Wednesday, 3 October 2012, at the University of Denver, Denver, Colorado, the first of a trilogy of debates to help determine the leader of the United States for the next four years. Are you excited? Older generations, will this trilogy be the epic battles of the Celtics of Cousy, Russell, Jones, and Hondo (I have a slight recollection of seeing Havlicek play, or it may have been tapes) versus the Lakers of Bailey, and later West and Chamberlain (I know my views of them have only been from tapes)? Will it be my childhood of today’s image of Bird versus Magic although I vividly recall the greatness of Parrish, McHale, DJ, Kareem, Worthy, Wilkes, Scott, Cooper? For those confused by cage ball nostalgia, will it be MJ, Kobe, LeBron, or Durant? I wonder if we might witness something similar to the Big Red Machine, Braves pitching, Yankees of Jeter and Mariano in for the save with America’s game. How about Sweetness Walter Payton, Emmitt, Faulk, or Dickerson with the carry? Marino, Montana, Young, Moon, Brady, Manning, or Brees threading the needle? Rice, the Mark’s Duper and Clayton, Sharpe, or Moss with the catch? Reggie White, Taylor, Jackson, Greene, or Swilling off the edge for a sack? Samurai Mike Singletary or Field Mouse Sam Mills carrying on the legend of Butkus inside?
Sadly, I doubt that Jim Lehrer will invoke Mills Lane and “Let’s Get It On,” or even Joe Cortez “I’m Firm But Fair.” There will be no Michael Buffer. Mr. Buffer though, may see a slight alteration of his trademarked phrase. In Denver, the echo might be of “Let’s Get Ready to Grumble.”
What are debates today:
Seriously, what is termed as political debates today are merely an opportunity for candidates to regurgitate highly scripted canned responses. It wasn’t always that way. Believe it or not, at some points in history, the candidates actually posed questions to each other and often the true positions became exposed. In today’s debate staging, the voters sit waiting for any potential gaffes or misspeak, and focus on the subtle aspects such as eye movements, shrugging shoulders, clenching hands, and for that unexpected and often public image crushing check of the wristwatch while the opposition is speaking.
My synopsis and want
Even with both candidates setting the bar for themselves far lower than any human could mambo under and any crawling infant could cross over unscathed, without even thinking to any degree I have some basic points on domestic issues that I would like to see Mr. Lehrer pose:
A) Governor Romney, here is a piece of chalk, please go to the blackboard and show us your mathematical calculations so we can see what will be cut in order to help slash the deficit. After we see that basic information, be prepared for a few questions of why, but many more of HOW.
B) President Obama, regardless of how one chooses to cast blame on the US deficit, as President what can or will you do to get Congress to actually debate the subject and then more importantly agree on a system to address the problem in a manner where both sides will vote for passage?
C) Governor Romney, if job creation today is stifled by too many regulations and too much government control, why weren’t more jobs created in the prior administrations and why has the economic gap continued to increase even more rapidly?
D) President Obama, we can probably agree on an increased need for job training. Education can be a means, but why not overhaul our K through 12 system to allow for more vocational career education and offer a high school graduate to enter into a career field as a senior apprentice and then have the opportunity to move ahead either through additional training or education. Many community colleges are excellent, but are you suggesting that they should be the stage where one first acquires skills to succeed? How would you create an environment where teachers are allowed to teach and not be burdened with the expectations of solving all the societal problems students face?
E) For Both Governor Romney and President Obama: Given the poor employment numbers and an economy not where either of you, and especially the American worker, would like it, how do you explain the enormous amount of money donated to Super PACs and 501 nonprofit organizations supporting or opposing different candidates and political parties? If there is that much money available for charitable donations of political causes, why isn’t that money invested into rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure which would benefit the cause of every politician in serving his or her constituents?
F) Governor Romney, you appear to support free markets, but oppose what has been labeled as “Obamacare.” Are you asserting that the health care exchanges and private insurance companies in this system are not free market? It seems that the current system before full implementation of Obamacare has increased government subsidizing. Those who can afford to buy insurance but choose not to purchase health insurance can receive health services from Emergency Rooms. Those additional costs incurred at an ER from lack of preventative medicine or seeing a primary care physician are then passed along by the medical facilities. Those who made the choice to purchase health care ultimately pay the costs. Even if you oppose health care, how does the ability to shop for and retain insurance coverage limit my rights? Why is it acceptable for those who pay for health insurance to subsidize the costs to those who do not? Doesn’t revoking individual mandate expand the idea of entitlement as your party holds are true for many other public services?
G) President Obama, unfortunately abuse and corruption occurs at all levels and on the surface appears to be increasing. What steps would you take to prevent those without true need receiving government assistance? This question does not apply only to the lower income levels but to the higher ones as well.
H) Governor Romney, I would like for you to comment on that abuse and corruption as well, especially focusing on individuals with household incomes in excess of $200,000 receiving direct government aid and subsidies.
Not enough time
With a little thought and reflection, I could think up many more questions I would like answers to on domestic issues. Those above are not enough to even call the tip of an iceberg. Remember, however, that before the debate, Republicans have Obama favored and Democrats favor Romney. Before the debate even concludes, Republicans will announce victory and Democrats will announce victory. Your opinion like mine will be like looking up at the basketball referee while we are down on the court. If I’m on defense I want to see one hand behind the ref’s head, the other pointing toward my basket, and hear charging. If I’m on offense, the proper call would see the ref with both hands on hips and yelling blocking. It really doesn’t matter if the defender, whether I or the other guy was set, the call should go my way. Likewise, why does home plate always grow when I’m up to bat, but shrinks and even disappears for my pitcher as I look in from out in center?