The Assignment: Attend of the Caucus meetings tonight and participate in the political process.
Unfortunately, I have a concert tonight that I am unable to get out of which conflicts with all of the local caucus meetings, and I did not have enough time to travel to the Caucus meetings that are happening earlier in the day in Salt Lake.
For this reason, I decided to take some time and become informed about this year's presidential race. I began my search by looking up the issues.
I discovered what appeared to by 2 sets of issues. There are national issues, and there are candidate issues. The national issues such as the economy or foreign relations are issues that directly impact everyone. The candidate issues seem to me to be more moral issues, such as gay rights and abortion laws.
In essence, the first set determine how the candidate will deal with the world, and the second set determines how the world will deal with the candidate.
I also learned that the deciding issue always seems to be either the economy or terrorism.
After I felt that I had a strong enough grasp on the issues, I decided to watch one of the democratic debates. Here are my observations:
- Very rarely did any of the candidates say anything even mildly positive about any of the others.
- There was an incredible emphasis on consistency.
- If any of the candidates had ever changed an opinion in their entire life it was mentioned by someone else.
- Candidates often began their remarks with: "I believe, and I have ALWAYS believed...."
- I was really impressed with how quickly the candidates were able to come up with cohesive responses to the questions asked to them.
- I was annoyed at how often the candidate would ignore the question completely and would simply use the airtime to talk about their platform
- I was annoyed at their lack of respect for the rules that they had agreed to before the debate about the timing of their responses. They often just kept talking when their time was up even if the moderator was talking over them and telling them to stop.
All in all I was impressed with most of the candidates. Before watching the debate I thought that I would disagree with most of what they said since I am very conservative and they are by definition not conservative, but I came away from the experience with an added respect for each of them and the positive impacts that they have had on our country during their lifetimes.