News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 23, 2012

RONN MOTT: Debates

Ronn Mott
Special to the Tribune-Star

---- — As this is being written, the second round of debates are over and by the time you read this, the third presidential debate will be over. It’s just so much hogwash. Who won, who lost, who looked the best, whose tie was prettiest, and who got in the best jabs. None of this crap has anything to do with being presidential. Nor is it any type of predictor of who will win the presidency.

To top it all off, the news departments of the networks, the over-the-air networks, CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, etc., have rounded up their so-called experts to tell us what we missed, what we should know, and what we just watched. Damn, it makes me mad. I don’t need some twit, or some scrub-faced newsman, to tell me all of these things.

The trouble with the debates started with the very first one. Everybody wants to look shiny and bright, as did John F. Kennedy, and nobody wants to look like Richard Nixon did. Everyone, be it incumbent or challenger, wants to capture some of that magic, release some of the charm over the airwaves and hope it will do for them what it did for a young Jack Kennedy.

Even as badly as Nixon sounded and looked, this nation eventually elected him president anyway. (Not the first time, but the second time.) And you know what that led to.

I can’t think of anybody in my lifetime that looks more presidential than Mitt Romney. Yet, in spite of that in this electronic age, I would not vote for him if someone had a gun to my head. All of the most evil men in today’s politics are supporting Mitt Romney. The Koch brothers, Grover Norquist, and every Republican hanger-on from the Bush days are supporting Central Casting’s call for a look-a-like president.

Richard Nixon did one smart thing … he never stuck his face on TV again for a debate. You have to give the man credit. Once bitten was enough. Frankly, if I was president, I wouldn’t debate anyone. If I got elected once by the people, I would try to do what I said I would, stick to my course, and tell the opponents to come and get me.

But, alas and alack, I am not. (I don’t think I want to be president.) But, I do not believe you gain anything through these debates except what candidate is better trained by his advisers, which one has a flair for show business, and ain’t my tie pretty?

And I don’t need the TV news programs spending weeks on the same subject. Not hours, not days, but weeks. Are we Pavlov’s dog? Do we need to be trained to understand? Don’t the hours we spent in classrooms mean anything? I guess we are considered stupid by some of the candidates because of the lack of truth, description of fact, and plans by them in a singularly manner told to us.

Don’t forget, if I’m president, I’m not going to debate anybody. I think it’s downright stupid. And, if it isn’t stupid, it is at least no measurement of your ability as president, or president to be.  

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.