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Commentary: Romney slightly edges Obama in debate

Tuesday night brought us part three in the four-part series of debates leading up to the elections on Nov. 6. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney met at Hofstra University to debate issues members of the audience and moderator Candy Crowley questioned.

CNN polls declared Obama the winner of the debate; he claimed 46 percent of the vote to Romney’s 39 percent. The poll shows within itself that Obama was much more impressive compared to the debate on Oct. 3, when he was obliterated by Romney. I believe that had the president merely shown up with his pants on, it would have been an improvement over their first debate.

The debate was in a town hall format and featured questions from undecided voters in the audience, including a college student named Jeremy. Jeremy is a 20-year-old New Yorker who was given the opportunity to ask both candidates what they would do to ensure he was able to find a job following his graduation from college. Both candidates jumped all over the opportunity to use this kid’s name directly in how they are going to “fix” the economy. After the first 20 minutes of this nonsense, I was yelling “someone get this kid a job so we can stop talking about him!”. #GetJeremyAJob was even trending on Twitter.

This same type of stuff happens during every debate: disregard the actual question, avoid citing empirical data, and use rhetoric and anecdotal evidence to prove you’re right. I can’t blame them, however, because these things work. Americans really do care about what happened this one time to Joe Blow; data and numbers aren’t very interesting, I suppose.

Many more questions were asked by the audience, but the responses were all handled in much the same way. As is the norm, candidates care more about discrediting their opponents than proving the validity of their own arguments and policies. Obama would attack Romney on his nature of flip-flopping (just look it up, I only get 700 words) to gain Republican approval. As a counterattack, Romney mentioned the failed or unfulfilled policies and promises of the Obama administration. My take: neither can be trusted, but at least Romney hasn’t proven himself a failure as a president.

Following the audience’s questions, Crowley asked a few of her own with topics ranging from Solo and the Wookie to Fast and Furious (no, not the movie). Holding true to standard, both candidates maintained that the questions need not be directly answered, and their opponent’s policies were laughable. As seems to be the case with any debate or campaign in general, it did little more than demonstrate a complete and utter lack of respect and professionalism.

I give a slight edge to Romney in the debate, as I saw his attack on the administration’s failures to be the most powerful thing stated. CNN’s poll would disagree; that’s probably because voting Obama the winner was much easier this time around. Neither candidate was very impressive, but Obama was astronomically better than on Oct. 3.

The loser, however, is you: America. These campaigns and debates have demonstrated that on Nov. 6, you will have the opportunity to decide between two turds; the only difference is the smell. Voting for Libertarian Gary Johnson is the only choice that makes any sense to me. Join in, America; if we boost third-party numbers high enough, we can send a message that we’re tired of Republicans and Democrats turning out the two biggest radicals in the country every four years. On one hand, we have a liberal socialist who would aim to strip this country of its Constitution and employ a centralist government that would strip us of our liberty. On the other, there is a social conservative who has become wealthy through pilfering the profits of small business, sending them into chaos. He has been rich for so long he has no idea how to care for a struggling economy. Give the finger to this hopelessness, research other candidates and vote third party. Let’s fix this country.

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