By Marty Russell
Here we are about a month away from the presidential election and this week marks the first actual debate between the two candidates. Never mind that most national polls show the majority of voters have already decided which candidate they plan to vote for, and those few undecideds are being courted like beautiful women with handsome dowries, and that in some states voting is already taking place. Someone still thinks we need a series of actual debates.
Do they really think that someone, who is a supporter of either candidate, is going to change their mind after watching a debate? I find that highly unlikely. In most instances, someone who is already a supporter of either candidate is simply going to have that reinforced by a debate regardless of how their candidate actually does.
Let’s face it, we watch debates for the same reason we watch car races, not to see who is the better driver, not to see who has the better machine or who has the better supporters in terms of a pit crew. We watch them to see who is going to crash and burn. We watch them to see who is going to get off the zinger, as the political pundits keep calling them, that causes their opponent to melt into a pool of humiliation and Nixon sweat.
Don’t get me wrong, I plan to watch the debates myself but in the hope that one of the candidates will actually tell me something concrete about how they plan to handle the major problems confronting the nation and the world. And I’m not talking about things like the economy, taxes, gas prices, Lindsey Lohan or world peace, all things neither of them can do anything about on their own as much as they keep trying to convince us they can. To me, talking about such issues is simply dancing around the real problems we face, like the looming bacon shortage.
While some skeptics say the announcement by the National Pig Association of the United Kingdom last month that the world will face an imminent bacon shortage next year is just a scare tactic to soothe consumers who will see a price increase in pork products due to higher feed prices, sort of like attempting to lower expectations by a candidate prior to a political debate, imagine if it’s true.
No more bacon and eggs. No more bacon cheeseburgers. No more BLTs, just LTs. No more bacon-flavored vodka (yes, it exists, and steer clear of it at all costs). No more talking dogs saying, “Bacon, bacon, bacon!” What are we to clog our arteries with? Vegetables?
This is serious, folks. So I’m watching the debates to see which party has the best plan to avert this international crisis (well, except perhaps in Israel where bacon and nukes are frowned upon). I mean, isn’t that what we’ve always paid politicians for, to bring home the bacon?
Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.