Second Debate Was A Hot Mess. For What?

I was disappointed and embarrassed for the seven candidates on stage and the American people. The American people deserve and expect their leaders to have a heightened level of decorum and respect. They deserve this in their potential leaders, too. The shouting match we witnessed on Wednesday night insulted the man in whose library the debate was held. Ronald Reagan has been called the Great Communicator, and these candidates would have done well to funnel some of Reagan’s traits. I gave up after 90 of the scheduled 120 minutes as I could not tolerate the seven men and women speaking simultaneously. Instead of a debate to help us choose a Republican candidate to run against Joe Biden in 2024, this group sounded more like the elementary school children on the school bus I drive every morning.

I saw no clear winner last night, but I did see losers. The man who was a last-minute qualifier for the second debate, Doug Burgum, ignored the moderators numerous times and dominated the microphone and time. He knows this is his last chance to get the attention of the American people. His best option to save face is to suspend his candidacy as soon as possible. It is the right thing for him, the GOP, and Americans. The other candidate who sets himself apart from the others is Chris Christie. Christie is in this race for the sole purpose of attacking and eliminating Donald Trump from the 2024 election. Christie is not a serious contender but a self-appointed hatchet man.

The other five candidates debated to a draw, with Nikki Haley taking numerous shots at Vivek Ramaswamy. She attacked both his policies and character. I thought she went too far with her criticism, and her demeanor harmed her image more than Vivek’s. For all of the yelling and cross-talk, does it really matter, or are these debates, with the absence of the GOP front-runner Donald Trump, an exercise in futility? There are two theories on why Trump is not on the stage. One is that he already held the position of President and does not need to interview for the job, and with such a massive lead in the polls, he has locked up the nomination. The second theory is that Donald Trump avoids criticism and examination of his job as President and his character by not being present in these debates. I see validity in both theories. The Iowa caucuses and the state primaries will allow people to answer the most believable theory.

At this time, three debates have been scheduled, so we may only have to bear one more of these sessions. The only debates that will have value will be between the two major party candidates after the conventions. The debates between Trump and Biden will be classic. They will be heated, political, and personal. I believe that Joe Biden will do all he can to avoid any debates as he has to avoid any primary challenge. There is no way that Biden or his handlers want to expose Biden to impromptu conversation. He has been shown to have problems reading from teleprompters and cannot keep his attention when speaking without prompts. A debate would be devastating for the President and evidence of the lack of acuity that the President suffers from that the Right has claimed for months.

We deserve better, and I believe the Republicans can deliver better. If there is a third debate, I hope there will be fewer candidates on the stage, the format will be more strict, and the level of decorum will be higher. Those are a lot of wishes, but right now, that is all we have.