Force-feeding us a narrative of “who won the debate” is an insult to our intelligence

We are a few days shy from being exactly one year away from voting for our next president, and somehow, we’ve already had three Republican debates. How is this possible.

Even the average American who has a significant interest in politics is not going to be watching all of these debates, let alone the uniformed people who don’t put any thought into it until they walk into the voting booth.

It’s amazing that people are so obsessed with polls. There’s still so much time to go that it does not matter who is winning now. So many issues are going to come to light over the next 12 months that aren’t even being discussed yet.

Republican debate3For example, it took a school shooting to bring gun control to the forefront of these debates. At least for a few minutes. In the months to come, there will be more current events that stir conversation that will have a significant impact on next year’s election. So who cares right now?

That being said, if these candidates want to verbally duke it out on stage, no matter how far in advance of the vote, then we as a general public could benefit from hearing what they have to say. Even just a short snippet of a response to a baited question will give us some indication of what type of politician these candidates are.

But it’s up to us to make up our own minds. One person may love Ted Cruz. Another may hate him. The same goes for Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and all the other candidates who have been put before us.

And yet, minutes after these debates finish, the media takes it upon themselves to tell us who “won” and who “lost.” They decide who had the most defining moments, and who didn’t do a good job distinguishing themselves. And there’s no other room for interpretation.

To me, a successful debate includes people giving insightful, substantive responses to questions about important issues. I don’t care who “stole the spotlight” or who had the best quip. I don’t care if Chris Christie angrily dismissed the significance of fantasy football or if Ted Cruz ridiculed the debate moderators.

When the media declares a winner, it is demeaning and downright insulting, because it comes with the assumption that we as a collective can not make up our own minds. It also assumes that we didn’t watch the debate, and simply wanted to be told afterwards who was the most successful.

Simply knowing who was the winner means absolutely nothing if we don’t know what he or she actually said.

So my challenge to the media is to stop categorizing every debate candidate’s performance, and instead, give us some thoughtful analyses on what the candidates had to say on the important issues. And, for the love of god, refrain from using the words “winners” and “losers.”

In fact, instead of a televised debate, how about next time we have a candidate blog-off?

People would watch that, right?

Is the world ready for a Facebook ‘dislike’ button?

Oh my god that Republican debate.

I thought the one last month hosted by Fox News was bad, but last night’s took it to another level. It was so obvious how hard CNN was trying to bait the candidates into arguing with one another, that it actually became painful to watch.

Donald Trump actually made fun of people. And not like, insulted their policies or their campaign strategies, but the way they look. What the hell? Is this a presidential debate, or middle school cafeteria banter?

Although, I think it occurred to me last night why Trump appeals to so many people. He’s totally incompetent to be president, no doubt, but he’s quick on his wits. When challenged to defend himself, he doesn’t waste time, and he usually gives a sarcastic or condescending remark. He’s almost like a sitcom.

And that’s America in a nutshell. We’re sarcastic. We’re loud. We’re pretentious. People see Trump doing that on a grand Republican Debate2stage, and they say: “That. We want that.”

But anyway, it’s time to talk about something that matters more than who our next president is — the possible addition of a “dislike” button on Facebook.

As everyone knows, we have the option to “like” people’s statuses and photos, which is accompanied by a thumbs-up. It’s a simple, easy way to voice our approval towards something. However, since Facebook’s inception some 10 years ago, people have been calling for an opposing method of one-click response.

I’ve heard a lot of different opinions on this very important subject over the past few days, and it’s clear that most people haven’t bothered to read what Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg intends with such a button. Which I’ll get to in a second.

I agree that there is enough negativity in the world that we don’t need to add the ability for us to dislike people’s statuses. Trust me, I mentally dislike 99 percent of the statuses I read, but I would never indicate it publicly. That could lead to anger and hurt feelings. So to even give people the ability to do that is just unnecessary.

But it appears that is not Facebook’s plan at all. According to Zuckerberg, the intent is to allow people to express Dislikeempathy when others post sad news on Facebook, as in a family member’s passing, or an article about a tragic subject.

So it won’t be a simple “dislike,” but rather, a more complex way to voice sympathy and condolences. And if that’s the case, then I don’t see how you can object with it at all. He even made it clear that he wants it to be nothing like Reddit’s “upvote” and “downvote” style.

Personally, I don’t think anything posted on social media is worth getting worked up about. If anything, I advocate for Facebook too add an ‘I Don’t Care” button.

Or better yet: “Was This Really Worth Posting?”

How about this one: ‘Holy Shit, This Republican Debate Was So Embarrassing That I Want To Actually Leave The Country.”

I’d click that button. All day, err day.

An exercise in political theater

It’s been a very interesting last few days if you care about politics.

Actually, screw politics. What’s been happening in this early road to the 2016 presidential election has been pure entertainment. The Republican debate last week was political theater. Virtually nothing could have happened last Thursday that would have any impact on the election. Why? Because it’s still 15 freaking months way.

It was pointless. And the only reason it happened was to give Donald Trump a platform to speak, for better or worse.

Trump KellyAnd speak he did. Honestly, I have to give a little credit to Fox News. They’re Republican apologists, sure, but they went pretty hard at these candidates. They made each one answer for their shortcomings. Which led to some controversy.

Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly said that Trump has called women he didn’t like “pigs,” “slobs,” and “disgusting animals,” which Trump took offense to, and later remarked that Kelly “has blood coming out of her whatever.”

Trump then said his comment was not meant to be an insinuation towards menstruation, and that he’s too smart to say something that stupid. Could have fooled me.

But the fact that this is the prevailing news coming out of the debate showed that Trump is all anybody really cared about. Fox News knew that, and that’s why he had by far the most speaking time of any other candidate, and more than double that of the candidate with the least speaking time, Rand Paul.

For moderate politicos, just sit back and enjoy the show. it’s not until next February or March at the earliest when we actually need to start caring who emerges from this cast of characters that, if it wasn’t for the original cast of Jersey Shore, would be the most hopeless group of humans ever assembled.

On the Democratic side, meanwhile, the Bernie Sanders train is picking up more steam. He garnered much attention when he was interrupted on a campaign stop by the Seattle chapter of the advocacy group Black Lives Matter. Internet people (mostly of the white variety) reacted by noting that Bernie is the candidate who has spoken the most strongly about racial justice.

Days later, 28,000 people showed up to see him in Los Angeles.

I’m not going to lie — I think I’m starting to lean more towards Bernie with each passing day. He’s the furthest thing from a demagogue, and he actually had the balls to challenge Hillary. It’s not that I think she’s a bad candidate, but I want to Mars womanhave a choice. I appreciate the competition and I hope the Bernie train keeps rolling.

Finally, let’s end with Mars. The planet no one cares about until an adorably-named space robot lands on it.

A woman-like figure has been spotted in a photo taken by NASA’s Mars rover, Curiosity, that has made conspiracy theorists jizz their pants.

It’s probably just a rock. But let’s pretend it’s a definitive sign of extraterrestrial life. It’s way more exciting.

Real or not real, Donald Trump already thinks she’s a disgusting animal.