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Elections Good Government

Kill Off Debate Combat Now!

The current combative format and style of these so-called “debates” is exactly Trump’s wheelhouse. If that style continues into the general election, whoever is running against Trump will get crushed.

The Democratic presidential candidates have now completed 2 rounds of debates, over 4 nights. I hope they now abandon that format

Consider this: the current combative format and style of these so-called “debates” is exactly Trump’s wheelhouse. If that style continues into the general election, whoever is running against Trump will get crushed.

We saw that in the 2016 Republican primaries and when he ran against Clinton. Too many of us refused to admit that Trump won those debates because Clinton provided more facts, more logic, more reason, a better vision.

All of that is largely irrelevant in debate combat – it’s attack and defend and be clever…

…. none of which has anything to do with being presidential.

We should have learned by now, don’t you think?

A smart campaign would withdraw from any further combat debates – denounce them as full of reality-show artifice and BS. Instead, make a counter-offer to provide on-screen answers to questions about policies, programs, and visions. Record the answers live. Arrange for them to be played in their entirety, unedited and uninterrupted, along with the same recordings of their opponents’ (and the Republican candidates’) answers to the same questions.

Is that boring? Does that lack entertainment value? Will people tune out?

Probably. And that’s okay. The political ads can, and will, be entertaining and cartoonish. That will provide all of the entertainment people need.

In the meantime, we need something other than combat. We need thought.


Photo credit: Ryan Black blog

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