A clear cut winner in the first Presidential Debate has been declared. It was neither Republican Mitt Romney nor Democrat Barack Obama.

It was the American people.

For the first time in 18 months of back-and-forth statements and claims, both candidates for the highest public office in the United States appeared on the same platform to explain directly to the American people their proposals and ideas for how they would run the country should they be the country’s president in 2013.

The nation has waited for a very long time to hear from these gentlemen on topics ranging from taxes to the role of government, from health care to the U.S. economy. And while the format of two minutes to respond to complex questions continues to leave much to be desired (people have been complaining about such an abbreviated format election after election), moderator Jim Lehrer of PBS gave both candidates as much leeway as the rules would allow to state their case and make their point.

People—especially those who call themselves “undecided”—thus had a real opportunity to hear more of what Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney had to say in direct interface with each other on the major points of domestic policy than they ever had before. They could “feel into” these leaders and get a real sense of who they believe is best qualified to lead their nation in the years just ahead.

The wonder of the debate is that it could happen at all. The New Spirituality as articulated in the Conversations with God series of books says that the political process is a nation’s spirituality demonstrated. If this is true, and if the word “spirituality” can be understood to mean a person’s and a nation’s highest core values, then the United States has again demonstrated that its highest core value is in harmony with the highest value of The New Spirituality…which is freedom.

High school political science students know that in still too many countries around the world such a level of freedom—the ability of a nation to present to its people opposing candidates for the country’s highest office and to let the people decide who they wish to elect—is unheard of. Yet if a nation’s people cannot select their leaders, how can the values they hold closest to them ever be reflected in their nation’s politics and policies?

Now there are those who will say that the American political system is distorted, warped, and subject to every kind of abuse. And there seems little question that it is, for sure, in need of major reform, particularly as it relates to money flow, a badly outdated electoral college process which continues to be used to determine the winner of the most important election every four years, an organizing structure which continues to stubbornly be limited largely to a two-party system, etc. Still, and with these badly needed reforms notwithstanding, we saw in the debates something that would be completely out of the question in places such as Syria, where people feel they must take up arms in the street in order to participate at any level in the political process.

Whatever the challenges, limitations, distortions and abuses of the system, at the end of the day people in the U.S.—and now, thankfully, more and more nations around the world—are able to declare with their votes the leader of their choice. The system is not perfect (indeed, it is far from it), but it is closer than any other process so far devised to empowering the highest spiritual values of a nation.

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  • Michael L

    Then it begs the question .
    How to spread this higher freedom to other places which are not getting a say in there lives?

    Go internet, Go!!

  • mewabe

    Political debates are little more than theater…the kind that insults (or should insult) the intelligence of the public by reducing complex issues to sound bites, cliches and abysmally unintelligent generalizations, and avoiding the tough issues, the real problems.

    Politicians are given a free ride by an ineffective, spineless media that doesn’t do its job of calling them on their lies (or should we say inaccurate statements), that doesn’t not challenge them. But if they did, these individual journalists might find themselves out of a job.

    The whole thing is a charade, a pretense, a show…big money, rather than people, control the electoral process between an absurd two party system that periodically alternates roles playing “good cop/bad cop” to distract and divide the public, while the real agenda (the military-industrial complex agenda) varies very little.

    Yet reform would be simple: exclusively publicly funded elections at all levels, equal free time to all candidates on the medias, and no more lobbying, or limits. This would open the scene to more candidates, and end the present legal corruption of money, thereby we end up with a government of, by and for corporations rather than people (oops…sorry Mr Romney I forgot that corporation are people, with all the rights and none of the responsibilities).

    Have we heard a major candidate address these core issues? Have we heard a journalist from a major media outlet dare asking them?

  • mewabe

    Another idea:
    Rather than parading as would be leaders in front of a submissive public as in the time of the Roman Empire, making empty promises and attempting to “look presidential” and sound patriotic, political candidates should submit their resumes to their potential employers, the American people, like everyone else. This would mean a thorough review of their entire voting records and political careers. And all of it should be scrutinized by the media, and made public for all to see and understand. Actions speak louder than words, don’t they?

    We may make some progress when we no longer worship position, power and authority, and treat all people equally, meaning that a presidential candidate and a janitor should be treated equally.

    We may also get better results when we are no longer so impressed by a candidate’s good hair and nice set of teeth. Many past Presidents would not be elected today merely because of their looks (overweight, bald, etc).

  • stephen mills

    I live in Scotland so i did not see the debate, but i take a keen interest in American politics .

    I follow the Thom Hartmann show Americas number one progressive radio and television host and according to Thom, Mitt Romney spoke for 38 minutes and told us 27 lies and half truths in that time and according to the American media won the debate why does this not surprise me! Obama failed to tell it how it is that Mitt Romney is an agent of the oligarchs and is looking out only for the one percent .

    This is no game this is the future of the world ,as cwg has stated many times truth and power do not mix very well, Obama would do well to live up to FDR and speak from his heart with passion and give the people a new vision of where he want,s to go and some idea on how to achieve this as FDR DID.

  • mewabe

    Stephen, if Romney get elected, more Americans will leave the country, as many did under Bush the Second, who was better known as The Shrub. After all, there is only so much a person can tolerate…

  • Jaz

    “we saw in the debates something that would be completely out of the question in places such as Syria, where people feel they must take arms in the streets in order to participate at any level in the political process.” They were doing it pretty well for a long time. It is only recently that all this flaring up. We hear another story altogether from alternative media.

    I agree with mostly what Mewabe shared, the US media keeps majority of the American people sedated with with lies and fears. While US govt keeps creating wars and sending weapons, supporting hired guns to keep the war going in others places, such as Syria, Libya, and Pakistan. It’s really hard for people to get to the actual truth when they only know one side of the story from a media that is bought and paid for.

  • Frank

    There is no question that the media in this country operates on an agenda. That debates happen at all is an important thing. It is live, uncensored, and in real time. That is pretty much the only time that these guys are actually on their own. Even after the election, teleprompter use abounds. Don’t let the opportunity to see for YOURSELF pass you by. Media Shmedia!! A debate is the place to see who these fellows are and make a real assessment. Your own assessment. All the rest is spin.

    Be Brave

    Love Always


  • Jaz

    Make no mistake: Your taxpayer-funded regime change in Syria all to set the stage for a wider war with Iran is clearly in your national interests. It’s what the American people want. It’s the change you need..

    They two are all bribed, and trained to speak all sorts of fancy words …lobbyist alone spend over $3 BILLION every election, and probably the same amount on senate every year to get what they want …nobody spends that amount without a massive return . America is a crumbling Empire. Me thinks.

  • Marko

    To make the most of current events on this site, I think putting the CwG perspective example possibility on how it could be done will help move the process along more quickly, enlightening the public of the CwG alternative view.

    Stating a CwG perspective possibility could really help tweak the failing systems weak points & enhance what already works even more effectively.

    We do this in addition to what’s already out there & let this CwG perspective be the positive optimistical view the world longs for.

    We showcase great points of view, perspective, arguments that are so compelling, so wonderful, as to leave little doubt in the public collective as the better direction to go.


  • Marko

    There is responsible media reporting that is fair & objective,– & there is irresponsible media reporting & there is simply stating what happen without comment. That’s called reporting the news.

    There are media that are in between these as well & those that exaggerate without apology.

    We also have op eds, opinions & commentary etc.

    It’s up to us to decide where to find the news sources that best serve us.

    To lump all media as spineless is to me, a very gross over generalization exaggeration that reflects the very problem being criticized.

    I would agree that both parties are under the thumb of larger major corporations, both are in cahoots. The republicans more blatantly so,– the democrats less blatant, but still under the heavy influence.


  • mewabe

    I understand Marko, that I did generalize…and made some controversial statements. I have an aversion to politicians, and to politics…I can’t help it.

    In my opinion the “poison” in politics is not the major problem…this is just theater to divide the population, and distract people with non-issues, or less important issues. The game is obvious, such as the fact that, for example, even when Obama attempts to implement a Republican idea, he is still attacked and criticized by Republicans. This is basically insulting us…insulting our intelligence.

    But the greater problem is what has been called “the best government money can buy”. Legal corruption, the fact that the American people have completely lost control of their government, which is now controlled by corporate interests…the industrial-military-banking complex…the erosion of civil rights and the Surveillance State…endless wars…etc…it seems to make no difference who is in office, or who control Congress or the Senate…the agenda is almost the same.

    I would think these are greater problems than the inept shows politicians put on for us throughout their inept campaigns.

    My extreme characterization of the media as being “spineless” was mostly directed at individual journalists in press conferences who rarely ask hard questions, as well as the fact that, as another example and as Stephen Mills accurately pointed out, “Mitt Romney spoke for 38 minutes and told us 27 lies and half truths in that time and according to the American media won the debate”…


    If the mainstream media was actually doing its job, wouldn’t it immediately call Romney on these lies, or on the lies and broken promises of any and all politicians without exceptions?

    So how would you call a mainstream media that does not do its job? Would the word irrelevant be more pleasing?

  • mewabe

    I am not sure how anyone could “tweak” a system so completely owned and controlled by “big money”…it will take a major overhaul, and the implementation of safeguards against further forms of legalized corruption.

    I would think that this simple concept could be agreed upon by all Americans…a return to honest government. After all we do not have to create a new Constitution, we should just use the one we have. And this is most probably why politicians keep dividing us…so they can keep their racket going, in which the losers are the 99%.

    Indeed I do not see Americans winning as long as the system is in the hands of the elite.

  • Jaz

    I have the clear result here.. Mr Obama has won the elections again. Four more years for bombing and creating more terrorists.. Hurray 😀

  • Jaz

    Oops, that was wrong link..try this.

  • mewabe

    I understand the desire to be optimistic…positive. But there is no spiritual breakthrough that will convince sharks and con men (better known as most politicians and the powers that control them) that they should reform their ways and become humanitarian and altruistic.

    The change must come from the bottom up, not the top down…and it will take some work. The first priority, and the easiest to be agreed upon by all regardless of political ideology, would be to demand an honest, transparent, accountable government of, by and for the people (does it ring a bell?…When did we last have such a government?)

    How can we begin to do this when saying that the people are actually free to elect the leader of their choice, when they, at each election, are actually forced to choose between the bad or the really ugly to run a system that is so corrupted by big money that it may be beyond repair?

    Is the public expected to believe that one person, one President, has that much power, especially when bought and paid for by special interests at every election? Are we supposed to hope that the military-industrial-banking complex will gracefully step aside and let the people be heard?

    Of course we can always find much worse in the world…we can pat ourselves in the back for having come out of the dark ages a few centuries ago, and this nation should never abandon its ideal of freedom…but…isn’t this precisely what has happened?

    For example, the outcome of the Patriot Act has been a widespread attack on civil rights and individual liberties…not to mention the fact there are now so many criminal laws, the odds of not inadvertently breaking one in a lifetime are so astronomical, it would make DNA odds look like simple math. Since the start of 2000, Congress has created at least 452 new crimes, with an average of 56 new crimes each year. The total number of Federal crimes as of the end of 2007 exceeded 4,450…add this to State laws, and the odds are indeed in favor of government, not the citizen. Whether these new criminal laws are enforced or not depends solely on the personal ambitions of bureaucrats in diverse governmental institutions. Does this sound like freedom to anyone?

    I do like optimism, but we should not misplace it…we should be optimistic about ourselves (the people) and our ability to reform this mess, not about some absurd exchange of lies and platitudes that is grossly misrepresented as a valid source of information upon which we are expected to decide who will be the next mad man who will be in charge of the asylum.

  • Sofia

    I’m a bit surprised by Neale’s statement that the winner of the debate is the American people. How can that be? How can anyone win anything from a political mascarade?
    I’m sorry, this probably is judgemental, but the american political system is even worse than most in the world. Glorifying any part of it won’t help changing the system, and that’s what I thought you were up to, Neale?

    And then you say the USA demonstrated its core value, which is “freedom”…. bla, bla, bla. … “a freedom unheard of….”
    What freedom? A country ruled by a “false moral” where its people are made to believe they are the only ones in the world to be really free, and they have the duty to bring this freedom to the rest of the world…. by all means, for the sake of others, who then have to be oh so grateful…. I beg you pardon?

    From a European perspective the American people lack more freedom than most countries in the world. And I don’t want to go into this, because I don’t want to offend anybody here, I’m only expressing anger about the arrogant way of expressing a superiority, which isn’t true! And using Syria as an example sounds as demagogic to me, as the whole political campaign. What are you trying to sell?

    This text doesn’t sound to me as coming from a place of “we are all One”.
    Neither does it help to understand how we can make better politics – around the world.
    With all due respect.

  • Sofia

    PS: a more adecuate titel for an article would be

    “Debate LOSER declared: the people of the World”

  • Sinclair

    I didn’t think commenters here would appreciate Neale’s declaration that the American people won in the first Presidential Debate any more than they liked the debate itself.

    The world isn’t perfect, nor is the United States. But in the long view of human history, or even current political reality for most human beings, to have two candidates debate for eighty minutes with minimal interference so voters can get a reasonable idea of where the candidates stand does demonstrate high values.

    Other than the fact that Obama, as usual, managed to cadge more than his share of speaking time, I don’t see what there is to complain about.

    Unless of course one is the usual leftist who dislikes or even hates America so much that anything good that might be said about this country must be met with immediate disdainful remarks about whatever the speaker believes are America’s shortcomings.

  • mewabe

    Here again critical thinking is being confused with hate.

    There is nothing to complain about a performance on a stage (a debate), but there is plenty to complain about an electoral process that has been so completely highjacked by Big Money.

    A government of the elite, by the elite and for the elite is no longer about freedom but about power. It only has the appearance of freedom, while making everyone understand that the only practical freedoms left are financial freedom for the “winners” (the 1%) and the freedom to complain for the “losers” (the 99%).

    I am with you Sofia…sadly.

  • Pat

    I want to share some tears I leaked yesterday.

    I went to visit James Madison’s house in Montpelier, VA. The tour was amazing and I learned a lot about this founder of America and how he contributed to the founding and development of America. He read something like 400 books – everything he could find about every form of government, in particular those that had any sort of self government, and then he applied himself to coming up with 17 points for self government (the Virginia Plan) that eventually were accepted and adopted in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. The selflessness and perseverance of he and a handful of others to do something that would benefit over 300 million people in the 200 years to come were utterly amazing. He had money. He didn’t have to do it. None of them had to do it. It behooves us to remind ourselves of their efforts on our behalf from time to time.

    The trappings of America are certainly in need of repair, but the core is solid and if we get back to that core we can persevere and be the nation we were intended to be. In over 200 years, we have not changed governing power with violence. How many other governments can say that? Yes, we have to acknowledge that we have problems to deal with, but I think it’s a worthy exercise to remind ourselves from time to time of the nobility of our founders and what they tried to do for us and to try and live up to the selfless efforts that they put forth for our benefit. Today I’m feeling like a renewed American.

    I think he knew something of what life beyond this plane of existence was about as well. When asked on his death bed what the matter was by his niece he said, “Nothing more than a change of mind, my dear.”

  • Ionic Breeze

    Thanks for that, Pat. I love the quote. I think I’ll use it myself. Hi

    Love to you 🙂

  • mewabe

    I agree with you Pat, and this was the point I was trying to make: while knowing where America came from, from this foundation of individual freedoms and protection from abusive government, understanding where we are today…

    I guess I sounded overly critical because not giving credit to the distant past, to the American ideal, and only concentrating on the present problems. But we can only restore this American ideal of freedom when being clear about how far this nation has drifted from it.

    Freedom is never something anyone should be taking for granted, and we won’t protect it by bombing brown people in distant nations…we will protect by watching everything our government does.

  • Erin/IAm

    Ahhh, mewabe!!! You effin rocked!:D

    Yes, Jaz…quite correct…We are “a crumbling Empire”. But it is crumbling with greater purpose…To ditch the ‘Empire’ & re-adjust to a higher thinking example of Possibilities.

    And the media will adjust with this, as well…As will our venues of entertainment, our precepts & concepts, and our means of moving the knowledge & wisdom gained onward…”elite” included.

    Yes, we will endure another 4 yrs. of this process…and with greater drama & comedy. Our present chaos simply represents the chaos among those deemed as our power-heads…They are in “There can be only one!” mode. Pretty much protocol of process.
    After that, however, the teens of Now will have voice, the Nations will turn up voice, those re-minded will See, and the intelligent of heart will hear. No worries! “Where’s your faith these days, Fadda?”:)

    Bingo, Pat! Thanks for the remind.

    We are already witness to an amazing time span…And just when you thought you couldn’t be more amazed…you wake up…

  • mewabe

    Thank you Erin you do too (:

  • Sofia


    You say “But in the long view of human history, or even current political reality for most human beings, to have two candidates debate for eighty minutes with minimal interference so voters can get a reasonable idea of where the candidates stand does demonstrate high values.”

    What I was referring to is exactly the fact that you THINK you are the only ones to do something like that….
    I know it’s not arrogance but due to you being kept in ignorance by your leaders – ON PURPOSE!

    It’s interesting that we can watch the U.S. debates on TV here in Europe, but it seems they don’t broadcast the debates from the rest of the world in the U.S.
    I mean, if they would, then you would know how high OTHER nation’s values are, wouldn’t you?
    But then the American people could find out they aren’t as FREE as they are being told they are!
    They could start asking “why are you selling us a debate like this one to be something so special and superior, when it turns out they already have been having these debates for decades in most European countries?”

    If they are trying to “sell” you your political campaings as being better than those of the rest of the world, what else are they selling you to be better, that actually is not? Would you know? COULD you know?

    Back to my question: how can Neale write “the winner of that debate is the American people” when the people of the WHOLE PLANET are the losers of it? – INCLUDING the american people, of course.

  • Inger Lise

    Thank you very much all, it is very interresting of to be listening to the opinions of yours. I`m learning a whole lot by it.
    Sinclair, the opinion of yours are like mine in this case, thou, of have been brought up with close bonds of the american relatives. Approximately 50% of the native norwegians have american relatives (according to the blood-tests and DNA supposingly more in Great Britain by far), and in the end of the line comes Adam and Eve.
    Thinking Oneness still remains in the practical terms within the global consciousness for sure.
    I do not believe in limitations of freedom here with us.
    Mostly all of us does as we pleases(hmm, the lack of dicipline?)We are 100%individualists.
    While nowadays the conformity seems to “a Fashion.”

  • Igomene

    Love this, “The [political] system is not perfect (indeed, it is far from it), but it is closer than any other process so far devised to empowering the highest spiritual values of a nation.”