Since Tuesday’s sad spectacle, reactions have been raining down and the first probes indicate that if Americans are disappointed or shocked by the overall performance, this first debate will have little or no influence on their decision.
If in my opinion this week we have had the strangest and worst debate since they were broadcast on television or on the web, it is not yesterday that we wonder about the relevance of the formula.
Is it still relevant?
For several electoral cycles, the debates and conventions of the two major parties have become obligatory passages which too often interest only the broadcasters or the lobbies that serve them. These costly staging usually don’t tell us anything new about candidates and platforms. We are only looking for the “killer phrase”.
Unless you are passionate about professional wrestling, extreme fights or demolition derbies, the main impact of Tuesday’s confrontation will only be to raise awareness of the limits of the practice and, this time at least, of the dangers it can. represent.
The two candidates offered nothing substantial, but millions of Americans were exposed to the ugliest of their society, while projecting the image of a power in accelerating decline.
Two septuagenarians attacked their cognitive faculties and the US president refused to commit to recognizing the outcome of the election while asking white supremacists to stand by. The country can only emerge weaker and more divided.
Despite some commendable efforts, the moderator often lost control. He has attempted to raise sensitive issues, but, probably for the sake of appearing impartial, he has abandoned his journalistic rigor by not noting the many false statements. For a debate to inform and serve the voter, we must first discuss the same facts.
Improve or cancel?
Tuesday evening we were treated to a caricature of everything that is wrong with the debates. It would be unfair to place all the blame on Donald Trump. As is the case with other loopholes in the political game in the United States, he only took advantage of one loophole to drag everyone onto his turf: the swamp.
It is possible that my thinking on the relevance of continuing to offer debates was influenced by the poor quality of the participants, but the comments were sufficiently numerous that changes have already been announced. Will they be sufficient? While the formula doesn’t have to go away, it is in serious need of dusting.
While waiting for the next Trump-Biden duel, next week there will be the “adult debate”. Mike Pence and Kamala Harris should offer us more elaborate discussions. Enough to come to terms with exercise? I will listen and hope for the best.