Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - Volume 3, Number 14

© Copyright 2012, The Ultrapolis Project.  All Rights Reserved.

2nd Presidential Debate Plays Out as UWF&R Forecast

Observations on Being Civil or Fighting Back; Also, UWF&R Forecast on Obama Police Action Gets Legs

By Marco Antonio Roberts


Sometimes No One Wants the Good Guy


I won’t get too detailed on what happened last night.  By the time you read this, you will have heard a magnified version of what transpired.  But, UWFR said yesterday the performance gap between the two would be less (but as the last time, would be magnified), and it was.  We said Obama was more likely to rid himself of his internal demons, regain his footing; that he would have the edge, and more than likely be perceived as the winner.  Lastly, last week we said that Romney was unlikely to do any better than he did the first time around. All this turned out to be the case.


One personal observation: many are commenting or even complaining on how the two presidential candidates risked making themselves unlikable to women and undecided voters when they argued and talked over each other.  Many of these of these lazy ‘opiners’ are also the same folks who faulted President Obama for not responding more aggressively to Governor Romney in the first debate, and would be the first to say someone was lackluster if they did not fire back at a challenge. Folks complain that debaters aren’t civil, then complain that debaters are not being aggressive enough, don’t have enough ‘emotion.’  But, civility is the control of emotion.  The reality is most folks will rate an aggressive performance higher than a controlled one, and will think an emotional debate (with drama) better than a polite one with facts. The public made quite clear that it did not value professorial and civil restraint in the first debate.  Obama got the memo, and both men came into the second contest knowing this.  The surprise was not that the two were willing to get into each other’s ‘space.’  It was that the town hall medium did not mollify the impulse as much as expected.  Then again, remember Al Gore doing the same thing to George Bush in the 2000 town hall-style debate?  The truth is that once someone aggressively challenges you, you only have two ugly choices: be perceived as aggressive and ‘not likable,’ or as a doormat and even less likable.  This especially true if you are a man, feminism notwithstanding.


Years ago, when I was a strapping young man working as a grocery clerk at a Safeway supermarket while I attended college, I often worked in the back stock room.  I was even then a stickler for rules and formal civility.  One day, while a group of young male stockers (it was all guys then) briefly gathered in the back as we sometimes would, one of the other stockers, a wilder and more free-wheeling kind of guy, decided to jump me.  We were both on the clock, dressed in our long pants, dark ties, and long aprons for work, in the middle of tall stacks of all kinds of merchandise.  As I struggled to get him off of me, I was carefully trying not to damage any of the merchandise around, and was extremely concerned that a manager would walk in and find us in horseplay.  He would not give, and was laughing and just having a wonderful time.  I kept swinging my body trying to free myself from his grip, but the guy was just not letting go, even as our wild loops started getting ever closer to the precariously piled groceries all around us.  The other boys were just edging us on, watching the spectacle to see what would happen next.  It finally dawned on me that this monkeyman did not give a rat’s ass (pardon the French) what happened to the property around us, or who else might come upon this melee.  Only then I realized I had two choices: either accept passive humiliation in front of the other guys in my effort to preserve civility and propriety, or risk damage to someone else’s property along with management disapproval or disciplinary action.  I chose the latter.  I swung my body around and with full force lunged both of us backwards into a mini-skyscraper of plastic bottle Coca-Colas.  Monkeyman took the brunt of the crash, and collapsed into a cascade of 32 oz. soda bottles.  He was still laughing as I looked down on the heap that was now him and the leaking cokes. What a clown.  I was really ticked, but I hid it.


Sometimes, nobody will really care that you were civil and proper (no matter what they say).  All they will really care about is whether you won or lost.


Sometimes, the moral course is to lose.  Sometimes it is not.


UWFR Forecast for Mideast Police Action Gains Traction


We notified our readers in our September 13 UWF&R brief that a police action by the administration would be provoked by the recent events in the Middle East.  We now see the first reports of just such an action in serious consideration (read Associated Press report).


UWFR - balanced, educated, and with a proven, solid record of accurate forecasts.



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© Copyright 2012, The Ultrapolis Project – All Rights Reserved.