There is much to say concerning the debate, but one point seems to rise above the clutter of commentary. That concerns the vast divide between socialist liberals and conservatives in the area of perception. And one debate question sums up that divide: "What do you dislike most about America?" That is it, the core difference between parties, the over arching difference in world view. Liberals dislike many things, and the pinnacle of dislike is hate. It is natural for them to come up with that question. They have many a collective contingent who can answer that question immediately. In fact, we can guess that a large percentage of liberals would answer, "Bush! I hate Bush!" But if not, it would be some other concern in the mold of racism, class envy, abortion, or any other sub-complaint of the socialist liberals. They exist politically at times solely for the things they dislike, and ultimately hate. Hate is a familiar state for those have a strong emotional lead in their personality, and this seems to be common description for a majority of the modern leftists.
This personality state, where emotion leads reason or will, can be a great asset in many jobs. Take acting as a example. One must become a master of emotional display, forming the very core of personal feelings into something alien and out of context. And do it repeatedly. A expert thespian must suppress the self persona on command, a rare skill. Shall we now suggest a simple answer to the preponderance of leftist nutters in Hollywood? Furthermore, this personality trait may fair well in many employs, but it is not desireable in the context of an elected representative. Emotional manipulation will ease the campaign process certainly. And the greatest politicians historically have been actors of a high caliber. But the finest leaders, those who excel in representing America, are not swayed by emotion, moved from rational decisiveness by mere feelings.
Think about it for a moment. What is public sentiment? What is governance by poll? Is it not simply allowing emotion to guide and lead in the decision making process? Look at the record of the Clinton administration. What were the successful policies? Hard to come up with anything monumental. Yet Bill was a master campaigner. A brilliant politician in his ability to motivate and sway. He created energy, made people feel good, moved them to align with him. Yet, what is his effectiveness as a executive? Hard to come up with anything, isn't it? There are many examples throughout history of leaders who had a superb command of collective emotion, yet failed ultimately as executives.
The archtype in this regard must be Adolf Hitler. Here is a leader who could almost hypnotize the public, bring a crowd to a frenzy, move vast numbers to overlook their natural conscience. He created a 'religion of the state' in effect. Yet, was Adolf a good executive? The greatest executives delegate power based on trust, not compulsion. The most successful understand harnessing the ambition of individuals, creating teams who have vested power, allowing the organic evolution of management. They understand innately when to clamp down, and when to ask for help. Ultimately, they realize how insignificant and faulty they are personally, and develope relationships of trust and dependence. This self realization is the true standard, the foundation of lasting effectiveness.
At this juncture, we must relate the initial perspective of conservatives and liberals as it pertains to emotional decision making with the concept of personal realization. On one hand is the individual who comprehends human frailty, perceives their personal shortcoming, and is able to honestly find trusted guidance. This type of person is not swayed easily by the whim of emotion, the swirling current of public sentiment is ineffective at eroding the foundation of their reasoned positions. For the emotionally led, if they fail to find a anchor for reason, a cognitive bulwark, they are susceptible to the ethereal influence of sentiment. Where can one find that stability? For many Americans it is within the context of their faith. The journey of realization that occurs with the exercise of faith produces a strength of character, a empowering ability to fight the tumult of public sentiment.
Faith is not the only source of such strength of course, there are many ways, but faith is central to a majority of Americans in this context. Especially conservative Americans. Now, that must be contrasted with secular humanists, a large contingent of modern socialist liberals in America. No God, no faith, no protection from the whims of undue emotional influence. In fact, they fear those of faith. They resent being ruled by those who can not see there is 'no God'. And ultimately, they hate the representatives of those they fear. Fear, resentment, hate, all emotions that sway the individual away from reason to irrationality.
I contend it is completely irrational for any American to pose as a presidential debate question, "What do you dislike most about America?" There is no good answer to the question, and the purpose of setting up a trap is ill served. It is a parody of the questioner, needing no answer. Yet it was asked, and to many liberals, there is a answer. From this we can see clear distinctions, consistent differences in the decision process. With that clarity, what rational person could possibly support a modern socialist liberal? Even those who hold closely to their personal issues, issues that keep them voting for socialists, should be able to see how poorly they will be served by their leaders.
In conclusion, I would like to throw up our modern conservative hero, Ronald Reagan, as a example of one who could utilize his emotive ability and govern with executive skill. Some would even claim he was a better actor as president than in his previous profession. Clearly he could see his failings, and could see the strengths in those he relied upon. This debate, held in the Reagan library, was touted as the debate "in search of Reagan", but the questions were not searching for such. The questions searched for nothing positive, they simply reflected the flawed emotional consternation of the leftist media. It was a clear revelation of the state socialist liberals have arrived at, a state of fear and resentment. And the fruit of those feelings, hate. It is not Reagan the left is searching for, of that we can be assured.