I know that I wasn’t the only person who was surprised by President Obama’s performance in the first presidential debate. I can say the same thing about Romney’s performance as well. Romney appeared to be in control throughout the entire debate and it seemed like Obama wasn’t making an effort to change that. I don’t understand why he didn’t, though. Obama isn’t in a great position in the polls or anything, each campaign is spending massive amounts on advertising, and Obama’s campaign has been sending borderline desperate emails asking for money/support. You would think that the situation would call for a much stronger debate performance… Not a submission. His performance is especially surprising to me because of how often Romney used inaccurate information to criticize Obama’s policies. If you’re in a close presidential debate then you can at least put some effort into taking apart your opponent’s argument by saying the facts. But maybe Obama didn’t even know the facts? How else can you explain his incompetence?
Romney wasn’t the only one who was spewing inaccurate information. Below is an article which takes note of the inaccuracies and exaggerations said from both sides of the presidential debate. Definitely check it out.
Fact Checking the Presidential Debate (some of the facts are at the bottom of this post)
There’s a bigger problem with the last debate than inaccurate speculations about performance. The problem has more to do with the system than anything else. I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand hearing all of the fluff in these presidential debates. It’s like the debates are really bullshit contests and the winner is the one who can pack the most pleasant-sounding promises into each “2 minute” segment. If one candidate lies about one statistic the other will retort with another exaggeration and it just keeps piling on. But who actually notices? Obviously journalists and the ardent opposition to each candidate. But… Who else? I don’t think the typical American notices as much as we would like to believe. This is especially influential during times of non-polarizing politics because of how much sway the moderates have in each election, but it is still extremely significant in this polarized environment. These moderates are still going to decide the election, after all.
And this is getting to why I absolutely despise the debate process for the presidential election. You are campaigning for the highest public office in the land, debatably the most powerful position in the world… Yet there is nobody to fact check you during the debate. You can build yourself up on a foundation of lies. Something doesn’t feel right about our system when you look at it like that. We need other moderators or journalists or economists to sit with the moderator who asks the questions. We need those informed people to correct the candidates on inaccurate claims and exaggerations. We need people to call the candidate’s out for all of the garbage that they spew just to gain popularity and win the election.
The news attempts to do it after the debates, but many news stations are already biased. Just look at FOX and MSNBC and you’ll see the world through two different lenses. Also, fact checking after the debates doesn’t have the same effect as telling the candidate he/she is lying in person. They have to change their argument/explain why they’re lying right on the spot. This can make the discussions change very quickly for the candidates who are not using accurate information. Everybody would notice that. So no, the reporting from news stations is not good enough by itself. And why should it be?? How can we just sit back and let both candidates lie during a debate for the position of President of the United States?! I can’t stand the prevelant absurdity in our current system! The primaries too, for that matter! All of the political debates need to be fact checked more extensively than they already are. People need to hold our politicians accountable for what they say in front of the public. Otherwise we have an uninformed electorate that doesn’t know what to think. Embarrass these people publically to force the truth out of them in the future!
I hope to see some type of change to our current system in the near future. Luckily fact checking websites are getting more popular so I do believe there is hope for something like that to trickle into the debates themselves. It will just take a bit of time and a huge amount of support.
Trust me… It’s worth fighting for.
- Obama accused Romney of proposing a $5 trillion tax cut. Not true. Romney proposes to offset his rate cuts and promises he won’t add to the deficit.
- Romney again promised to “not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans” and also to “lower taxes on middle-income families,” but didn’t say how he could possibly accomplish that without also increasing the deficit.
- Obama oversold his health care law, claiming that health care premiums have “gone up slower than any time in the last 50 years.” That’s true of health care spending, but not premiums. And the health care law had little to do with the slowdown in overall spending.
- Romney claimed a new board established by the Affordable Care Act is “going to tell people ultimately what kind of treatments they can have.” Not true. The board only recommends cost-saving measures for Medicare, and is legally forbidden to ration care or reduce benefits.
- Obama said 5 million private-sector jobs had been created in the past 30 months. Perhaps so, but that counts jobs that the Bureau of Labor Statistics won’t add to the official monthly tallies until next year. For now, the official tally is a bit over 4.6 million.
- Romney accused Obama of doubling the federal deficit. Not true. The annual deficit was already running at $1.2 trillion when Obama took office.
- Obama again said he’d raise taxes on upper-income persons only to the “rates that we had when Bill Clinton was president.” Actually, many high-income persons would pay more than they did then, because of new taxes in Obama’s health care law.
- Romney claimed that middle-income Americans have “seen their income come down by $4,300.” That’s too high. Census figures show the decline in median household income during Obama’s first three years was $2,492, even after adjusting for inflation.
- Obama again touted his “$4 trillion” deficit reduction plan, which includes $1 trillion from winding down wars that are coming to an end in any event.