Now most of us have encountered others with opposing views. I know I have. And unlike many of those I have encountered, I have refused to use labels and talking points that paint those I am talking to as anything other than "concerned Americans" with a different "take" on matters. But almost always, when I make a factual statement, instead of a nod of the head and acknowledgement of my position, I am dealt another derogatory label that merely ignores the main point I raise. How does this happen? Why does this happen? Where do folks get the chutzpah to continue to argue points they have clearly lost on?
Although I am the first to admit that I can be wrong (and when I am wrong, I both acknowledge my error and concede the point), I internalize the error so that my thinking process takes the new information in place of the erroneous information so that I can be both better informed and better prepared to make an intelligent argument. But what if you make your point and the opposition concedes the point and then turns around and makes the same erroneous point again and again? What do you do when you realize your opposition fails to "internalize" the error and continues to press the same false point that should have long been discarded?
Which gets me to the point of this posting. Those on the Right claim Romney's debate performance proves he is head and shoulders above Obama as "Presidential" even though it is relatively easy to point out that well over half of Romney's statements in the debate in Denver were "distortions" (aka lies). Those on the Right scoff at Obama's failure to engage Romney "because Obama knew it was all true and he had no defense for his failures." And now we have the constant attacks on Biden for being "mean" to poor Paul Ryan when he engaged in constant gestures of "dismissal" and "theatrical shocks" at statements Ryan made that too were false. How do you expect Obama to behave in the next debate? Will Obama appear to be "less presidential" if he too engages in a direct assault on Romney for his repeated distortions ("lies") on Tuesday night?
Do we gauge our presidents on their emotional appearances rather than on whether they tell the truth? How far have we come since Richard Nixon abused the presidency by lying to the American public? How would you act if you tell someone a fact and you then hear them distort the fact as soon as they turn to speak to someone else? Wouldn't you exhibit a show of frustration? Show me a parent that does not shake his/her head or makes some sort of gesture when a child repeats a behavior after being repeatedly corrected. We (should) expect better from our politicians. We (should) expect better from fellow Americans. I can only hope we step back from gauging presidential timber by appearances and niceties and instead to realities and facts. Until then, are we there yet?