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Psychology of the Debate: Real McCoy Versus Surreal Decoy

This week will determine the fate of our nation.  The stakes could not be higher.  On this first debate turns the future of America. Will we return to traditional, liberty-based respect for the Constitution and re-fire the engine of economic freedom and prosperity, or will we fall further into the trap of collectivism and globalism, bringing inevitable decline and failure?

Wednesday night voters get to see Obama and Romney head-to-head for the first time.  It will be a knock-down-drag-out. The contrasts are stark already.  Come debate night the differences between the two men will become dramatically clearer.

And Romney will prevail for one simple reason.

Most voters are mature. They are looking for a leader.  They’ve had enough of the loser.  

Those who were immature and emotionally swept away in 2008 have sobered up. Deprivation, fear and observed hypocrisy have that effect.  Hope and change have devolved into fear and smear, retreat and repeat.  What was once perceived inspired has become a bitter taste.

In Romney you have the real McCoy: a self-made man seasoned and tempered by life’s challenges, one shown capable of more than just withstanding pressure: he actually excels under it. He is an achiever.  He is a doer.  He is a creative servant and an honorable man.

In Obama you have the surreal decoy: a created image, a man groomed to carry a torch, one whose feet never touch the ground, an individual protected from pressure, coddled, and cradled by forces interested in seeing an agenda bear fruit through his primping and speech making. He had a two-year window to establish a four-year fundamental transformation, and he blew it.  

President Carter and Ralph Nader call him a war criminal.  Farther left, Michael Moore and other communists like Bill Ayers, have forsaken their messiah, leaving Obama preaching division to those already thoroughly alienated from the mainstream for whatever reason, right or wrong.

Mature voters hear him talk bipartisanship, and then watch while he stabs every adversary, in a tantrum, operating like a spoiled child.  Mature voters are convinced the man will never build a coalition to move legislation.  He is simply incapable of seeing another’s point of view.  His last effort to get a budget through (and we still don’t have a budget after three years!) saw not one Democrat vote in the affirmative.  In fact, NO ONE VOTED YES IN EITHER THE HOUSE OR THE SENATE.  Congress has already said “NO!” to another Obama term! We are careening off a fiscal cliff and Obama can’t even find the brake lever, much less pull it.

The hope for real change now rests with Romney/Ryan.  In the past many months Obama’s campaign has fallen, step-by-step, into a grim slog.  In the way of every failure, after the release of each unemployment report, support has dwindled.  With every snide denial and misrepresentation, he loses trust.  And with every Biden gaffe, respect declines. Rolling out Bill at the convention worked for six days, and forget about any help from Pelosi or Wasserman-Schultz, both personifications of the law of diminishing returns.   

The recent series of events throughout the Muslim world leave Obama looking confused, weak, impotent, and irrelevant, all of it coming on the heels of Fast & Furious, ObamaCare, the largest tax increases in our entire history, the most debt and deficit spending ever, serial humiliations on the world stage, a massively failed Stimulus effort and about 900 record-setting executive orders driven by an army of Czars, all of that demonstrating a complete disregard for the Constitution.

Meanwhile, Romney and Ryan take each day to remind voters Obama’s record is the worst in history. At the same time they bring proven political and economic proposals to the table.  Both men are steady, intelligent professionals.  Both know the art of politics involves working with the opposition to get the best deal possible.  Both understand you have to constantly explain what you are doing so the voters understand and endorse your work.  Both men know that trust comes through demonstrated integrity, an earned commodity. They know about the art of negotiation, a subject which escapes Obama completely.

Romney will win these debates not only because the facts are on his side.  He will win because he is a proven leader with an intelligent agenda.  He will win too because he will keep his cool.  

Obama, whom many have seen as Mr. Cool, is nothing of the kind.  Credible reports indicate there are cracks in the façade, that his public and private behaviors are vastly different.  In private he reportedly goes into a rage on occasion, or he is absent, voting “present.” He is found belittling people and running rough shod over staff, even his closest allies.  As his circle of influence and friends gets smaller and smaller, his temper has run hotter, it is said.  His bruised ego is sensitive, and it will show in the debates when Romney presses him on facts and figures, the nature of events, his mammoth failures, and the many lies cascading out of the White House for months and months.

In short there is nowhere for Obama to hide.  He has no credible success to tout.  None.  He cannot explain away his failures by blaming Republicans or Bush or white people or capitalists or anyone else.  He must man up, but that is impossible for a juvenile masquerading as a man. 
And finally, Romney cannot be under-estimated.  Obama will not be able to knock him off balance.  Keep in mind, Romney weathered two brutal primary seasons, one in 2007-08 and this last process, the longest in history.  He debated the best Republicans and conservatives and libertarians could muster over the course of many months.  If anyone has already stood the test, it’s Romney.  His executive skill and staying power are obvious, demonstrative of effective leadership.

Obama will try being cute.  He will try to ingratiate himself.  He will try ridicule and hip rejoinders.  He’ll try rising above it all.  But he will soon find none of it works, even with the MSM in his pocket and 47% of the voters on the tether.  The more he thrashes about grasping at straws, the more presidential he’ll make Romney look.   

The adolescents have had their experiment in centralized control, redistribution and cowering foreign policy.

It is time for the mature and the sober to take back the reins of power and lead us into a renaissance of American liberty and prosperity. 

Image: From the television program The Real McCoys.; courtesy of Pat McDermott, public relations; public domain

Image: Bob Biddle Decoy; courtesy of Chris Flannery

Allan Erickson

Allan Erickson---Christian, husband, father, journalist, businessman, screenwriter, and author of The Cross & the Constitution in the Age of Incoherence, Tate Publishing, 2012.