Real debates are history
On August 27, 1858- Abraham Lincoln stood before nearly… 12,000 spectators in Freeport, Illinois. For just under 60 minutes he lambasted the most powerful man in Congress- pushing the mighty Stephen Douglas nearly to his breaking point. The Freeport debate is considered the finest of the seven Lincoln/Douglas debates. Lincoln wryly exposing the inconsistencies in his opponent’s views- Douglas’ demagoguery pushed to new levels over 90 minutes as he counter-punched desperately. The answers Douglas offered, known as the Freeport Doctrine, doomed his 1860 Presidential hopes.
Nothing like this is possible in politics today… because of the nature of media and the expectations of the viewing public. In all honesty, no declared candidate in this election cycle could muster the intellectual fortitude to debate at this level. The debacle of September 29, 2020 will live in collective infamy; one of the saddest spectacles ever witnessed in American political culture.