I don't plan on watching the debates. I see no reason to waste my time listening to the bloviating of two people for whom I have no intention of voting, I don't really care about the issues of the debate, the people who have arranged the debates have decided to deny third party candidates (Ralph Nader, Michael Badnarik, John Hagelin, Angela Davis and whoever else might be running) access to them, and the debates are merely an opportunity for Bush and Kerry to sing the same song that they've been singing all along to their respective choirs. I'll skim the transcripts in the morning to see if there's anything of interest. That'll take five minutes, tops.
Here's a poll for the poll-takers: After each of the debates, ask three questions:
1. Did you watch the debate last night?
2. Did you plan to vote in November before last night's debate?
3. Do you plan to vote in November after last night's debate?
I'll bet that you'd find that there wasn't that much of a difference between the percentage of people answering "yes" to questions 2 and 3. (I won't bother setting up such a poll, at least not on LiveJournal. This is hardly what I'd call a random sample of voting-age Americans. Not that it stops the majority of poll-takers.)
Cynical? No. Realistic. The people who will vote in November (including almost all of you) have already decided to vote against Bush or against Kerry. Some of us will "waste" our vote by casting it for one of the third party candidates (I see it as taking it away from two inferior candidates). Half of the people in this country could care less. They realize that even if they did bother to show up and vote, their choice is limited to "damned if you do" and "damned if you don't." Tweedledum and Tweedle-dumber. And that's just the way the Republicans and the Democrats like it. Despite the handwringing in the media over the fact that nearly half of the eligible voters don't vote, that's the way it's meant to work.
It'd be nice if we could vote "none of the above". Tell the political parties that their choices are unacceptable and to go back and pick new candidates. That'll never happen. But it would be nice, wouldn't it?