I attended the coolest, most entertaining VP debate party last night with 500 other people at Traverse City's amazing State Theater. Note the sub-title of the big event! For those inside watching the debate, it was all of the above, Comedy, Drama and Horror all wrapped up in a fun filled evening with Michael Moore.
Before I describe the event, I must confess that I really don't do politics. Historically, I have voted Republican, Democrat and Abstention (no vote at all) in equal parts. I have this crazy theory that politics (which always seems shallow and often ridiculous to me) will be subsumed by global economics. National politics may not become obsolete. But I expect that it will continue to become subsumed by global economic ties between nations and the reality that we are all in this together (and by 'we' I mean human beings). Our economic ties to China, for instance, preclude preclude us from being adversarial with what would otherwise be a mortal enemy.
I am a great believer in the human intellect. I believe in smart people making smart decisions based on information, not ideology, whether they are practicing law, running a company or running our country. I understand that this is not the way the world has historically worked. But I have great confidence that the availability of information on the internet offers the possibility that we will not need to fall back on ideology as a short-hand, quick device to take positions on complex issues. Yes, Americans might even research the issues and make informed decisions in the internet age.
Needless to say, I am voting Obama - Biden this year. McCain and Palin have shown me nothing to suggest they are capable of higher thinking, and neither has any academic credentials which indicate that they are remotely intelligent people. The inside scoop in Washington is that you have to really 'dumb it down' when explaining things to McCain because he is not very smart (sound like someone else we know?). Sarah Palin is a great mom. But she is clearly not a smart person, and has shown a capacity to regurgitate non-responsive ideology to virtually any possible question. People who do not have the capacity for critical or complex thought have no choice but to fall back on ideology which can, on its best day, simply offer boilerplate non-answers to complex questions.
So to watch the debate at the State Theater with Michael Moore and 500 other people, 400 of them who will be voting Obama - Biden, was a lot like watching your College football team beat up on the opposition at your school's Homecoming game. The crowd roared virtually every time Palin rambled, forgetting for the moment that no one without understanding of complex policy issues should become the leader of the free world - the most powerful decision maker on earth.