NYT Op-Ed Calls to Eliminate Presidential Debates, Claims Trump Uses Them To Distract 'Public From Reality'

Clay Robinson | August 4, 2020
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The New York Times published an op-ed Monday that called for the elimination of the presidential debates because they “have never made sense as a test for presidential leadership," according to the Daily Caller.

Washington-based journalist Elizabeth Drew penned the op-ed ‘Let’s Scrap the Presidential Debates’, arguing that the debates have become “unrevealing quip contests."

“Over time, the debates came to resemble professional wrestling matches, and more substantive debates were widely panned in the press. Points went to snappy comebacks and one-liners. Witty remarks drew laughs from the audience and got repeated for days and remembered for years,” Drew argues, saying that scrapping this year’s presidential debates would not be for health reasons.

Drew wrote that the debates in their current form showcase the opposite of what we want in a president; intelligence, thoughtfulness, knowledge, and empathy. According to Drew, during the Carter/Reagan debates of 1980, Carter made “serious point[s]” while Regan easily dismissed them with jokes.

Drew clarified, saying that she believes Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden would do “just fine in a long string of such contests."

“This, by the way, isn’t written out of any concern that Donal Trump will prevail over Joe Biden in the debates,” Drew writes, “The point is that ‘winning’ a debate, however assessed, should be irrelevant, as are the debates themselves.”

However, Drew also claimed that Trump has and will use the debates as a “show” to “[distract] the public from reality." Drew says the President doesn’t have any “real affinity” for the working-class people.

“The debates took us nowhere nearer the realities about arguably the most disastrous president in our history," Drew concluded. "They became simply another tool in his arsenal."

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