I received an email this afternoon that began like this:
Tonight's debate could determine the future of our country.
(Sigh. Heavy, depressed, exhausted sigh.) Here's what I'd like to say about that.
Dear Writer of Fear Engaging Email,
I am not worried about my candidate tonight. Nor am I worried the future of our country is going into the tank in 90-minutes this evening while every political wonk in the USA is watching, tweeting, and analyzing. I am worried about an intellectual economy that places so much currency in the bank of Prime Time Entertainment and Twittered Instant Replays and Pundit Score Cards.
Really? The future of our country is going to be determined by one pre-election debate? Really?
Is there a nuclear bomb at the ready if Governor Romney out smart-asses the President tonight? Is Wall Street going dark in the morning if President Obama rips the Governor a new one? Will our clean water stop running in our sinks, our debit cards fail to work at the grocery store, our schools turn our children away at the door if one man out wits another?
Surely the people who care to exercise their constitutional right to cast a vote for the presidential candidate of their choice in 21-days have cared enough to weigh in/read up/pay attention before tonight. Surely we recognize this Debate Extravaganza as the free advertising it is - for both candidates - and the blood sport that it is for people who make their livings telling us all how we should feel and think and vote.
Really? A 90-minute debate is going to turn this election?
Political scientists don't think so.
I don't think so.
I'm betting TV executives do.
What I think is this: 15-seconds standing alone in a room with a ballot and a pencil sometime between now and November 6 will decide this election...and it will, perhaps, determine the way the breeze blows across the fields that are the future of our country.
Tonight, the sky is not falling...
No matter who wins or loses.
Let's all pour ourselves a glass of wine, breathe, and enjoy this televised event for what it is: An opportunity to cheer for our candidate.
It is not the beginning of the end of our future.