• The perks of being a decided voter

    by Gary Huerta

    Well, the first presidential debate has been over for nearly two hours as I write this and already I’ve been asked by numerous people, “What did you think about the debate and who won?”

    In true debate fashion, I’d like to answer those questions like a candidate – by changing the subject and distracting you with my recent experience seeing, “The Perks Of Being A Wallflower”.

    I went there with my youngest daughter, which humanizes me and makes me 27% more likeable, according to research. And I sat among a group of other excited young Americans, eager to see the coming of age movie. I was even lucky enough to be situated in front of an entire row of teenage girls who must have read the book because they delighted me and everyone else in the theater by revealing every plot point 15 seconds before it happened.

    Now I know other people might want to lash out in anger at exuberant teens who fail to heed the rules of movie going etiquette. Others might “shoosh” them or even turn around and glare, but I took it in stride because I knew restraint would show my good judgment and character. People like that.

    And even though I found the movie to be quite entertaining, I think it only showed one side of being an isolated youth. You see, for many of our disenfranchised children, high school isn’t a place where you meet a close circle of friends. It often ends up a regrettable four year sentence where you: pick the wrong friends, hide your pain with drugs and alcohol, fail to live up to your own potential, barely graduate and establish a pattern of antagonistic behavior which you regret years later. Not that I know what that’s like. The real point of mentioning this is to show that I have empathy for people with little or no self-esteem. Ultimately, that makes me look good in the eyes of many. And that’s what really matters.

    “But what about the debate?”

    Oh that. Well, even though I’m a Democrat, I will say that Mitt Romney won. Let’s face it: he admitted that he’d cut off the subsidies for PBS, which would do something very important for the American people. It would ensure that aging dried apple doll, Jim Lehrer, could never moderate another presidential debate. On that alone, he deserves the respect of every man, woman and child. I wouldn’t be surprised if he got a bump in the polls on that point alone.

    With that, I’ve covered off my pre-game agenda of seeming affable and witty, so let me tell you why I think he really won, which will make my whole rant feel 64% more credible and believable.

    Mitt Romney kept it simple. He stayed on point. He looked calm and authoritative and did all the things one is supposed to do during a debate.

    “Do I believe what he was saying?”

    That’s a different question altogether. I said he won the debate from a mechanical perspective. I didn’t say I believed him. I’m sure before the next debate, economic experts will find incredible holes in Mitt Romney’s logic and explain them in much greater detail and accuracy than I can. I know that by admitting I don’t have all the answers, my approval rating on this column will suffer, but that’s why I’m not destined for a life in politics. I have a sick, twisted morality that more often than not forces me to write the truth. Damn me to hell!

    That said, during my time behind the keyboard, I have learned where to look for places of exploitation, and I found Mitt’s “Achilles heel” in the closing minutes of the debate. Mitt went off script when he started using the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as evidence to support his platform.

    “We are endowed by our creator with those rights,” Romney said referring to our Constitution.

    Oh how I wish they could have turned the camera towards President Obama. If they did, I’m sure you would have seen the quintessential look of the cat who ate the canary. Obama must have been thinking, “You were winning. I can’t believe you’re going to start talking about the rights of Americans as interpreted by your God who lives on planet Kolab. Go onnnn!”

    And Romney obliged by saying he believed we must maintain or commitment to religious tolerance and freedom in this country. In other words, he begged middle America, from the bottom of his magic underwear, to overlook the cultish nature of his religion when casting their vote.

    But it didn’t really get ludicrous until Romney claimed, “We are endowed by our creator with the right to pursue happiness as we choose”.

    The fact that the GOP platform does not want to give all people the same rights to marry and let women choose what to do with their body would seem completely contrary to any belief that “We” are all endowed with the same rights to pursue happiness. Call me crazy but those two platforms seem incongruous.

    And it took no less than 30 seconds for Romney to back peddle his way into saying we are, “All children of the same God”.

    Wait. Didn’t he just say that we must maintain our commitment to religious tolerance and freedom in this country? Why do we need to do that if we are all children of the same God?

    More importantly, why are we talking about God during a debate? Isn’t there supposed to be some sort of separation of church and state? And where the fuck was Jim Lehrer at times like this when we needed to get this thing back on the rails?

    Looking for his Zoloft, I suspect.

    All in all, the good news is we only have a few more of these to endure. Unless something truly incredible happens, I won’t be watching or commenting on the others. Frankly, I think those of us who have already made our decision should just start tuning in to Dexter, Boardwalk Empire or whatever else it is that provides real entertainment. The only people who should be forced to watch are the few remaining undecided voters.

    Being forced to sit through the rest of the debates should be their punishment for not having enough common sense to make up their minds after more than two years of this shit.

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