Blogpost # 393   VOX POP a/k/a “PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES”

In an earlier essay, we expressed our concern and criticism regarding today’s unusually large number of Democratic candidates for Presidential nomination. The contestants, all from an identical party, institutionally, share most points of view in common, with the unfortunate result that irrelevant, populist standards may become the sole remaining determinants of one’s choice. Knowledge, gravitas, experience, transparent candor, are among the significantly proper and relevant qualities; certainly not, irrelevant qualities such as perceived charm, eloquence, apparent confidence, aggressiveness and other ostensibly, populist, “winning” characteristics. The previous election proved to be an effective primer, on the profound error of any selection, based on populist and superficial standards. We have declared in a past essay, that an overlarge number of proposed candidates, all from the same party, factually eliminates the occasion for debate on the relevant issues, leaving only cosmetic differences, (voice, appearance, sense of humor and celebrity) as the remaining, irrelevant, and improper, bases for choice. The candidate’s “performance” has been, disappointingly, the prime subject of discussion in the media; not the candidate’s perceived gravitas and potential fitness for the Office. It is of crucial importance, that the consequential, historical significance, of choosing a Presidential candidate, from one of the (only) two national political parties, ought not be seen as a replication of a Miss America contest.

The celebrated, intensely awaited event, is universally known as, the “Presidential Debates.” We are troubled by that misleading reference. A “debate” involves a formal and contested discussion (arguments) on (one) a particular, previously selected topic, in which each of two opposing sides puts forward opposing viewpoints. The upcoming “second debate,” like the first, will not be a “debate” in any respect. It is, instead a species of classic vox- populi, an expression of citizen, (man-in-the street) repetition, of well- known party memes, articulated in the respective style of the performer-candidate’s nuanced persona; responsive to various timely issues, (debates have only one issue) presented by attractive, celebrity, interrogators. One might assume that some television producer (or gifted intern) could assign a more applicable name, to this television tour de force.

As a related addendum to the above critique, we feel obliged to comment on the stated aspiration, daily communicated by the Democratic Party, that the most imperative criterion, is the selection of “a candidate that can defeat Donald Trump.” In view of Trump’s public performance, demonstrating his profound incapability, as well as his plethora of improprieties, professional and social, to such extent that, the historically, rare and extreme procedure, of Presidential Impeachment (for “high crimes and misdemeanors”) is under serious consideration, such insecure and limited aspiration, demonstrates a disrespect for the intelligence of the American voter.

An aspirant to the Democratic nomination, should, suitably, discuss the factors that, traditionally, have been his party’s hallmark themes which have made it successful, such as, healthcare, tax reform, fair wages and working conditions, employment, government safety and health regulations, official food and drug standards, civil liberties, women’s rights, as well as climate change and a reasonable and compassionate policy concerning immigration.

It has been almost three years, and we have, definitively, had more than our fill, of (tawdry) political entertainment.



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Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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