I will admit up front that I’m not an undecided voter. The Democratic party basically has me in their pocket, at least until a more liberal national party develops. In theory I’d love to say that I’m an independent who will vote for whomever’s policies I like best. In reality, that’s basically always the Democrats.
I’m also not a low-information voter, being young and all fired up about this stupid election. Thus, I’m not really the intended audience for the Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates. I watch them anyway, obviously biased, yelling things at McCain while peeling apples for apple pie and thinking, Damn! Obama’s presidential. Honestly, it’s boring, I pretty much know what their stances are, and where I don’t it’s about 10-1 that I’ll agree with the guy on the left anyway.
Here, then, are five better ways to watch presidential candidates face off.
You may think that “fisticuffs” is simply an old-timey word for fighting. You would be wrong. Technically it’s bare-knuckle boxing, and dammit, there are rules, just like the debate! You can’t strike a downed opponent, gotta stay in the ring, get up within thirty seconds or you lose, etc. Two people are chosen at random from the audience (undecided voters?) to be the umpires. Plus, it actually causes less brain damage than the gloved version, as there’s less hitting since it hurts your hand more. Finally, it would really increase the likelihood of bringing excellent facial hair back into presidential vogue.
Outcome: Obama. McCain has a slight problem raising his hands above shoulder-level.
I like this one as something with a Town Hall style format. The candidates would come in, stand on separate dance floors, and audience members would request dances. Some sort of moderator would be there to limit time, and maybe help out the audience with what exactly we should be expecting. Both candidates would have to do the same dance, obviously, and we’d be watching for knowledge, interpretation, and the groove factor.
Outcome: Hard to say. Obama seems like he’s got better moves, but I hear McCain can jitterbug like a fiend.
This one’s my own personal favorite form of competition–trivia plus booze. To those unfamiliar with this best of Satruday night activities, you go to a bar, you get beer, you get five of your friends to be on your team, and then you get to crush all your competition and go home victorious. Not only would the candidates need to know important information like where Shiprock is (New Mexico) or who sang “Eighteen and Life” (Skid Row), they’d need to choose teams wisely. That would get the VP candidates in on the game, finally. Plus, people are always deciding their votes on who they’d rather have a beer with.
Outcome: Obama. Palin all but sinks it for McCain, unless the category is “Towns in Alaksa I used to be Mayor of,” or “What should we do offshore?” Plus, I’ve got a hunch Obama would choose people with a wide range of expertise, while McCain would just choose four other old white guys who know where Vietnam is on the map.
Pistols at Dawn.
“Wait,” you say. “That seems awfully final and, well, violent, even for the American presidency.” Maybe, but the duel is a time-honored tradition with precedent, sort of. Andrew Jackson was big into dueling–mainly for his “wife’s honor”–and had several bullets lodged in him from this delightful pastime, including one in his lung and one two inches from his heart. He shot that guy after having a rib shattered by the bullet, by the way. And no one needs to be reminded about Hamilton vs. Burr. Not exactly presidential, but Founding Fatherly.
Outcome: McCain. Duh, he was in the Navy. Hey, have you heard about how he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam? It’s totally true.
If the economy’s going to be in the toilet, the least we can hope for is a president who knows how to put a hotel on the Boardwalk. Maybe they could pontificate a little on second mortgages while they play; if you flip over Virginia Ave to pay for Marvin Gardens, when you flip it back you’ll end up paying 150%. Of course, McCain would end up yelling about the free government handouts you get by passing Go, and there would be total pandemonium and accusations of racism the first time Obama landed in Jail.
Outcome: everyone loses in Monopoly.