If you’re a pundit, or a blogger, or even an avid blog reader, then you’re in about the top 1% of the most politically informed people in the country. You have a familiary with the issues that is borderline irrational. You’ve seen the different positions taken by the candidates over time. You’re aware of their flip-flops. You know the context surrounding their arguments. You understand why the facile answers of an Edwards or a Kerry are full of shit.
Well, I’ve got news for you: you’re not the target audience.
News bloggers, pundits, and the rest of those arguing about who won which debate know the bigger picture. They have a better understanding of the situations being discussed. Live debates are mostly for those people who DON’T know or understand those things.
(That’s mostly why I don’t watch debates, by the way.)
Another passage from Spoons:
I’ll give you a perfect example from the Bush/Kerry debate. Remember when they talked about North Korea, and the President kept saying that Kerry’s desire for a bilateral approach would undermine our ability to leverage China’s influence in the region as a means of keeping the Norks under control? Well, you and I knew exactly what he was talking about. You and I know that Bush wants talks to be between North Korea, the U.S., China, Russia, Japan, and South Korea. You and I know that North Korea, and Kerry, want all talks to be between the U.S. and North Korea alone. You and I know that Kerry’s instinct to appease North Korea here and reject multilateralism is directly contradictory to the fetish he makes of multilateralsim when it came to Iraq. Accordingly, on the issue of talks with North Korea, Bush absolutely, positively, had the better of the argument.
And yet he lost that point in the debate.
He lost it, because he ignored his audience. He forgot that the people he needed to convince don’t know jack about talks with North Korea. It’s not that his position was complicated. He could have explained it in about 15 seconds. But he didn’t even try. And because his audience didn’t know what he was talking about, Bush lost that point.
Now, you might not agree that Bush “absolutely, positively” had the better point, but I think you understand that Spoons is saying that Bush didn’t present his point in a way to score with the people that he should be trying to score with.
Spoons, by the way, thinks Cheney lost last night’s debate. I don’t know, but I do know that a lot of folks I know like the LOOK of John Edwards and would probably vote for him over Cheney without a second thought and without any idea about the issues.
Thoughts? Should candidates simplify their presentation of ideas and explain them more so that the average American has a better chance of truly understanding?