Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Future Of Debates

At the end of the previous post, I speculated that after last night’s production, the Commission on Presidential Debates may decide that was enough for this cycle, at least at the presidential level.  I doubt we’ll see such behavior at the one next week between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris.

I think that’s a bad idea, and I concur with Steve M.’s reasoning.

Canceling the debates would send a signal that Trump won by debating the way he did. Trump’s base believes that every individual and institution in America that isn’t explicitly pro-Trump is part of an organized partisan conspiracy against him, so canceling the debates would be treated as a Democratic subterfuge meant to shield Biden from harm.

Change the rules if necessary — or maybe the rules just need to be enforced. But let the debates continue. Let Trump remind America again how miserable he can make the next four years if he’s given a chance.

So keep the debates going. They’re not about substance, anyway, and anyone who thinks they’ll learn anything substantive about a candidate’s policies are the same people who go on Grindr looking for a long-term relationship with the love of their life: it’s not gonna happen. And the more Trump behaves like a playground bully and refuses to abide by the rules, the more it will show how unhinged he is, and if re-elected, there would be no restraints on him, as if there ever were in the first place.