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Presidential Debates: America Is The Loser

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Jennifer1984 On about 11 hours ago
Returner and proud





Penzance, United Kingdom
#1New Post! Oct 01, 2020 @ 09:40:27
Back in 1960 when the first televised debate between JFK and Richard Nixon took place, they engaged in a respectful and intelligent discussion which, during the tension of the cold war stand off between free society and dictatorship, was seen as a shining example of western democracy.

Jack Kennedy went on to become President and led America through some of the toughest times in its social history including bringing the world back from the brink of nuclear holocaust.

Tuesday's vicious encounter - more cage fight than Camelot - tells the tale of the era we live in today. A broken America bitterly divided and beset by democratic decay.

Two candidates for what used to be the world's most respected office traded insults and personal abuse, with the sitting president once again behaving like a football hooligan, trashing the norms of presidential behaviour.

To watchers in other parts of the world, what we were seeing was a real-time rendering of American decline. It reminded us how American exceptionalism has come to be seen as a negative construct. America is no longer respected globally. To outsiders it is a country of mass shootings, mass incarceration, racial division and political chaos.

Germany's Der Speigel has called the debate "A TV duel like a car accident".

Italy's La Republica said "Never has American politics sunk so low."

Le Monde, the French newspaper, after the 11/9 attacks, said "Nous sommes tous americains" - "We are all Americans now", called the debate a "Terrible storm".

But this was no storm that will pass in a few hours or days. This is America's permanent political weather system.

Looking back to 2000 and the Florida election debacle, to see polling stations sealed off with yellow police tape presented a sorry spectacle of national self harm. It became so farcical that when Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe offered to send America election observers, it went beyond bizarre.

To the outside world, the Conservative leaning Supreme Court handing the election to GW Bush was little more than an electoral smash and grab.

Then came the ludicrously named "War on Terror". The watchtowers of Guantanamo... the horror of Abu Graib..... and the imperial hubris of the ridiculous "Mission Accomplished" banner declaring victory in a war that had hardly begun and was eventually lost.

Historians will put Tuesday night's television horror show in that same gallery of national embarrassment.

International viewers also understand the reasons why Trump is where he is today. His supporters sent him to Washington because of his unconventionality.

His supporters will have tuned in specifically to see a political wrestling bout with Joe Biden suffering an eventual smack-down. But it didn't work out that way.

Trump's failure to condemn white supremacists and his chilling words to that far-right group The Proud Boys to "Stand back and stand by" shows that he still has the ability to shock us all. And it is to be hoped that many Americans who have up to now supported him will have their eyes opened.

After the initial debate of 1960, there wasn't another one for 16 years and when the debate between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter took place it was marred by a half hour break when the audio broke down. Oh that we should have been so lucky last Tuesday.

The format for these debates is now, I believe, being reviewed. I'm glad to hear it. America can't tolerate this sort of debacle indefinitely.

The debates have lost their way. They're more about entertainment than elucidation. Journalists hype them like some sort of Las Vegas spectacle and afterwards, score them like boxing matches.

The highlights are moments of combat and comedy. Prefabricated zingers snuck in, caustic one-liners and attempted knock-out punches - they even attempt to adopt a vocabulary close to that of ringside commentary.

Ever since Ronald Regan mastered the art, these debates have rewarded star performance rather than expertise. Candidates now try to emulate Reagan style one-liners... jokes... putdowns.... and these are then run endlessly on the news for days afterwards.

Star value is now more valued in American politics than expertise or suitability for the role. It's not a job interview, it's an audition for leading man.

Competent politicians such as Walter Mondale, Bob Dole, Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton, Mike Dukakis and Al Gore have all fallen into the "No Star Quality" trap. But all of these were more accomplished administrators than the person they lost to in the end.

So as well as dramatising the electoral process, the TV debates have had the result of dumbing it down.

And on Tuesday night it hit rock bottom.

And America was the loser.
dookie On about 5 hours ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#2New Post! Oct 01, 2020 @ 09:52:12
All in all, the "West" is going the way of the Roman Republic as it evolved into the Empire. History itself spells out the road we are on.

Dangerous times. Very soon I suspect troops will be on the streets - maybe on both sides of the Altantic.

mrmhead 12 minutes ago




NE, Ohio
#3New Post! Oct 01, 2020 @ 14:11:48
And almost half of Americans don't care.

Either they choose not to care, or gullible enough to be conned into thinking this is good
Leon On November 27, 2020




San Diego, California
#4New Post! Oct 01, 2020 @ 14:14:45
@Jennifer1984 Said

Back in 1960 when the first televised debate between JFK and Richard Nixon took place, they engaged in a respectful and intelligent discussion which, during the tension of the cold war stand off between free society and dictatorship, was seen as a shining example of western democracy.

Jack Kennedy went on to become President and led America through some of the toughest times in its social history including bringing the world back from the brink of nuclear holocaust.

Tuesday's vicious encounter - more cage fight than Camelot - tells the tale of the era we live in today. A broken America bitterly divided and beset by democratic decay.

Two candidates for what used to be the world's most respected office traded insults and personal abuse, with the sitting president once again behaving like a football hooligan, trashing the norms of presidential behaviour.

To watchers in other parts of the world, what we were seeing was a real-time rendering of American decline. It reminded us how American exceptionalism has come to be seen as a negative construct. America is no longer respected globally. To outsiders it is a country of mass shootings, mass incarceration, racial division and political chaos.

Germany's Der Speigel has called the debate "A TV duel like a car accident".

Italy's La Republica said "Never has American politics sunk so low."

Le Monde, the French newspaper, after the 11/9 attacks, said "Nous sommes tous americains" - "We are all Americans now", called the debate a "Terrible storm".

But this was no storm that will pass in a few hours or days. This is America's permanent political weather system.

Looking back to 2000 and the Florida election debacle, to see polling stations sealed off with yellow police tape presented a sorry spectacle of national self harm. It became so farcical that when Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe offered to send America election observers, it went beyond bizarre.

To the outside world, the Conservative leaning Supreme Court handing the election to GW Bush was little more than an electoral smash and grab.

Then came the ludicrously named "War on Terror". The watchtowers of Guantanamo... the horror of Abu Graib..... and the imperial hubris of the ridiculous "Mission Accomplished" banner declaring victory in a war that had hardly begun and was eventually lost.

Historians will put Tuesday night's television horror show in that same gallery of national embarrassment.

International viewers also understand the reasons why Trump is where he is today. His supporters sent him to Washington because of his unconventionality.

His supporters will have tuned in specifically to see a political wrestling bout with Joe Biden suffering an eventual smack-down. But it didn't work out that way.

Trump's failure to condemn white supremacists and his chilling words to that far-right group The Proud Boys to "Stand back and stand by" shows that he still has the ability to shock us all. And it is to be hoped that many Americans who have up to now supported him will have their eyes opened.

After the initial debate of 1960, there wasn't another one for 16 years and when the debate between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter took place it was marred by a half hour break when the audio broke down. Oh that we should have been so lucky last Tuesday.

The format for these debates is now, I believe, being reviewed. I'm glad to hear it. America can't tolerate this sort of debacle indefinitely.

The debates have lost their way. They're more about entertainment than elucidation. Journalists hype them like some sort of Las Vegas spectacle and afterwards, score them like boxing matches.

The highlights are moments of combat and comedy. Prefabricated zingers snuck in, caustic one-liners and attempted knock-out punches - they even attempt to adopt a vocabulary close to that of ringside commentary.

Ever since Ronald Regan mastered the art, these debates have rewarded star performance rather than expertise. Candidates now try to emulate Reagan style one-liners... jokes... putdowns.... and these are then run endlessly on the news for days afterwards.

Star value is now more valued in American politics than expertise or suitability for the role. It's not a job interview, it's an audition for leading man.

Competent politicians such as Walter Mondale, Bob Dole, Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton, Mike Dukakis and Al Gore have all fallen into the "No Star Quality" trap. But all of these were more accomplished administrators than the person they lost to in the end.

So as well as dramatising the electoral process, the TV debates have had the result of dumbing it down.

And on Tuesday night it hit rock bottom.

And America was the loser.


You are in error in stating that Mondale, Dole, Romney, Dukakis, and Gore were more accomplished administrators than the person they lost to - as Reagan, Clinton, Obama, and both Bushes each had just as plenty of experience, if not more. Trump is the only one that came in with less.

The 2000 fiasco was indeed a black spot, but it is debatable when the acrimony between the right and left that we currently see had its origins:

Some will go back farther, to when Newt Gingrich and Dole rode the 1994 midterms backlash against the Clintons and started a hardline agenda (akin to what the Tea Party had going in the 2010’s in reaction to Obama), and rode it all the way to Clinton’s impeachment.

Some will go back even farther than that, to the 1970’s and 1980’s reaction to the reforms of the 1960’s, and the resulting shrinking middle class and deepening economic and racial divides. I’ve often said that that vitriol directed at Reagan at the time of his Presidency has only since been matched or exceeded by Obama and Trump.

I think what we are seeing today has its more direct, obvious origins to the backlash to Obama’s 2008 victory, which resulted in the above said Tea Party and their obstructionism in the 2010’s. Obama wasn’t able to get anything done after 2010, once he lost the filibuster proof majority he enjoyed in the Senate from 2008-2010. He wasn’t even able to get mundane things such as judicial confirmations through. The latter is why Senate majority leader Harry Reid at the time, who was Democrat, had to end the filibuster for that (with the exception of Supreme Court confirmations), which roiled the Tea Party further. Mitch McConnell, Senate majority leader since Reid, and a Republican, continued to obstruct with everything else, including Obama’s last Supreme Court nomination, and got his revenge on Reid with his own removal of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations once Trump took office. This of course has pissed off Democrats since, and now there is talk of removing the filibuster for legislation. And so on the battle goes.

I agree with everything you’re saying about debates, however. They should really end. People can instead be directed to read well thought out plans rather than depend on sound bytes and who can deliver them in the most memorable manner. Elizabeth Warren is the only candidate that has recently demonstrated an ability to deliver such plans both in pre-written form and orally, but not everyone is as dually gifted, nor should it be an indicator of the ability to effectively govern.
mrmhead 12 minutes ago




NE, Ohio
#5New Post! Oct 01, 2020 @ 14:43:33
...And we used to laugh at the occasional fist-fight on the floor of Japan's congress.
Leon On November 27, 2020




San Diego, California
#6New Post! Oct 01, 2020 @ 15:39:55
It won’t destroy us though, as much as Putin wants it to. We’ve been through a lot worse acrimony between sides. We even had a civil war once.

What will destroy us goes much deeper. Namely the increasing economic divide between the lower/middle class and the 1%, and the strain it creates. And of course climate change is a threat to all on Earth - not just for the increasing inhabitability of much of it, but the mass migration that will inevitably occur as a result and the multifaceted strain it will impose on those at the receiving end.

Those are a bit more on the long term side, but they will occur if we don’t try to begin reversing course on some of it now.
gakINGKONG On about 10 hours ago




, Florida
#7New Post! Oct 01, 2020 @ 16:28:54
Trump should have allowed Biden to talk more. Wallace should have stuck to being a moderator.

Crankiness and personal attacks overwhelmed the audience.
chaski On about 12 hours ago
Stalker





Tree at Floydgirrl's Window,
#8New Post! Oct 01, 2020 @ 17:13:55
@gakINGKONG Said

Trump should have allowed Biden to talk more.



The funny... really hilarious thing is that had Trump just shut his mouth and given Biden a chance to talk (based on his history) Biden would likely have said at least one stupid thing (if not more) that Trump and the GOP could have jumped all over.

As it is, Trump overshadowed any thing Biden might have said, and Biden had the easy obvious excuse that (if he said anything stupid) it was because Trump kept interrupting him.

But don't worry gakINGKONG, Donald "Jesus Christ" Trump is still our lord god and savior risen for save the West from the evils of the 3rd world.

darkman666 On about 3 hours ago




Saint Louis, Missouri
#9New Post! Oct 01, 2020 @ 17:48:25
mostly, there is probably only two debates, not three. because bozo enjoyed himself on tuesday night. the best thing, joe did keep laughed bozo at the debate. bozo outlined with joe's family. joe nailed good, called him " a clown " and few times, to tell him to " shut up, please !"

at least, joe and bozo was check out of the asses. bozo isn't never been politicalian , obviously, businessman. not good one. bozo only think as a businessman. joe was only thing, as he was a senate for 47 years. two different different directions at the the same time. that probably , why nancy told joe not to debate bozo at all.

america top save face with debates, just have karama and pence's debate only. skip the other two. on tuesday night, i don't either side prove anything, what really what are going any issues.

i think mitch probably would quite the house speaker and being senate. bozo called republican party: racists. mitch get to the point to very quickly disconnect with bozo. that will be the end of republican party.
Jennifer1984 On about 11 hours ago
Returner and proud





Penzance, United Kingdom
#10New Post! Oct 01, 2020 @ 18:25:47
I'm glad I've prompted a thread that a lot of different people want to contribute to.

It was my intention to mainly concentrate on the debates themselves but other details crept in, viewed of course, from my side of the pond, but thanks to Leon for his detailed comments which have helped to educate this poor foreigner.

It's clear that the whole political spectrum over there is as divided as it is here, obviously though, for different reasons.

I will agree wholeheartedly with Leon's second comment regarding climate change. I myself am a paid up member of the British Green Party and take environmental issues very seriously although for some reason I now notice, I've seldom had anything to say on here about the issue. I'll give it some thought and come up with something on that score that we might be also able to have a constructive discussion about.

Dookie makes a good point, I think but we should put this one to you guys to answer...... What exactly is the situation with the possibility of armed intervention. There are a lot of guns and bullets over there, largely in the hands of people who I would suggest, are not stable and may very well want to take matters into their own heavily-armed hands.

History's lesson of Rome should not be ignored.
Leon On November 27, 2020




San Diego, California
#11New Post! Oct 01, 2020 @ 19:12:56
@Jennifer1984 Said

I'm glad I've prompted a thread that a lot of different people want to contribute to.

It was my intention to mainly concentrate on the debates themselves but other details crept in, viewed of course, from my side of the pond, but thanks to Leon for his detailed comments which have helped to educate this poor foreigner.

It's clear that the whole political spectrum over there is as divided as it is here, obviously though, for different reasons.

I will agree wholeheartedly with Leon's second comment regarding climate change. I myself am a paid up member of the British Green Party and take environmental issues very seriously although for some reason I now notice, I've seldom had anything to say on here about the issue. I'll give it some thought and come up with something on that score that we might be also able to have a constructive discussion about.

Dookie makes a good point, I think but we should put this one to you guys to answer...... What exactly is the situation with the possibility of armed intervention. There are a lot of guns and bullets over there, largely in the hands of people who I would suggest, are not stable and may very well want to take matters into their own heavily-armed hands.

History's lesson of Rome should not be ignored.


In regards to climate change, you’ll probably be talking in an echo chamber here, unless Bob comes back and interjects himself into the discussion, as we are all for the most part on the side of science with this. I’ve been advocating and practicing change on it the best I can since Gore was doing his thing - so 20 years now - and I’ve held discussions with a few on here, like with Bob. What usually happens is it comes down to arguing against various fringe alternative theories for global warming that are bandied around, which is hard to do in terms of scientific debate - the adherents are unrelenting because of a reason which really has nothing to do with the data and everything to do with what will happen if we change that adherents don’t like. You have to convince them that such change isn’t so bad, but like religion, it’s difficult to do.

But most of us agree that we must act fast, and that we must at the very least try and reach net zero emissions cut in half by 2030 and in full by 2050. Which I’m sure you agree with as well.

As far as violence, yes, there will be a lot of upset people after the election and you will see a lot of protests. This will probably be more true if Trump wins since his victory will likely result from some form of voter suppression or ruling like we saw in 2000 than an actual vote count, sparking a greater outcry.

As to what could happen in such protests, there are right wing militias yes, but they are deluded into thinking they will be able to replace any military intervention or, if Biden wins, counter it. In reality, they exist because there are men who get a rise out of the role play it offers. There is not any substance to any of it, as much as they want to believe or threaten. Are they a violent threat? Perhaps, as any terrorism is, and we might see a few instances after the election of such. But it won’t move the needle, and will likely be swiftly dealt with militarily (the real military) if it gets out of hand.

But if we are talking about a real civil war, remember, or civil war in the 1860’s resulted because there were whole states that wanted to secede, and the military split between the two sides as a result. This could happen I suppose if the anti-Trump protests get incredibly intense and sustain for a long period of time. But, again, that would be because the military becomes involved and takes sides, not just militias.

So we’ll see what happens.
mrmhead 12 minutes ago




NE, Ohio
#12New Post! Oct 01, 2020 @ 19:39:40
@Leon Said

But if we are talking about a real civil war, remember, or civil war in the 1860’s resulted because there were whole states that wanted to secede, and the military split between the two sides as a result. This could happen I suppose if the anti-Trump protests get incredibly intense and sustain for a long period of time. But, again, that would be because the military becomes involved and takes sides, not just militias.

So we’ll see what happens.



I wouldn't mind if all the trumpsterf***s moved into a few contiguous states and seceded. Then they can build their glorious wall.

Hell, I'd even move out of Ohio if they kept their end of the bargain.
darkman666 On about 3 hours ago




Saint Louis, Missouri
#13New Post! Oct 01, 2020 @ 19:44:51
i think with climate change, we shall keep on eye on greenland, iceland, and antarctic's ice shelves are melting much faster than anything that happening now. now, scientists barely use computer models to predict this events happen. nature isn't going to wait for man to change. this increases california's firestorms. hurricanes, and tornadoes. more heat waves, questionable cold waves than normal. it stay has been for years. depending on artic's blasts in the winters. this will increases almost anything like new viruses. this climate change make the earth into a giant greenhouse.
Leon On November 27, 2020




San Diego, California
#14New Post! Oct 01, 2020 @ 19:47:11
@mrmhead Said

I wouldn't mind if all the trumpsterf***s moved into a few contiguous states and seceded. Then they can build their glorious wall.

Hell, I'd even move out of Ohio if they kept their end of the bargain.


Me neither. We should have let them secede back in 1860 .... pretty much the same states anyways.

We’d save money too since most of these states take more than they give, despite all the whining they do about federal spending.
darkman666 On about 3 hours ago




Saint Louis, Missouri
#15New Post! Oct 01, 2020 @ 19:59:33
almost irony of civil war happen now, it will not be black and white's issues only, but america's ignority that we have really change anything. this might a good test to find out has civil rights grown since the 1860 to 1960? has anything change that an republican and democrat work together unity.

after presidency, you see bushes, carters, and obamas has a good friends. would be a good friends as republicans and democrats 100 years ago?

bozo doing a favor, to be stay as stupid as he can be!
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