Here’s Why I’m a Bad Debate Watcher

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Not that anyone cares, but I think I realized tonight why I have such a hard time judging political debates. There are two reasons:

  • The candidates frequently drift off into mini-stump speeches. When that happens, I tune out. I’ve heard it all before. But for ordinary viewers, this might very well be the part of the debates that makes the most sense to them.
  • The big “moments” also don’t do much for me. But that’s the stuff that ends up on a 24/7 loop the next day on cable news. By not paying much attention to these highlights, I’m missing out on the things that drive a lot of the post-debate reaction.

This is all in addition to the obvious fact that I react more to policy stuff than to affect and demeanor. Put it all together, and I’m hopelessly out of touch with the common man. Sad but true.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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