×

‘Bachelorette’ taught me more than debates

I watched part of the big debate this week.

Can you believe Hannah Brown picked that lousy dog food jingle singer over the other guy?

Hey, what can I say, “The Bachelorette” was way more educational than the first Democratic debate. At least, with “The Bachelorette,” I learned two important things:

1) That the women assembled in our living room every Tuesday evening this summer really, really resent it when a guy — in this case, me — walks into the room every 10 minutes and says, “Aw, c’mon, that’s scripted.”

2) That drink coasters, flung accurately, can really hurt.

By comparison, the only thing I learned from the Democratic debate is that modern-day debates — Democrat or Republican — are both stupid beyond belief and completely useless, as far as helping anyone decide who to vote for.

I mean, what could anyone really glean from that mess? There were more people on stage than at the last Detroit Tigers home game (yay, rebuild!).

If I wanted to listen to that many people bicker and talk over one another while making remarkably unremarkable political points, I’d just videotape Thanksgiving dinner and watch that.

And the weepy stories. Good grief, save me from the weepy stories. Have you noticed that’s become a thing in recent years? Instead of just describing their position or citing some statistic about, say, health insurance, candidates now feel compelled to tell us a tragic story about little Bobby or Grandpa Guido, which in turn prompts other even MORE tragic stories from other candidates.

It becomes like a misery arms race.

I get that they’re trying to humanize an otherwise dry topic. But all it does is end up making me angry at the candidate for exploiting little Bobby’s situation to make a political point. I yell at the TV, “Stop yammering about him, go help the poor kid, for god sakes!”

Besides, as a messaging strategy, it’s just so ineffective. Listen, if the fact that 40-plus million Americans don’t have health insurance and people die because of it doesn’t move voters, then little Bobby sure isn’t going to do it, no matter how tragic his tale.

I quibble with the networks even calling the things debates. A debate is a staged discussion between two people with opposing views. There’s no debating in presidential primaries. There’s just interrupting. Watching candidates fight to be heard is like watching a litter of kittens fighting over the last nipple. It’s no wonder Bernie tends to win these things. He’s got the best shout. (Don’t we all have a Bernie Sanders in the family? In mine, it might just be me. Egads).

I end up thinking, “Is this really the best system that the greatest nation on earth besides Canada (better health care and beer is a tough combo to beat) can come up with?”

The answer, of course, is yes. Because, if we had a better way of doing it, we’d certainly use it, right?

Oh, who am I kidding? Of course we wouldn’t. This is America. We could easily come up with a better debate system (top of my head: trap doors for the slightest of interruptions). We just choose not to, for whatever reason.

That’s our approach with health care, too.

I think I’ll go watch a “Bachelorette” rerun.