OPINION –The excitement and hype over the presidential debates are undeniable. Between now and the general election, our news media will talk about little else.
But do these debates inform likely voters about anything of real importance? Or are they serving the purpose of keeping our attention focused only on those issues within the boundaries of approved opinion?
In the first presidential debate, a great deal of time was spent discussing the economy. But for all the time that both candidates spent talking about taxes, growing the economy, creating jobs, and championing business, the most enlightening items were the subjects they didn’t address.
Neither candidate mentioned the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, or the impact of quantitative easing on the economy. This is a curious omission considering the combined impact that these three are currently having on our struggling economy.
Viewers, who hoped to find a substantive difference between the two candidates on the impact of economic stimulus, TARP, or the amount of Americans currently receiving government benefits, heard only crickets.
For a full 90 minutes, the candidates carefully stuck to their focus group approved topics and buzzwords calculated to woo undecided voters. For all the drama and post-debate analysis, no thinking American was any wiser or better informed because of the debate.
By comparison, professional wrestling appears far less scripted and at least provides some elements of entertainment.
Partisan cheerleaders predictably found validation in their respective candidate’s performance. But independent-minded viewers saw only an establishment-approved song and dance that illustrates the true lack of choice in the presidential race this year.
Minor differences on taxation or regulation will have no discernible impact on our present economic situation, but monetary policy, the loss of manufacturing capability and unprecedented government growth and spending do. So why weren’t these subjects even brought up?
Some believe that these topics would simply go right over the head of the average American. But these are actual issues that are having profound impact on our lives. Is it really better to pretend otherwise?
Predigested sound bites may go down easy, but average Americans have, until recently, been perfectly capable of understanding even difficult matters in order to find solutions.
The reason such problems become complicated in the first place is often due to power-seeking, opportunistic “experts” whose job security depends upon keeping things complicated. Ben Bernanke is a good example of this.
Perhaps we should be a bit more curious about the power brokers behind the candidates.
Ralph Waldo Emerson alluded to this concept when he said, “The President has paid dear for his White House. It has commonly cost him all his peace, and the best of his manly attributes. To preserve for a short time so conspicuous an appearance before the world, he is content to eat dust before the real masters who stand erect behind the throne.”
Who are the real masters behind the candidates?
The money power certainly seems to benefit no matter who is in office. Big banks know they can count on either presidential candidate to support bailouts and to treat the Federal Reserve System with kid gloves. Both candidates support Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and neither supports a full audit of the Federal Reserve.
Could this be why no truly hard-hitting questions were asked of either candidate during last week’s debate? Enquiring minds want to know.
As voters we’d be far better off to spend more time at the library gaining a functional understanding of basic economics, monetary policy, and fiscal policy than breathlessly waiting for the next presidential debate. Once a person possesses a foundational understanding of what’s happening to our money and our economy and why it’s happening, they’ll clearly recognize that these subjects are not being debated by the candidates.
They may even wonder why that is.
And if they still wish to witness an exciting battle, complete with zingers, slogans and drama, they can always watch pro wrestling when they’ve finished studying.
Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives morning show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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