Oct. 2, 2012
The long-awaited first debate between President Obama and GOP challengeris almost upon us, meaning voters will get to hear the two men exchange ideas, trade observations and sling “zingers” before reaching their own decisions about who to support in the voting booth, right?
Not so fast.
If you think Punditty is full of it, you’re right, but his relatively mild punditifications are nothing compared to the spin doctors, wonks and talking heads who will be descending on the networks after the Denver debate is over.
Depending on whether you’re watching Fox, MSNBC or something in between, what the talking heads say right after the debate may very well influence your perceptions. So why not listen to yourself instead?
Here’s an idea: Take notes, turn off and tune in. You might have a better chance of discerning your own perceptions if you aren’t immediately bombarded by fast-talking pundits trying to make up your mind for you.
Once you feel like you’ve written down the most important points about the debate, you can choose to re-engage with the nonstop punditry on television or just take a break from it all until the morning papers (how quaint!) are available. At that point, you can match your thoughts on the debate with the wisdom of the punditocracy. Chances are you might find an original thought or two in your notes.
The networks and the surrogates for the candidates may not like this approach, but if you want to see where your mind goes before the “opinion-makers” try to steer it, you might find you like politics better without all the emphatic persuaders telling you what you've just seen and why you're wrong if you thought you saw something else.
If you like to write about U.S. politics and Campaign 2012, enter "The American Pundit" competition. Allvoices is awarding four $250 prizes each month between now and November. These monthly winners earn eligibility for the $5,000 grand prize, to be awarded after the November election.