What I do, in making a decision on which candidate to support, is look at the whole history of that candidate: his/her previous writing, speaking, acting, voting record...his/her claimed value system v. his/her behavior....his/her claimed and acted-out value system v. my value system, and my beliefs about what is best for the country. Has the candidate shown competence in the set of job skills he or she will need? (Does the candidate even have a clue what those are?) Has the candidate shown the base of knowledge he or she will need in that position? (Does the candidate even have a clue what he or she needs to know to do the job well?) Has the candidate shown the kind of character needed for that position?
To get my vote, a candidate does not have to be perfect. Nobody's perfect. I can pick holes in any of them--so could most of us. But there's a difference between a candidate who has, say 78% of the job skills, and 82% of the knowledge base, and 95% of the character traits...and one who has 42% of the job skills, 37% of the knowledge base, and 21% of the character traits. A candidate with whose basic political philosophy I disagree still might get my vote IF he/she shows awareness of the facts, has the job skills, and is of sufficiently strong character to admit when his/her philosophy runs counter to the facts, and shows sufficient respect for those who disagree.
In this election cycle, it didn't take debates to convince me that Romney/Ryan would not get my vote. Neither Romney nor Ryan has the knowledge base to be President, nor does either of them show an ability or willingness to learn anything they don't already "know." Thus they base their policies and decisions on ignorance--not a safe strategy. Neither Romney nor Ryan has the job skills to exercise the duties of President, as their past histories clearly show. Neither Romney nor Ryan has the character suited to leading this nation; both have lied in public statements, shown and expressed contempt for large segments of the population,
Before the presidential candidate debates, it was already clear that Mitt Romney was a practiced and supple liar--a liar willing to continue with a lie proven false over and over because it was a popular lie with his following. His lies, exposed repeatedly in multiple venues, did not slow him down at all--he repeated the old ones and made up new ones all through the campaign. I expected him to lie in the debates, and he did--as fact-checkers pointed out after the first two debates (the third is still going on.) When one participant in a debate is lying, the rest of his/her performance does not matter...the smooth delivery, the signs of confidence, are the signs of a con-man in action, not a principled person.
So I had no reason to watch the debates, only to look at the fact-checker reports after each. I support Obama; I supported Obama in 2008, from the precinct level on up, and I support Obama now...on his record (which is not perfect, but outperforms both Romney's in Massachusetts and projections of Romney's policies forward.) I stand with the "nails ladies" and "animals" and "those people" that Romney's donors think are inferior and "leeches" against the real leeches that do their best to damage those who do the country's work.
It doesn't take any stupid bogus debate to show me who's the better man for the job and for VP.
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