Jason (jcreed) wrote,

When my parent's generation watched Kennedy debate Nixon, as I understand it, Kennedy blew Nixon out of the water. He owned the medium. He did whatever it was he needed to do far better than Nixon to resonate with the audience.

The thing I'm finding unsettling watching this debate is that it's entirely possible for both candidates in any modern debate, in particular this one, to soundly defeat the other, to overwhelmingly come across as the more reasonable, more personable, more presidential candidate, simultaneously --- to different, nearly disjoint audiences. This surely isn't a sudden change that's occurred, but our cultural encounter with television over the course of a generation and then some means that we younger members of the culture may have been effectively coached for our entire lives towards one end or the other of the conventional american political polarization, in terms of what we think "makes good tv".

The people at this party laugh at bush and right-on at kerry's cuttingest remarks, and I'm sure there are other get-togethers that do just the opposite. Precisely my confidence that that's happening is what worries me. One candidate is trouncing the other according to anyone you ask, but not according to everyone: I doubt strongly this debate, or any further ones, will hand the election to either candidate.
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