The first presidential debate is behind us now. From where I’m sitting, there doesn’t appear to be a clear winner. But there is definitely a clear loser – our livers.

I happened upon Debate Drinking and thought, why the hell not? I got home from work and posted a link to Facebook and then started on dinner. My neighbor Ty, his girlfriend Catie, and her friend Will came home shortly after that, saw my door was open, and came to say hello. I hadn’t met Catie before now, but evidently we’re “twinsies,” as she put it. We have a ton of stuff in common and really hit it off. She said she was excited to find someone who was interested in politics, and dragged Ty and Will over to watch the debate. My neighbors Michelle and Dustin were talking on their porch, and knowing that Michelle has a total hard on for Obama, I invited them as well. We pulled up the rules, loaded up the glasses, and got underway.

Evidently Ty and Catie get pretty loud once they’ve had some alcohol in them, and after several attempts to quiet them down didn’t work, Dustin decided to leave. They continued to talk, but the rest of us mostly tuned them out, at least long enough to catch some sound bytes to make fun of. And to know when our words had been said, necessitating another drink. All in all, this debate taught me that being the child of an alcoholic makes drinking games a futile exercise for me. I had two glasses of scotch, some vodka, and a shot of absinthe, and barely got a buzz. What buzz I did have faded within about two hours. But it was fun anyway. After the debates we watched some Youtube videos and chatted until everyone started leaving one-by-one.

My roommate and Joshua came home and enticed Michelle with some vegan chili, and her and I chatted a bit. Evidently her friend Kat has a boyfriend, which would explain her lack of communication. I’m not sure how, but I always manage to find girls who think it’s better to ignore you than to tell you news you don’t want to hear. Michelle said she’s been bugging her about how she needs to tell me, and she claims she will eventually. This is something like four girls in the past year – did I miss the memo that said ignoring someone was a good idea? I personally would much rather hear bad news than no news. If you don’t like me, you’re not feeling anything, you’re not looking for a relationship right now, there’s someone else, whatever… FUCKING TELL ME. By ignoring a person and thinking they’ll go away and things will magically be fine you show your true colors. Girls like that are not anyone I need in my life. If you can’t communicate something important, it brings into question everything you have communicated up to this point. If you dodge the hard conversations it shows you have no spine, no passion, and no empathy. This isn’t directed solely at her, and I still think she’s a really awesome person in many ways, but this is a message to women everywhere – if you behave in such a manner, you are showing yourself to be far beneath me and not worth my time. I feel sorry for whoever ends up with you, because unless you’re radically different towards others than you are to me, your future beau is going to have his hands full with a bunch of childish bullshit. Communication is paramount in any relationship. Say what you mean, mean what you say. Don’t avoid the hard talks or the tough questions, we’re talking about real people with real emotions, and they deserve to know what you think and feel. If you disagree with any of these statements and you don’t see this as a problem, then good luck in life, and I hope you don’t get fucked over the way you fuck over others.

But yeah so….. back to the debates! It seems that most media outlets are calling this a win for Romney. I’m not sure I see that at all. I will admit, he did speak with more passion and was very much on the offensive, attacking Obama at every turn. And this will probably be enough to swing a certain percentage of voters to his camp, at least for now. But the problem is, the facts weren’t on his side. Nearly half of what he said was total bullshit, and that has been verified by several independent fact-checkers. He even managed to contradict himself a few times. He wasn’t even trying to hide the fact that he was talking out of both sides of his mouth. On the other side of the stage, Obama played it cool and barely broke a sweat, and perhaps that was to his detriment. But really, what else would you expect him to do? When an idiot is attacking you with half-truths and outright lies, what do you say? Do you scream “nu-uh!!!” at the top of your lungs like most of Romney’s primary opponents did? Or do you try to bring a degree of civility and calmly point out where your challenger is wrong? Obama would be wise to bring back the passion and fire we saw in the last election, but only if he’s basing what he says on the truth. Saying something louder and more emotionally doesn’t make it any more true. Laying low doesn’t make what you’re saying false. But the problem is that the public wants a spectacle, and if you don’t give them that they’ll tune you out. So perhaps Obama needs to work on combining the fiery rhetoric with actual facts, solid policy, and the charisma and level-headedness that make him a great leader. If he can succeed in doing that, the next two debates are in the bag.

Oh, and I never did think of anything else that starts with the letter D. Oh well.

 

Advertisements