Watching the first presidential debate involving the first African American
major party nominee was historic. But the aftermath was less than
euphoric. By all accounts, Barack Obama won the debate. He was more
“presidential,” whatever that means. To me, it means he was more
confident, more detailed in his answers, more exacting in his critique
and more optimistic in his resolve to change our current dilemma.
Obama spoke to the issues and he spoke to the people. McCain tried
to dodge the debate by hiding behind the Wall Street collapse, then
he dodged the issues by being non-response to questions while trying
to baste Barack.
the smoke cleared, many of the immediate post debate analysts tried
to say that neither candidate clearly distinguished himself and
that the debate was a tie. Well, given that the debate was on McCain’s
home court (Oxford, Mississippi – a red
state that historically voted Republican or Dixiecrat [any party
that was against civil or equal rights]) and the topic was supposed
to McCain’s strong suit, foreign policy, it would appear to me that
a tie would mean Barack held his own and thus was the winner. In
baseball, America’s past-time, when the runner and the ball
get to the base at the same time, because the fielders have more
time to react to the play, the tie goes to the runner. Why should
politics be any different? McCain was the pitcher in this debate,
it was his field (foreign policy), Barack was the batter, trying
to prove he could hit the foreign pitch. He did, and beat McCain
to the base. The pundits want to call it a tie. Barack is still
safe. Tie goes to the runner.
have since seen in the daily Gallup
polling how far off the pundits were. Obama has gotten a big bounce
in polls - anywhere from five to ten points, depending on the poll
you watch. Some want to tie it to the lack of confidence in the
President’s bailout proposal. It also could be a lack of confidence
that McCain had any sort of impact on the bailout (passing or failing).
From my perspective, it’s the American public being dismissed as
so unintelligent and naïve that they can’t tell the difference between
who won and who lost. Despite a race that’s closer than it should
(be because a Stanford study finally confirmed what black people
knew six months ago, that race is a larger-than-previously-acknowledged
factor in this Presidential race), there is still something to be
said about continuing to tell people - regardless of whom they support
- not to believe what they see.
This era of political relativism that suggests the truth is relative,
and reality is a figment of one’s imagination, is why we’re at war
and the economy is on the floor. Even still, Bush, and now McCain
have the unmitigated gall to ask you, “Who do you believe, me or
your lying eyes?” Well, put it this way, after last Friday, a whole
bunch of people are starting to believe their lying eyes.
People are tired of trying to make sense out of nonsense, sense out of
pretense and sense out of misfeasance. That’s why the Wall Street
bailout made no sense to most Americans. We’re giving $700 billion
to the same guys that stole us blind, took our homes and mismanaged
the economy? The American people said it in virtual unison, “Reward
malfeasance. That doesn’t make any sense.” The blind now see, and
the deaf now hear and that bodes well for Obama.
As much as the right wants to manipulate the change message, the same
message can’t come close. Though they’d like to make you think it’s
close, it’s not. They can’t say reality isn’t real, no matter how
it makes you feel. The
American people have been shocked into reality and the first Presidential
debate of the fall couldn’t have come at a better time, in the midst
of Palin-mania and McCain hysteria, where the substance message
was being lost to the same substance-less conversation that elected
George W. eight years ago. As much as the pundits want to make you
think this debate was a tie, we know better. Tie goes to the runner.
Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad, is a national columnist, managing director
of the Urban Issues Forum
and author of Saving The Race: Empowerment Through Wisdom.
His Website is AnthonySamad.com.
to contact Dr. Samad.