Thoughts on the Presidential Debates

People keep asking me: "What did you think of the debate(s)?"
    My standard response: "I didn't watch it/them."
    Why? If you think of the breadth of possible discourse as a mile-wide landscape, the two parties "debate" in an area about a block wide.
    I recently listened to journalist Arun Gupta on Black Agenda Radio, and I think he summarized well:
  • Both presidential candidates have energy polices that conform to this slogan: "Drill, baby, drill!"
  • Neither party will cut the $1 trillion the U.S. spends annually on the military.
  • Despite the health-care hyperbole sounded by Republicans, the fact remains: Both Gov. Romney's Massachusetts health-care program and Pres. Obama's Affordable Care Act have their basis in a plan created by a health insurance-funded economist.
  • Obama has said that he and Romney agree on "what to do" with Social Security—namely, cuts or privatization, not something simple like an increase in the payroll tax cap.
  • Neither talks about the crisis in civil liberties. Two examples: the unprecedented prosecution of government whistleblowers, and the massive gathering of citizens' personal data by the National Security Agency.
  • We don't hear anything from either candidate about dealing with the ongoing home-foreclosure crisis, or any of the continued abuses by the banking and financial services industries ("Wall Street")—such as the refusal to renegotiate homeowners' underwater loans, despite record profits on the heels of a huge government bailout.
  • Speaking of records, what do the candidates have to say about addressing a record level of poverty? What do they say about a structural unemployment crisis? What solutions—beyond tax cuts (or repealing tax cuts), which won't even begin to solve the problem—do they propose?
    Enjoy the show.