I don’t put much weight on political debates. When I see one I don’t expect my position or views to change and I am always surprised to hear that other people’s views are effected. I think the debate format has limited value. There is usually no way you can elucidate your position in a short span of time, the moreso when you are talking about complex and complicated issues such as illegal immigration, foreign policy, and economics. It is hard enough in the written format I prefer (www.sntjohnny.com/smf). In fact, if you take the time to lay out your position people usually get bored.
So, I didn’t expect to have my views shaped by last night’s debate. Unfortunately for Ron Paul, he managed to do move me in regards to his position- away from him. I am sympathetic to Ron Paul’s positions, almost as sympathetic as you can get. I am a strict constitutionalist and that entails a generous libertarianism which is about where Ron Paul is.
It seemed that Mr. Paul was unable to succinctly present a cogent argument. I don’t know if there was something wrong with his earpiece or what but his responses didn’t seem to match up to the questions. I know that candidates answer as they please trying to get their talking point across but usually it seems like they know what question they are avoiding. Paul’s comments seemed to be rants that only the faithful (those who already understand the principles that are driving him) could appreciate.
Importantly, Mr. Paul came off as simply unelectable. In our two party system it is unfortunate that we have to care about such things, but there is too much at stake to ever let your run of the mill Democrat take the White House. In a general election, how would Paul fare against Obama? But most importantly, from a personal point of view, despite all of my affinities for Mr. Paul’s positions, I couldn’t vote for him myself. He simply did not come across as someone I want in the White House. So where does that put me? Out of luck, as usual.