A Presidential Debate? Why?

A debate is based on living in a shared reality

Sean Myers
Cancelling Reality

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Gotta start somewhere, I guess, and there are a lot of worse topics to cover first.

News outlets urged Trump and Biden to have presidential debates, and now they’ve agreed to a pair of them.

My big question: Why bother?

Say whatever you want about the mental capacities of either candidate; a debate is impossible because it relies on the sides living in the same factual reality.

These sides don’t.

Trump and his followers think that the economy is in shambles — this poll says that only 13% think it is “excellent” or “good.” But the stock market is setting records (recall Trump using this metric to support his boasting about running a strong economy), the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that unemployment is below 4%, and wage growth has outpaced inflation for an entire year now.

They think that crime is horrible — a Gallup poll found that 92% of Republicans think crime is up in the last year. But it’s actually down.

If Trump and Biden debate, Trump would fire his normal vitriol and unsupported, outlandish claims about how bad the economy and crime is. His followers would see these as punches landed because they live in a fantasy world where they’re true, they’d see Biden’s factual rebuttal as a blatant lie, and they’d become more convinced that it’s the left that’s lost touch with reality.

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Sean Myers
Cancelling Reality

Author of the Cancelling Reality newsletter and author of Flight of Fools, a satire/fantasy about escapism and reality — https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B49PRRSF