I remind myself constantly that cameras – while they may not lie exactly – only reveal snapshots. How many times have you been questioned about the look on your face at a particular moment, “Are you mad?” “What are you thinking about?” In reality, your nose was itching, you remembered a forgotten task, you had a foot cramp, or actually, you have no idea why your mouth turned up or your forehead wrinkled. Looking at photos of my own self, I often wonder, What Was I Thinking??
Cameras hyper-focus an audience on the face and body language of its subjects. We have these two-hour time frames during televised debates to stare at (and listen to) people talk and display a whole range of emotion, physical reaction and thought. What looks like an arrogant smirk may well be the result of holding back a fart. These are, after all, human beings. Farts and all.
Televised debates are incredibly powerful influencers because we are so visual and so vain and so attracted to perfection and so fickle- always looking for that one tell-tale moment when the candidate reveals the whole Monty with that one expression (the money shot?).
Or, maybe I’m just shallow.
I think these GOP (and most) candidates are courageous and patriotic and ultimately, love America. I had a moment last night while watching the debate when I was overcome with patriotism. I watched these people on the stage in various camera angles, up-close-and-personal, and I just felt so strongly about all of them. I was proud and touched by their courage to be up there. I was overcome with gratitude to be an American and I thought, for a minute, that these candidates are all mostly good, or want to be, and mostly trustworthy and mostly meant, or wish they meant, everything they said. It was weird.
All of that, I think, is a result of ‘seeing’ the people instead of just hearing them. I can’t help but wonder how much that affects my opinion and I am trying hard not to let it. I often wonder how just ‘hearing’ and not ‘seeing’ the campaigns of 2008 would have changed the result.
Like so many other people watching, I am listening for ideas, platforms and issues that speak to me directly and that represent my exact vision of my country. Therein, of course, lies the real debate. What, exactly, is my vision?
I am certainly not liberal but I am also not a fringey right wing zealot. Libertarian ideas appeal to
me but I refuse to try on Ron Paul’s tin-foil cap – although I have toyed with the idea. Other than the isolationist concepts, he has some pretty appealing platforms.
I want to like Bachmann. After watching the debates (so far) I am starting to warm back up to her, although, she seems a bit high-maintenance for the job. How long exactly, does all that make-up take her to apply everyday? I know, I know. Shallow. I don’t like any kind of religion in my politics but I do believe that we should base decisions on goodness and justice. All of that goodness mostly comes from God, doesn’t it? Whole ‘nuther subject there. Extremism scares me.
I like Santorum. I actually, probably, like him the most. But – there’s that whole religion thing again. I just don’t really give a shit what gay people do. Get married, don’t get married. I don’t care. I do believe in a strong family unit and I don’t think it is affected by what gay people do or don’t do. Either you are gay – or not. Period. I’m not. My family unit looks pretty typical. I don’t mind if my neighbor’s does not.
Huntsman ‘appears’ to be a bit smug and over-confident. Maybe he just has gas. I generally like his platforms, although, honestly, I have not studied him much.
Romney. I like him. He does not appear to be basing business decisions on any weird, cultish, Mormon philosophy. He just seems like a regular Christian guy who is smart and decisive and a savvy business man. He does make stupid faces while he listens to the other candidates. I bet he never farts.
Perry- I just don’t know. Hard not to like a cowboy from Texas. He is easy on the eyes. Is he smart enough? Would he be true to American values? Texas is one of the only states that is still thriving. That says something.
Ultimately, Gingrich appears to be the wisest, smartest and most qualified. He does have that baggage and there is something lurking there.. for me.. that keeps me reserved a bit.
I think I would be fairly comfortable with any of them. Except Ron Paul. I would be okay with him as VP, although Biden has proved that office to be fairly useless.
So… what are your thoughts?