Let the primary debates disappear

New York Post columnist Miranda Devine, in calling, April 26, for Republican primary debates as a useful way of defeating Biden's bid for re-election, suggests a new-found hostility to the Trump re-election effort.   But then, the New York Post is a Murdoch publication and the Murdochs are not admirers of the former president.   Ms. Devine likely realizes on which side her bread is buttered.

Primary debates, arguably, are no more than ego trips for the moderators, who require the candidates (one of whom just may become the leader of the free world) to raise their hands for permission to speak -- as if they are pupils in grade school.   How demeaning! How bizarre! How useless to get a sense of a candidate's public policy positions!

What information can be provided by a candidate given two minutes to respond to a (loaded) question from the moderator who does not hide his sense of elitist entitlement? (Which reminds me, whatever happened to the insufferable debate moderator Chris Wallace?)

2020 third Democrat presidential prmary debate (YouTube screengrab)

The current, tawdry level of political debates has nothing to do with the progenitor of such events: the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, which, by the way, took place without moderators, certainly without sound bites -- and  in the context of the Illinois 1858 election to the United States Senate, and, to boot, when senators were elected by the state legislatures, not by popular vote. 

And what is wrong with candidates campaigning the old-fashioned way: retail by meeting people, wholesale by holding rallies?   

Let it be said, plain and simple:  a gathering of five or more persons to discuss public policy in two-minute spurts is scarcely a debate; it is a confusing, combustible cattle call.


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