Hux and I took the girls and my Dad to the Gubernatorial debate downtown last night. John Hickenlooper, Don Maes, and Tom Tancrado. My proudest moment was when eldest pointed to the stage and said "which one is crazy as a loon?" The answer, of course, being Tom Tancrado.
Our kids were only two kids in the audience, it turned out. And they behaved very well, though youngest and I went out to the lobby a couple times to get her wiggles out, and watched much of the debate from the back of the room. It turned out to be a good vantage point: TV cameras, reporters, lotsa folks typing on laptops, lotsa aides running around.
Tancredo got my vote as the guy I'd most want to have a beer with, though I disagreed with virtually everything that came out of his mouth. It's odd to say something like "there is no money in green energy" in a small, job-hungry town where a wind turbine plant is creating employment for hundreds of people. My pick - Hickenloooper - did not do particularly well. He's not well spoken. But he'll make a good governor, I think. Made an excellent mayor of Denver. Socially liberal, fiscally conservative. My kinda guy.
Democracy is being driven close to the breaking point by an over-reliance on television ads, as opposed to actual public discourse, and the ensuing huge sums of money those TV ads entail. It's become a game for billionaires. So it was refreshing to see a full auditorium where people applauded and booed and shouted questions at three flesh and blood human beings who were asking for our vote. And after it was over, we all walked out into the cool autumn evening, toward our cars and bikes, towards home, where the debate likely continued, in kitchens and bedrooms and bars. No celebrities telling us how to vote. No attack ads with foreboding music and lurid claims. Just real people, discussing real issues. Democracy.