Why Are Debate Moderators Afraid of Social Issues?

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Atrios comments on debate topics:

We’ll see how the remaining debates go, but it’s interesting how now that issues that were (perhaps wrongly) for years seen as things Democrats had to be on defense about are seen more as strengths, they mostly disappear as issues. Immigration, Teh Gay Marriage, Abortion. Yes abortion made an appearance, but the question wasn’t about abortion, it was about how Joe Biden could defy his church.

I don’t know for sure why these topics were mostly absent, but after the debate I was musing about that too. We’ve had two debates now that have included endless discussions of taxes and economic plans, and sure, those are important topics. But let’s face it: they’re also deadly boring, and most viewers probably zone out pretty quickly. But how about gay marriage? Abortion? Gun rights? Immigration? Climate change? Drug laws? Religious liberty? I’ll bet most voters are actually a lot more interested in those topics than they are in Syria or the optimal top marginal rate on millionaires, and yet they’ve been almost completely absent from the debates. Abortion and (relatedly) religious liberty got very brief mentions last night before Martha Raddatz got bored with them, and in last week’s debate these topics got no attention at all.

Why? Is it because the moderators don’t personally care about these things much? Is it because they somehow consider them less serious than questions about the economy? It certainly can’t be because there’s no disagreement between the parties on these issues. It’s weird.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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