*Since the first Presidential Debate took place last week, some people think the world has changed.
The world has changed…but only their minds. One debate does not a campaign make, however, in a simpletons—simple analysis arrive at simple conclusion. We cannot succumb to simplistic analysis of a highly complex effort to retake the government from a populist “rejection” movement. Four years ago, the nation rejected the policies of the Bush era and the relaxation of government controls that allowed for the “legitimate rape” of free market capitalism.
Capitalism was bent over, screwed royally and thrown off the Empire State Building. President Obama caught the economy in the middle of a free fall, stopped it from crashing to the ground, go at financial raiders and sought to reset the economy. Those are the facts. Economy recovery, such as the one we’re experiencing, can take a full decade—not three or fours years. Ask both Europe and Japan, whose economies have crashed and been revamped in the last quarter century. We can’t be simpleminded about this. We have to understand the whole construct that served as the backdrop for the first debate focused on the economy.
Now, over the past week, I’ve had to talk some people in off the ledge as they have digested the post-debate spin (the Obama lost…badly) and that just wasn’t the case. Did Obama give his best performance? No. Did he hold his own in a mediocre performance? Yes. Did Mitt Romney have to have a standout performance just to keep this race close? Absolutely. Did he do that? Depends on if you believe what Romney was selling, if it was truthful. It also depends what poll you read and what commentary you listen to. That’s why they call it “spin.” It’s designed to spin you around to their point of view (and keep you dizzy, in the process). Real time polling suggested that Romney won. But as the facts and fact-checkers weighed in, the outcome wasn’t so clear. The biggest bump Romney got was two points two days after the debate. The only thing people really remember out of this debate was Romney’s lack of specifics and that he’d cut PBS’ funding. Big Bird trended on Twitter for four days. Most of Romney’s responses were rebuttals and coded non-sense. Much of the post-debate analysis was non-sense. I thought Chris Matthews was gonna have a stroke (and he’s pro-Obama). Folks just need to relax and analyze this.
I maintained all along that Obama would rope Romney in, make him feel comfort and confident. It was classic Ali-Foreman. Let Romney think that he could hit the President. And Romney wailed away, saying any stupid thing that came to his mind. Those who remember “the Rumble In The Jungle” (it’s on YouTube.com), when Ali laid on the rope, everybody implored him to get off the ropes and fight. Ali finally had to tell his corner (and everybody else), “Shut the f#ck up. I know what I’m doing.” Fast forward four decades. Obama had openings that he could drive a truck though. He could’ve hit him in slow motion, with eye closed. If we could see the openings, don’t you think he could? It was obvious he was laying back. Yeah, it made us nervous—like it did when Ali “roped his dope,” until he came off the ropes and turned it around. People were cautioning Obama to look “Presidential.” They were cautioning him not to “come off angry” at the nonsense Romney would put out there to goat him and make him angry. The President looked sluggish as some attributed it to the altitude. But the reality is that he was (and is) winning this fight. Laying back was part of his strategy. His closing was weak, but clearing he was saving himself and his “Romney bombs” for later in the fight. Why jump out there and slug it out early? For bravado and braggadocio? People need to get a grip. It would make no sense.
Romney didn’t change anybody’s mind that he’d do anything different than raid the rest of the government’s coffers for the corporate raiders and investment banker “rapists.” His charge was to humanize himself before the American people, to save his campaign, and if he had to lie to do it… oh well. It was a “low-information” debate made to appeal to low information voters in the swing states. He may have gained some traction in the polls, in general, but he’s still behind in the swing state polling and he can’t win without the swing states. And he has two more debates in areas in which he is weakest, one of them being, foreign policy.
We have to intellectualize this in a way that separates fact from fiction, and what makes sense from what makes no sense. And we can’t emotionalize it. Lastly, we can’t feed into the nonsense. Now, I know this is hard for some. Some people actually maintain a study diet of nonsense. Some actually ingest it. They feed on it. They live it to the fully. Nonsense is their mantra. And I’m not just talking about the other community. I attended an event or two in our community where the nonsense drove the conversation. We have to resist that. Obama is not everything to everybody, and he’s entitled to implement strategy in winning his re-election. Our responsibility is to give clarity to what’s going on and get out the vote. And those that support him have try to rationale his strategy with some degree of intelligence and common sense.
Not perpetuate the nonsense.
Anthony Asadullah Samad, Ph.D., is a national columnist, managing director of the Urban Issues Forum (www.urbanissuesforum.com) and author of the upcoming book, REAL EYEZ: Race, Reality and Politics in 21st Century Popular Culture. He can be reached at www.AnthonySamad.com or on Twitter at @dranthonysamad.