 per month. Thanks, Romney.

    He did great with those stories about families hurting and it sounded sincere, to my shock. But again – lie. He had some gall to claim he would help families by giving breaks to the wealthy.

    One thing about Obama – Romney was going on about helping out oil companies. Obama – the only time he interrupted Romney – said, “It has to end”. That impressed me. I do think Obama is slowly getting the message that oil companies can’t keep running our country. But we have to keep the pressure on him.

    Thanks for this awesome forum, SE.


    1. You are welcome, Amelie!!! You get three exclamation marks this morning. Your observations are keen and telling of the lens through which you viewed this debate. The perspectives are many and varied. Thank you for sharing. Robot to cyborg? (insert big laugh here) I digress…

      I think that the “undecided” voters, for the most part, are very much decided. I think that the label is a smokescreen. For whatever reason, they’ve decided that Romney isn’t quite the man they want, and that Obama is the man they refuse to vote for…again, for whatever reason. If they made a decision to choose Romney based on his “mediocre” performance (that’s what it was if you don’t compare it to Obama’s performance) that evening, versus Obama’s performance and record over the last four years, then we can pretty much sell them anything. They would do best to consider Romney’s “performance” over the last eighteen months, and his demonstrated failure to lead and invest in his people (versus Swiss banks and corporate interests) as former governor of Massachusetts (as you did) and use that as a springboard instead, for making a decision.

      Like you, I am looking forward to what happens between now and the election, and am hopeful that these conversations and insights help us to move forward…together.


  4. Love the last stanza.

    I was able to watch all of the debate except for the closing statements. I think Romney left folk still trying to pinpoint his position. He’s tried to gloss over every statement he’s ever made that the public didn’t take kindly to. This diminishes him as someone who’d stand on firm ground for me. Not to mention that he’s not selfless in his ambitions toward the White House.

    While it’s been said that Romney performed well, after the debate, one female reporting for the GOP stated that around 9:45 the Republicans were made proud with Romney’s performance, as they started blowing up her phone with text messages. That’s 45 minutes into the debate and a long time to hold their breath for a man they want to run a country.

    The President seemed unprepared for Romney switching positions but was able to respond accordingly. It will be interesting to hear the debate on foreign policy. And even moreso when the VPs have their showdown.


    1. Thanks Totsymae! I’m enjoying the range of feedback on the first debate. I’m now more energized about the upcoming debates, and what happens between now and the election, because the reflections seem to be more thoughtful, and some folk are actually starting to think for themselves. Hallelujah!

      I hope more and more, Americans come to distinguish between untruth and authenticity. Sometimes, I feel that we’re do divided, in what we see and don’t want to see, and somehow, I believe that creates a deeper chasm along racial, as well as partisan lines.

      Not even the said Romney supporters are convinced that their choice pick can do the job; despite that, they’ll vote against their own best interests. As you said, “45 minutes into the debate” is “a long time to hold their breath for a man they want to run a country.”


  5. What an awesome poem, Empress. It’s truly thought provoking and inspired, loved it!

    Of course, I was glued to the debate last night…and I was disappointed. I believed wholeheartedly that Obama would wipe the floor with Romney and was disturbed that he did not eviscerate him as he could have given the inconsistency and immorality of his multitude of positions. That such an individual, meaning Romney, so completing lacking substance, is said to have triumped over the president still blows my mind.

    I’m not signing on the cries of doom from liberals over this one event. Looking at the Pres, you could see he’s exhausted. One should not ignore the fact that he has had two full time jobs for the last 12 months. I can’t believe that had no bearing on his “do no harm” responses, or lack thereof.

    At the same time, I have entertained the idea that this was a strategic move meant to lull the opposition and get him to show his cards for a later, resounding, beat down. I hope that’s the case because it was a big gamble on Obama’s part in a race that remains, in many ways, very tight. He could do better, without being an aggressive bulldog and I hope he comes out swinging for the next two. Will post about it later :).

    Congrats on being part of the Official Race 2012 blogger. Looking forward to reading the other bloggers and the segment.




    1. Thanks Coco! Like you, I hope there was some strategic thinking on Obama’s part. I grew concerned about what he wasn’t saying, but I imagine that it’s difficult to preempt a new “plan” from your opponent who basically decided to scrap what he’s been touting for 18 months prior, up to the week of the debate. Integrity comes first. Had Obama fallen prey to Romney’s shenanigans, it might have turned really ugly, and reduce the debate to verbal fisticuffs, taking both of them off target.

      I’m looking forward to your posts on the future debates.


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