Monday, September 26, 2016

Don't call it a debate!

I refuse to call it a debate.

I refuse to watch it.

But probably I have to watch it.

Maybe I can mute the tv every time dt opens his mouth.

I can't stand to listen to a single word he says.

A tv showman vs. a US senator and former secretary of state is not a debate.  It's a spectacle.

The possibility of ideas being exchanged is remote.  The whole event will be ludicrous.

To take the event seriously--as the debate moderators and newscasters are required to do--is to give the showman too much credit.  He gains many points by just standing on the stage next to a serious presidential candidate.

I am angry that the Republican Party has chosen him as its candidate.  

I am angry that he could actually become our next president.  

I am angry that anyone at all will vote for him.

I am angry that he lies 70% of the time and that his followers still see him as "honest and straightforward."  That rating is from PolitiFact, a Tampa Bay Times website that earned a Pulitzer for its 2008 election coverage. 

See this LA Times analysis titled "Scope of Trump's lies unmatched":

I could watch Hillary Rodham Clinton debate Jeb Bush or even Ted Cruz.  

I refuse to grant legitimacy to an event of her attempting to engage this liar and pretend that there is a playing ground with rules, much less a level playing ground.

As Michael Finnegan reports in the LA Times analysis, "the scope of Trump's falsehoods is unprecedented, and he is dogged in refusing to stop saying things once they are proved untrue."

"He's a salesman.  He's a con man," says Thomas E. Mann, quoted in the article, a scholar at UC Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies.  "He's hustled people out of money that they're owed.  He's lived off tax shelters.  He's always looking for a scheme and a con, and in that sphere, you just fall into telling lies as a matter of course."

Marty Kaplan, a professor at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, says he is either a con man or someone just "completely unconstrained by logic, rules, tradition, truth, law."

Thus he is unlikely to participate in a legitimate debate with rules and logic.  He will just try to steal the show and create a sensation.  

Such an event is not winnable by either him or his rational opponent.  Only an applause meter can judge it, and sensation will cause the applause to increase.  

Kaplan adds, "I'm confused whether the whole fact-free zone that he's in is a strategic calculation or a kind of psychosis."

The kindest conclusion is that he's mentally off-balance, probably by early dementia, a theory that was floated on the Diane Rehm Show broadcast on NPR last July. 

I guess I will have to watch half the debate--the half spoken by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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