Monday, January 9, 2012

Republican Debate and the Fourth Precept

 6.25 Million Americans Watched the ABC
News Republican Debate in New Hampshire

ABC’s “Your Voice, Your Vote” Debate Stands as Saturday Night’s #1 Non-Sports Program in Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 and Adults 18-49

The ABC News “Your Voice, Your Vote – Republican Presidential Debate in New Hampshire” on Saturday, January 7 was watched by 6.25 million viewers, 1.73 million Adults 25-54 and 1.40 million Adults 18-49. The ABC debate aired live across the country and was Saturday night’s #1 non-sports program in all 3 Nielsen measures. 

The Practical Buddhist Responds

The Fourth Precept took a severe beating earlier this week in New Hampshire, and apparently Americans found it more entertaining than football.

What they all seemed to know was that winning politicians throughout history have gotten into office and stayed there if gave people something to fear and/or hate.  And the vague but passionate fear/hate lines got the applause, just like touchdowns.

I don't think any of these people meditate, except maybe Jon Huntsman. 

Gingrich is so easily offended and reacts angrily (and very un-presidentially) when he claims he was exempt from the military because he was married and had a child -- Until Ron Paul testily parries that he had two kids and a wife and still went to war, whereupon Newt gets dismissive and superior.  It's like adolescent one-upmanship.

Santorum is the darling of the social extremists because his thinly veiled hatred and whiney moral superiority are so close to the surface.

Perry seemed calm, but kept repeating catch phrases, like someone over-prepared. He seemed so anxious to be taken seriously, claiming again and again that he is "commander in chief" of 20,000 solidiers.  (Technically true, but the governor's job in Texas is largely ceremonial).  

Romney was smooth and even humorous a times. He even embarrassed Stephanopoulos, who asked a silly question. He'll be the Republican candidate, of course, but he'll have to weather a blitz of news clips showing him taking strong and completely opposite positions on trigger point social issues.

And Huntsman?  The least popular candidate still standing?  He seemed  calm, focused, aware, and skilled, like a Buddhist who meditates every day. He didn't react, didn't trash anyone, and showed more dignity than all the rest combined.

So will the Practical Buddhist vote for Hunstman? No, I won't get a chance because I live in Arizona, and besides, a calm and kind demeanor are impressive but not nearly enough. I'll want to know tons more before November, and then I'll have to pick between President Obama and Governor Romney.