Friday, April 18, 2008

"Let's You and Him Fight"...

was the name of one of the games in a 60's era book "Games People Play" by Dr. Eric Berne. This particular game tended to be a romantic game, where a woman set up two men to fight over her.

But the mind-numbing series of debates between Obama and Clinton seem to have that flavor as well: ask questions that will cause the two candidates to fight among themselves.

How helpful is that? Are we choosing a presidential candidate on the basis of his/her ability to fight with someone, to come up with zingers that will demolish the other, to exhibit more cool-headed responses than the other, to reveal more dirt on the other, to one-up the other in a never-ending escalation of barbs and putdowns, to defend one's honor by attacking the other's honor?

Please, give me a break! I have quit watching the debates or reading about them. At least in a romantic game, there's a story to be told. It might not be a story with a happy ending; it might be a very stereotypical, anti-feminist, heterosexist story. But it has more story power, in terms of relationship, than this endless sniping at the behest of those who should have better things to do than voyeuristically setting up two basically decent human beings to fight.

What advice might I give to the candidates? Refuse to play the game. Challenge it. Call it what it is. Don't let them manipulate you.

2 comments:

Mile High Pixie said...

I find myself unable to watch debates on any side because of this. I didn't watch the Clinton/Obama debate, but I heard it was a gossipy disaster, more about who loves the flag and dragging up old brouhahas. Hear, hear, Rev. Kit! Can we *please* debate issues instead of shouting points for the other side? Leave the gossip to E! network.

ms. kitty said...

Thanks, Pixie, I'm with you.