Are you still an undecided voter for the upcoming 2012 election? Will either candidate’s performance in the debates help to sway your decision one way or the other? I think that, no matter what most people say, their minds have been made up since the last election — as with religion, people like to stick to their designated party lines (which may be why religion and politics are anathema to civil discourse in many situations). Let’s be honest, though: In a more fair system that truly represented the interests of all, we’d have more than two parties tangling in the debates.
For many, the debates are like spectator sports. People like to gather around the televisions in their homes, at parties hosted in the homes of others, or at their favorite watering holes for some good, old-fashioned gawkfesting. They root for “their” guy and boo at the “other” guy, and analyze the performance of each for the next several days with the scrutiny of a lab geek researching a cure for social awkwardness. And in the lightning-fast petri dish of communication that the Internet has become, memes are born that make us laugh or enrage us, depending on which candidate is the target of lampooning.
That’s, as they say, entertainment.