US debates are a complete waste of time

Jackie Wilson Asheeke

If I had my way, I’d ban debates between US presidential candidates. In my years on this planet, I’ve never watched a single one and I never will. They are canned theatre, not a realistic, unrehearsed presentation of what the person running for office actually believes. The presidential debates between honest Joe Biden and the strutting Il Duce Trump prove nothing, sway no one, reveal nothing, and are a complete waste of time.

The candidates rehearse their answers to all issues. They have mock sessions where actors ‘play’ the other side. They memorize the ‘right’ answers. They have stylists and movie directors that prepare the lighting, costumes (suits) worn, tie colours, make-up, hair and manicures. Each candidate spends a fortune for the ‘right look’ and does massive cramming homework to say the correct things. They have psychologists, sociologists, executive image trainers, jury selection experts and pollsters on the payroll specifically to prepare the candidate for the so-called debate. This isn’t a debate on issues where from-the-heart answers will be given; it is a show for ratings.

I read all the reviews of the so-called debates for the elections over the past 20+ years and each time, I am reaffirmed in my view.

The reports of the utter disaster of the bent occupant of the White House and his unnecessarily aggressive treatment of nice-guy Joe Biden was a disgrace. I heard that the Reality Show star lost a tiny bit of support among his more uncertain backers due to his behaviour in that first debate – I don’t believe it, but that is what was reported. Evidently, someone on his re-election team got him to at least pretend to be presidential for this next session.

The debate message from Trump – I am a bully. The debate message from Biden –I am the victim of a bully. So what?

Evidently, this debate last night was better. I love the MUTE button thing. The screaming Commander in Chief can at least be left babbling to the wind when he tries his usual bullying. That should be a standard from now on. When it is not someone’s time to talk, their mic should be off.

Evidently, Il Duce Trump was on better behaviour. Issues actually were discussed. Well whoopee. Was anyone convinced or were minds changed? No.

America is so polarized that no voting blocs shifted on the basis of that debate or any debate. Those who believe in the fascism offered by Il Duce will stay with that. These are the q-anon crazies, right-wing fundamentalists, racists, anti-immigration people, law and order demagogues, alt-right desperados, one-issue anti-abortion robots, Nazis/Aryan nations gunslingers, and good ol’ Jesus-loving Christian fundamentalists.

Those that support the moderate, calm, one-term, grandfather-in-charge Joe Biden will stay with that. These are the anyone-other-than-Trump faction, bleeding heart liberals, disgruntled progressives, people of color who have common sense, tree-huggers, whining upper class white women, over-the-top COVID fear mongers, wide-eyed righteous students, anyone on government benefits, immigrants and their supporters, businesses that need better trade, the importers from China and Canada.

No hearts or minds were switched or swayed in that debate.

Unless one of the candidates did a strip-tease on-air or mooned the audience while twerking, there would not be a misstep in the scripted, heavily controlled verbal dance. What then, is the point?

On the level of the local election where smaller constituencies are choosing, a debate might make sense. A town mayor or city council aspirant should know the place, the people and the issues. Let the local townsfolk who are voting ask questions, not a moderator. But, a debate for a president of 328 million people is useless.

People keep asking me if Biden will win. I can only say I wish anyone other than Il Duce would win. I recall well that in 2016, all the polls showed that Hillary Clinton would win; we all know what happened.

The thing that worries me most is that the Prevaricator-in-Chief has maybe set the stage for civil war. He told the poorly-educated, armed and violent people who see him as their pin-up boy, that if he doesn’t win, the entire vote is rigged. He told them to ‘stand by’. They are ready to start shooting. This is frightening stuff! He LIKES throwing petrol on hot embers; he’s just not smart enough to realize that those hot embers are in the middle of a minefield.

No useless, scripted debate will change any of that.

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