October 23rd, 2012
03:07 PM ET

Letters to the President #1373: 'True believers'

Reporter's Note: Supporters of both President Obama and Governor Romney are busy today spinning tales about their magnificent debate performance last night. Ahem. I’m busy writing yet another letter to Pennsylvania Avenue. The president has not answered me yet, btw.

Dear Mr. President,

Honestly, I don’t know how I wound up on the email lists for every activist on the planet who either wants you re-elected or, conversely, shrieks and runs at the very thought, but I am being hammered on an hourly basis with political messages in my inbox. I’m pretty sure that you and Governor Romney were still talking last night when I received my first “impartial assessments” of who won the debate, and trust me they were far from impartial.

Your fans saw you as strong, decisive, and a true leader. They loved the way that you stood up to your opponent and called him out on his inconsistencies and shortage of solutions. Your enemies, on the other hand, said just as emphatically that you were a desperate bully, bitterly and egotistically grabbing at every straw to defend your failed record…and yanking a good man down in the process.

Whenever I read such rabidly opposing views of the same event I think of that line in the Dire Straits song, "Industrial Disease." “Two men say they’re Jesus…one of them must be wrong.”

It’s exhausting. I suppose I should just find a way to send all such messages to my spam folder and be done with it, because for you or against you, what I am talking about is pure propaganda. Still, I feel a certain responsibility to read it all. Sure, it is insanely partisan and the writers show no interest in any sort of verifiable truth, but that alone is valuable; it reminds me that there are people on the far left and right of this race who are more interested in winning than they are in anything else…including fairness, including democracy, including the good of the nation. It’s a shame, but it is also a reality.

So congrats to you and Mr. Romney on your debate performances last night. You each had true believers and true deceivers cheering you on. Just be careful to remember that each is probably not a very good judge of where you really stand in this campaign, and should likely be treated with suspicion.

Call if you can, but please make it a little later. I had very little sleep last night after the whole affair, and I may try to grab a nap.


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