The Debate

By | September 30, 2020

[RD Note: part of me didn’t want to post commentary on the debate, simply because I don’t want to get everyone here fighting with each other. But the debate was too noteworthy to leave alone, so I decided to go for it. Even so, I will ask all commentators to try their best at not triggering hostility from those on the other side of the argument. We can do this!]

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Last night I got my popcorn, turned on the TV, and joined the millions who watched the Presidential debate. Right out of the gate, it seemed all of the viewers experienced the same telepathic message: shitshow.

Maybe this is what the end of the American empire looks like. A total, complete inability of the two candidates for the highest elected office of the world’s most powerful nation to provide a coherent discussion on the important issues affecting our world. Instead, they produced an unlistenable, unendurable cacophony.

I am sure I wasn’t alone in expecting Joe Biden to melt down at one point or another. And it’s possible he would have, or even did, but it was obviously hidden by Donald Trump’s constant over-the-top interruptions. 

It’s clear what Trump’s strategy was: badger Biden to the point where he would lose his composure and say something stupid. But Biden kept it together just enough to avoid the worst outcomes for himself. Trump’s strategy only made him look like a bully. Throughout Trump’s Presidency, I have generally tried to avoid critiquing his behavior as a major issue, and have tried focusing on policy. But in the real world, optics matter, behavior and norms matter, and Trump didn’t help himself last night.

Napoleon once said, ‘Never interfere with an enemy while he’s in the process of destroying himself.’ Instead of following that advice, Trump acted like a petulant preteen. Shockingly, Biden followed it substantially better (although I am guessing some of Biden’s supporters are less shocked than I was). 

Biden didn’t win the debate. Trump simply threw it away. It was his to lose, and he lost it. I realize that each candidate has supporters who reflexively will see their guy as the winner. But at this stage of the campaign, the point is to win over undecided voters, to reach out to those remaining few centrists who are still unsure of who will get their vote. For that, you need at least some tone of civility, respectability, and moderation. Sure, politicians fake those qualities every day, but that’s the game and you have to know how to play it. And if you refuse to play it, you must at least focus on substantive issues. 

That’s what Trump did in 2016. Despite his vulgarity back then, he focused on many genuine issues when he ran against Hillary Clinton. It might be easy to forget this in 2020, and especially after last night, but four years ago Trump raised concerns that—agree with him or not—landed with many American voters. Trade, China, the Forever Wars, globalization’s destruction of the middle class and working class, the opioid crisis, corruption in Washington, untrammeled illegal immigration, the economy. All of these were matters that Trump was able to raise effectively, which is why he got elected.

This time? Not so much. In fairness, there were a few. It might have been easy to miss amid the ninety minutes of verbal carnage that took place, but there were a couple of real issues that Trump handled last night that didn’t totally flop—again, whether one agrees with him or not—such as the Supreme Court, “law and order,” and even the matter of reopening the economy. But he undermined himself constantly by not allowing Biden to get a word in and bury himself, which I thought could have been done so easily. 

Biden for his part looked old. Really old. And I saw nothing of substance in his performance. I found his contradictory critique of Trump on Covid to be especially annoying: on the one hand blaming him for 200,000 deaths, and on the other hand for tanking the economy. Especially when he himself argued against reopening the economy. I mean, pick a side, man! I found that not just unfair, but incomprehensible. But that’s politics. 

But it was Trump who really blew it. Whatever one thinks about whether “white supremacy” is actually the scourge that it has been portrayed as being for so long, Trump had a golden opportunity to reject it and at least to try to put that issue to bed. How hard would it have been to say, “I reject the notion of white supremacy, just as I reject all notions of racial supremacy.” Most of us could have done that in our sleep. He could still have continued to attack Antifa and BLM, but he had a chance to help dial down the national craziness just a notch, and all he did was to help dial it up further. 

I’m also one of those people who thinks that the Hunter Biden Burisma scandal is genuine. I’ve followed it since the Obama years. It’s a real thing. All Trump had to do was let Joe Biden respond without interruption and wait to hear what came out of his mouth. The allegation of corruption is not “discredited,” as Biden said. Sure, Biden’s party base has never taken any of that seriously, but I guarantee you that many independent voters wanted to hear Biden deal with this, and Trump just talked over his reply. Now the moment is gone. There’s little chance Trump will succeed in bringing this one up again. He was his own worst enemy.

I also got tired of the “far left” refrain Trump kept up against Biden. Yes, Biden has quite a few ultra-woke staffers on his team, and there is no question they will try to move his needle to the Left on all of the social-cultural issues. But Biden himself is definitely not a far left candidate; just ask any Progressive about that. He is as corporate and establishment a candidate as one could imagine. Trump really needed a different line of attack because I doubt that most people are going to buy the proposition that a 47-year Washington insider is actually “far left.” . 

Again, not to say that Biden impressed. He clearly did not. For example, one area where Trump landed a blow was when he got Biden to disavow the Green New Deal and basically every shred of the Bernie Wing of the Democratic Party—as if that wing ever really existed in the party, anyway. Biden showed himself to be establishment all the way. Stating that “I am the Democratic Party,” was also not a shining moment for him. 

Even so, Biden did some smart things up there. Something as simple as looking at the camera helped him. And overall, the fact that he tried to maintain his composure surely put him in a sympathetic light with most viewers, and it even made the several times in which he lost his composure understandable to those who are still undecided. And he landed the major meme of the night with, “Will you shut up, man?”

Trump is down enough in the polls that he ought to be worried. Yes, he was down in 2016 and ended up winning. But he and his party cannot afford that complacency this time around. He needs to win over independent voters who are sitting on the fence, and I see no way that he could possibly have won over any fence sitters with his behavior.

Still, even now, nothing remains certain. Despite Biden’s current lead in the polls, the election still could go either way. But Trump, wow. In the past, he showed himself to be a good debater when he needed to be, but last night was an act of self-immolation. 

No question that the format of this debate was absolutely terrible. In retrospect, it’s easy to see how this result was inevitable, given the free-form style that it was. What an embarrassment. 

This debate amplified the exhaustion that everyone in the country and world is feeling about the American political process. One of the big reactions in the aftermath of this spectacle is that many people are thinking that further debates are pointless and indeed that Presidential debates in general may be an outmoded idea. That’s a terrible outcome, and is further evidence of the erosion of the belief in a democratic process. 

Oh yes, and what didn’t get discussed? Pretty much everything of importance. The ongoing theft of trillions of dollars from Main Street to Wall Street, how best can we actually re-open the economy now that so many retailers are dead in the water, how to deal with an ever-expanding list of hotspots in the world that could serve as the start of a major war, how to protect privacy in an age of universal surveillance … for starters. Even the substantive issues they supposedly dealt with left us with practically nothing to work with. 

As all the pundits have commented, the real losers were the American people, and the rest of the world for that matter. The winners are the oligarchs who sit on top of the system. If Trump loses, his opponents will rejoice. The crude, vulgar, misogynist, racist, self-absorbed narcissist will be gone. In his place will be the ultimate establishment tool, a shell of a man who will serve as the vehicle for God knows what reprehensible neolib and neocon policies that will issue out of Washington. The desire to return to “normal” may be the thing that gets Biden elected. But I think it’s a sure bet that the days of normal are long gone. Goodbye to the old boss, hello to the new boss. 

RD

59 thoughts on “The Debate

  1. LyndaLynda

    Thanks Richard.

    Sigh

    No winners in our country, not us, not our children, not our grandchildren. Not sure who will be around after that.

    In any event, ✨✨Peace love light✨✨

    I’m trying…

    Lynda

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  2. FamousAmosFamousAmos

    Excellent summary, Richard.
    One point I would add is that in the last minutes of the debate, it was undeniably *signaled* that the outcome of the election will be contested. Trump basically said he would contest the results if he lost. Although Biden said he would accept the results, I doubt he or his party actually will do that, especially if some of their ranks are facing indictments and hard jail time for sedition from their three failed coup attempts.

    What I believe this means is that the unrest and riots over the summer may have been just the opening act for the real show that’s going to start very soon. I hope I’m wrong, but Americans need to mentally and practically prepare for a very ugly post-election period.

    In the longer-term, a hostile and riotous Presidential election will seriously damage the concept of a peaceful transition of political administration we’ve enjoyed in the US for ages. It will tear holes in the fabric of our “Democratic Republic” and reveal a corrupt and dystopian “Banana Republic” underneath.

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    1. AvatarOgronWaitress

      “Although Biden said he would accept the results, I doubt he or his party actually will do that, especially if some of their ranks are facing indictments and hard jail time for sedition from their three failed coup attempts.”

      This response has really cheered me. Actually made me laugh out loud. “Sedition”. Really? Please elaborate on how the US Justice system is geared up to deal with “sedition”. How about terrorism? It’s certainly the view of the FBI (a renowned ultra-woke organisation) that far right white supremacists pose the main domestic terror threat in the USA as of today but go off with your “sedition” thing and BLM if you must..

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  3. Avatarwhatif

    With a leftist like Wallace running interference for Biden, should Trump have let him dictate the outcome of the debate? The “questions” for Biden were mostly key Dem talking points. Whenever Trump had Biden pinned down, Wallace interfered. It was a joke. Personally, I saw Trump take command of parts of the debate that Wallace would have otherwise given to Biden. Yes, it was sad it came to that, but don’t mistake “bullying” for self defense and leadership.

    “Are you going to pack the court, Joe? Just answer the question.” One of the many “bullying” moments that 1. Wallace should have asked Biden but did not, and that 2. without “bullying” would never have been mentioned.

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    1. Richard DolanRichard Dolan Post author

      I actually agree with this for the most part, but I still say Trump did not help himself with his specific tactics. I saw what you saw what everyone else saw, and he could have done so much better.

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      1. Avatarwhatif

        I respectfully disagree. About the only way Trump could have avoided getting rolled over by Wallace was to outflank his tactics during key parts of the debate, which is what we all saw. Again, it’s unfortunate it came to that, but I don’t see another option for Trump. He did what he could and I respect that, as I suspect the silent majority will once again reflect early in November.

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    2. AvatarOgronWaitress

      “Leftist”?? You mean the guy from Fox News. Er, right. Please, stop the gaslighting. Just for a moment.

      Seriously the level of deranged takes and ‘reds under the beds’ paranoia makes me wonder if the restless spirit of Joe McCarthy hasn’t been visiting some of you in your sleep.

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  4. Avatarwhatif

    As Vox Day points out.

    When the media attempts to minimize the event rather than attack the more right-wing individual, that tells you everything you need to know about what happened.

    In other words Trump won the debate.

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  5. AvatarTomTort

    Thank you for expressing an opinion on the debates. What you did very eloquently is articulate what an intelligent person should be thinking. I was appalled by what I witnessed and fortunately, you expressed my assessment much better than I am capable. My hope is that the remaining debates are cancelled, simply because I don’t want the rest of the world to witness more than once our lack of leadership and state of chaos.
    I welcome an honest debate and have respect for those who express an opinion as long it is carefully thought out and precisely articulated. Unfortunately, our nation may nolonger possess that ability.

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  6. AvatarRon Holmes UK

    Being a Brit, I’m spared having to sit through all of this directly, yet it affects the whole world, so the outcomes, although I have no say in them, could change the path of my life. It seems from a distance that you’ve been left with two candidates that offer the choice between bad and worse again, just as it did for you last time. Just as it did for my Country the last time we were forced to choose the least-awful of two unworthy candidates. Why does this keep happening? Is it really just because the system itself forces anyone who is good, who has a vision that could ring true with voters, out of the race early? We all seem to know deep down inside ourselves that this is the case. Yet we do nothing, and have done nothing for decades. Is it a surprise that voter-turnouts have crashed historically in countries all over the world (apart form those newly emerging from beneath the shadow of a corrupt regime or government.) I only know how I feel – like I’m a beaten dog – after a while you can learn to live with almost anything. Far worse things than political numbness like mine happens every day, so the subject’s lost in the background-noise of even worse things. I wish I knew the answer, or even if the answer exists. The system is broken, but fixing it feels far more unlikely than even Disclosure does. It’s one hell of a mess, but I will never give up on people. Individuals may not hold the power anymore, and perhaps they never did, but surrounding yourself with good, strong and kind souls can make it all survivable, even enjoyable. I do wonder how this will all play out though. How will history look back on this tumultuous, deeply confused, time? I don’t think our society will fare too well when viewed as past. Perhaps it will take something as dramatic as Disclosure itself to pull us all out of our stupor? Even if when the news is broken we find out, as Jacobs has always said, it’s “Not Good News.” Maybe that will be the key? Something as awful as facing a new world, a stark new reality even, where humans are made brutally aware that they’re NOT in control… could it be that that awful moment would be the catalyst to finally unify us and give us the shared enemy we seem to need? Could it also be that that is why such Disclosure hasn’t happened?

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  7. AvatarLeslie Schwartz

    Richard,

    I agree with all of your points, but my focus is a little different than yours. Like you I abhor another four years of neocon, neolib establishment executive hack in chief. But true law and order at the highest levels of our society, the DOJ, and it’s AG, as well as the functionality of the Senate, the reasonable functioning of our foreign relationships are at great risk with Trump in for another four years.

    It literally is another election cycle where we have to choose between the lesser of two evils. My view also is that the same scenario played out in 2016, with Hilary, verses Trump, and some (many) people (not including me) came to the conclusion that Hilary was the greater evil. In other words, Trump won because he was not Hilary. Just as Biden is entirely likely to win this time because he is not Trump. I never believed for one nano-second that Trump was qualified to hold the office, any office of public trust. He was then and always has been and will be a total fraud, he is mentally, experientially and temperamentally unqualified.

    I differ with you then, that if we actually needed more proof of his total lack of suitability for the office, Trump provided it for us once again in last night’s debate.

    And comparatively Biden is qualified, by way of experience and temperament although he is past his expiration date, so to speak, and I strongly disagree with his lifetime of policy stances.

    I further believe that many people who witnessed that fiasco of a debate will come to the same very basic conclusions I am asserting. Trump is totally unfit and is corrupting the office as well as every aspect of constitutional law and order and every aspect of responsible governance, while Biden, despite his many limitations is a much safer and more logical presidential candidate choice.

    There really are few undecideds at this point, from the various articles I have seen, they range in at about 6% of likely voters, and given that it is entirely unlikely that they will all split one way between the candidates, the undecideds do not appear to hold the crucial balance in determining this election. Going either way a 4/2 or 3/3 split when they do decide will not change the election outcome we see in the current polling data, its a presumption that the polling consensus is accurate. Maybe a 4/2 split and allowing for the margin of error in any state poll, typically +/- 3 – 4 %, could push a few states to one candidate or another from the current consensus. However, I do not believe we will see an outcome much different than the consensus we have now from the polling experts about the likely outcome.

    I think other than the mechanics of voting and counting the votes, the decision this time has been made by enough people to fix the outcome.

    Trump won in 2016 because he was not Hilary, and Biden will win in 2020 because he is not Trump.

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    1. AvatarDaphne

      I agree with Leslie.
      I think Richard, you missed the point Biden has been making on the campaign trail. He believes if there had been a coordinated effort by the administration to handle the Covid spread there would have been fewer deaths. This includes mandated Masks…..Trump has never gotten behind this one simple CDC recommendation….He continues to have large rallies with no masks, no social distancing…..And Trump himself refuses to wear or endorse masks.
      Trump could have used the War Powers Act to research and produce massive amounts of Covid tests….and distributed them in a coordinated fashion across the country so we would have accurate Data of the spread. In stead he spent his time arguing with and criticizing Mayors and Governors, mostly in Blue states, for his own political gain. Not to mention to give him someone else to blame. Trump then discouraged testing all together stating that we did not need more testing, in fact he stated that we needed less testing.
      This Pandemic requires that all the power of the Federal Government be used to defeat it.
      As far as the economy…….Biden says if the entire county had the same testing capability that has been available to Sports teams and the White House then many more businesses and schools could have remained opened safely. Harvard developed a highly reliable and inexpensive rapid Covid test back in March.
      Just imagine if you could wake up every day and test yourself before leaving the house.
      So yes lives could have been saved but for our poor leadership.

      There was no winner of this debate because there was no debate.

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  8. AvatarKirsten RDMHost

    These LIVE debates are vitally important for the public to witness during a time when we can cherry-pick our own pre-edited news based on our own political preferences. I hope to hell that they don’t cancel the next ones, or that a certain someone doesn’t try to get out of showing up!

    As many of you know, my husband is a film editor, so I have witnessed over the past 17 years how a narrative can be easily spun with expert hand of a skilled production team. Because of this, (and if you like: “during this era of “FAKE NEWS”) it is important to continue to watch LIVE NEWS regularly as it unfolds on television….no matter how loath you are to watch mainstream TV stations.

    I saw this debate as revealing the true Trump….and the true Biden…in real time: A cornered malignant narcissist bashing everyone in the room, acting like a spoiled toddler vs. a doddering elderly man with a good mind, but sadly lacking his access to his sharp reflexes of the past

    It was even more revealing by having a “limited audience” because of COVID. Not a lot of audience means not a lot of feedback for the debaters to play to, (no matter how silent they are usually instructed to stay during a debate).

    Shitshow indeed! I’m not proud to say, I hit the gin & tonics within the first 5 minutes, and kept them going just to get through the whole horrible train wreck.

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  9. wildbill65401wildbill65401

    I told my wife last night that what we need is a true unifying candidate, like Ronald Reagan. I don’t care if the candidate is Republican or Democrat (and seriously, at this point, they are barely different from one another in my opinion). In 1984, Reagan destroyed Mondale by unheard of margins. It was insane. That tells me that the country truly approved of what he was doing. We need someone like that, and unfortunately, I look at the current of **ahem** people who are in prominent positions of power and they all act like petulant children.

    I am totally undecided on what to do come election day. The voting area I am to report ALWAYS has a huge line. I have no desire to wait in line for 2+ hours to vote for it to not really matter as the state I live in is going to go Republican regardless if I like that candidate or not. Sigh.

    Anyone know when I can buy a ticket on SpaceX to Mars? 🙂

    Wild Bill 🤠

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  10. Doctor3jDoctor3j

    What about no moderator. Free debate mano a mano, like they say for the Lincoln Douglas debates. That’s what it’s coming to anyway. Each will talk 80% of the time. You get 160 % content can listen several times. Eliminates the 12% of time the moderator uses up on scripted questions meant to distract from real issues.
    Free…….to discuss anything.

    As others have said, nothing is worse than totally scripted and choreographed propaganda.

  11. AvatarPressToDigitate

    Great analysis! I agree with just about everything you’ve written above.
    Interruptions in presidential debates have been a problem for years, and Trump is hardly the only offender. Some of the Democrat Debates earlier this year degenerated into food fights as well. What I don’t understand is why the Moderator(s) don’t have a set of “Mute” Buttons for each candidate’s microphone. It would be perfectly easy to solve the problem that way; one goes over time or interjects, they get a ‘Red Light’ (“Mic Off”) – and if they’re still going on, they’re talking to themselves, gesticulating in silence on camera. Problem Solved.

    Regarding one bit of propaganda that’s being circulated: The “Proud Boys” is NOT a “White Supremacist” organization. The head of the group is Black and fully *HALF* of their founders, board and leadership are Black, Hispanic or Gay. It is dishonest of the Dems and MSM to make them into some new “KKK”. Listen to the “Loot It All Back” rhetoric of the BLM leadership; that is a much closer parallel to the Klan. The Proud Boys haven’t gone out to challenge BLM, though; they’ve shown up to take on ANTIFA – who are violent Communists (and *White*) – and have gone otherwise unchallenged – BY ANYONE. We know where unchallenged violent Communists rioting in the streets will lead (because, “history”) but those who want to give ANTIFA and BLM a pass for their Biden Campaign Riots must share responsibility for the ruined cities and carnage that has resulted.

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      1. AvataritsmeRitaC

        There is no BLM organization with offices and a president, etc. Same thing with ANTIFA, which i think is a meme and i said that about three years ago, which was the first time i heard of it. I don’t know about Proud Boys, but i don’t know about those groups. I always have a feeling that most of them are not even in the real world. The FBI , as well you know, can create many groups for many reasons. My two cents on this. Anyone can post on FB, tweet and make signs. You may know somethings i don’t know……………………………..I don’t even trust who is who at the riots. I think it is like figuring out who is who regarding UFO information and disinformation which we know has often been intentional.

        I had personal experience with agents attempting to provoke little me, just standing at an antiwar protest in nyc ten years ago. They were obvious to me and they wanted to create anger and violence, but they were definitely ‘working’ for who knows? I told them they had too many tells. That threw them for a loop, but that is a long story………………………………………..

        Anyway, i generally agree with your summary although i couldn’t sit through most of show. I know that you are more positive toward Trump than i am, policy wise, but i have posted some of that as you know. I feel about Biden as you do. But i don’t equate ‘woke’ with left. In fact, i believe that term became popular after Trump was elected and is a creation of the DNC as far as i have been aware of it emanating throughout the media. I never hear it used by real individuals in the world.

        I do think the debate sums up the psyche of the good old USA. I haven’t thought there have been any real ‘debates’ in recent times to be honest. This is just the end game of the downward spiral. I know that there will not be election results for a long time after November. Maybe it is finally going to be Nero with a fiddle time……………………………………..

        I do see that the trend with this administration is to ignore the separation of ‘church’ and state. Nothing new in a way, but just more extreme and pervasive. There are definite social issues out there that matter to me. And i do have a huge problem with the supreme court nominee. I just threw that in since it was a topic last night.

        Thanks for taking the ‘risk’ of doing a debate review here. 🙂

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        1. AvatarPressToDigitate

          BLM *does* have an organizational structure and leaders; you just aren’t getting any reporting on it from the MSM. (and so does the more secretive ‘underground’ ANTIFA)

          https://nypost.com/2020/07/01/the-agenda-of-black-lives-matter-is-far-different-from-the-slogan/
          https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/black-lives-matter-has-terrorist-and-communist-inspirations-but-liberal-media-doesnt-care
          https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/report-blm-co-founders-lobbying-wing-is-funded-by-a-pro-communist-china-group
          https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/dont-let-the-black-lives-matter-organization-disappear-its-agenda
          https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/unleashing-chaos-extremists-commandeer-a-peaceful-racial-justice-movement-threatening-violence-in-a-neighborhood-near-you
          https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/blm-leader-arrested-for-allegedly-spending-200k-in-donations-on-tailored-suits-a-house-and-guns

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          1. AvataritsmeRitaC

            Hi PTD. I don’t get my information from msm. That you can believe, which includes Fox CNN and MSNBC and even PBS. I do get some from RT. And some of RT is quite mainstream, but i don’t bother with some of their programming. I have been aware of msm spin since the nineties. I recall the CNN all war ‘news’ during the ‘First’ Gulf War. I called it out as a big international u.s. weapons advertisement. Although of course oil was a big one as well. And…………..geopolitical games from the usa.

            I consider the Washington Examiner as well as the Post to be other versions of Fox news mentality.
            Peace, rita

          2. AvatarOgronWaitress

            Let’s see some HARD evidence that Antifa is an organisation with structure and leadership. Meanwhile let’s take a closer look at what the Proud Boys do and stand for, shall we? Or better not, leastways not on an empty stomach.

            I notice all those links are to a conservative newspaper. Are we meant to believe that a partisan organ owned by a right-wing billionaire is gonna feed us the truth on BLM?

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            1. AvataritsmeRitaC

              Thank you, OW! I tend to feel like i am in a bizarre bubble here. The Trumpinsista cult. And it is a cult. Followers believed he had magical powers and i believe his circle believes it as well. He is a super hero and invincible. I think his diagnosis will not even change that God image.
              rita

            2. Richard DolanRichard Dolan Post author

              Hi Rita, well, I am not such a person, and I suspect many others feel the same way. Anyway, I am glad that you and Ogron and many other brilliant lefties are here.

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            3. AvataritsmeRitaC

              Richard, i am replying to your reply to me, but there wasn’t a reply option under that comment. I know that isn’t true about you.

              Well, i just heard that Trump is coming out of the hospital tonight. I don’t know what to make of all the inner circle people, plus others that were at the Rose Garden event the other week who were hugging each other, etc, no masks………………..Evidently they are not immune, but i have to believe they feel that they were somehow untouchable by the virus. I now have the theory that it really is a cult like situation. It seems they they have a belief that they are divinely protected.

              It is so offensive to me that Trump is telling people that covid isn’t something to worry about after he gets treatment only the president or those on his level could ever, ever have. But if the steroids effect him emotionally, who could tell the difference?
              rita

      2. AvatarPressToDigitate

        I’d be very interested in your take on this recent phenomenon on college campuses of the need of “Safe Spaces” for students who feel “triggered” by events in politics, or news in the wider world:
        https://freebeacon.com/2020-election/case-western-offers-presidential-debate-safe-spaces/
        https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=8369
        (There are many more articles on this, its a real thing.)
        Since we don’t have kids, we may be less in touch with what today’s 18-23 year olds are like, but having been that age ourselves once (back in the Carter and Reagan years), the whole concept seems ….no other way to put this…..”Alien”. Since when do grown Humans – qualified to institutions of Higher Learning, at that, feel so ‘skittish’ about ordinary reality on this world that they have PTSD -type psychotic “triggering” episodes? Somehow, I don’t think we can just chalk it up to “bad parenting” by our generation, or “a permissive society” – as Spiro Agnew used to blame the riots of the 1960s on. We’re got a generation with a significant cohort among its future intelligentsia which – unlike any previous – is demonstrably ‘strange’. Why?

        You have kids that age (whom I’m sure are more resilient than most); do you – do THEY – have any explanation for what is *SO* different about young adults today? What’s wrong with these people? Its like they’re from *another planet* or something…

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        1. Richard DolanRichard Dolan Post author

          You’re asking question obviously about a huge topic. Clearly there has been a fundamental change in the psychological and I would say physical makeup young people during the past couple of generations. There are many factors at work, including changes in parental styles, the virtual banishment genuine recess in schools, and increasingly the elimination of unstructured play for children. All of these and many other factors have contributed to the creation of an exceptionally brittle psychological state, one in which young people less capable at such basic skills as conflict resolution and healthy social interaction than any previous generation I can think of. But all of these factors are part of the great trend that is moving all of humanity into something new and very different. It has to do with the global imposition of a 24/7 surveillance state and propaganda system that believes it necessary to create a new human being that will conform with the new global structure.
          I’m not sure that my kids have any special insights into this that the rest of us lack. Both of them are relatively well-adjusted, in my opinion. My daughter, now 22, went through a somewhat radicalized position while she was an undergraduate a couple of years ago, but thankfully she has moved beyond that. My son has seemed instinctively to avoid overt political discussions at all, which is interesting because he is as much of a historical geek as his father. But his focus in history is nearly exclusively on pre-modern human civilization, anything prior to, say, the industrial revolution. He knows much of the recent stuff of course, but start getting him onto the end of the Roman republic and you can hear him talk for hours. 🙂 we all have our ways of coping, I guess.

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          1. AvataritsmeRitaC

            That’s interesting, about your son’s historical interests.

            I forget when the safe space thing began. Was it when the therapy llamas came into our reality? 😉 I seem to have the concepts morphed.

            I think part of this, as far as colleges are concerned, is connected to a fear of being sued. Maybe that is also connected to what you are saying here.

          2. AvatarPressToDigitate

            The “fundamental [C]hange”, “factors at work” and “great trend that is moving all of humanity into something new and very different…. to do with the global imposition of a 24/7 surveillance state and propaganda system that believes it necessary to create a new human being that will conform with the new global structure”. Do you hear yourself, Richard? Yet, every word of that totally erudite, sophisticated, anodyne answer you gave could have been uttered by any mainstream Professor of Sociology, blissfully unaware of a 60 year ETUFO program to birth Alien progeny into our general population. Is it *really* required that we refrain from characterizing that ineffable “Great Trend” which “believes it [‘fundamental change’] necessary” as – possibly – evidence of large-scale incursion?

            In Afterlife Research, the nature of “Incarnational Amnesia” of Past Lives is a key topic, deserving of serious and urgent investigation. As with Autism, and perhaps Alzheimers, it may be indicative of the [Quantum] Soul not properly “seated” in the biological “wetware” (as all other physiological explanations offered for these conditions are lacking in evidence). We know that some lucky few have no such Amnesia, while in a great many others, there are at least *some* techniques able to overcome that block which we have already discovered, and have been used by many people successfully. So far, all of the techniques known to [Human] Past-Life investigators have been of a ‘Psychological’ nature – such as ‘Hypnosis’. But what if a race of ‘particularly clever, hyper-intelligent, pan-dimensional beings’ had sorted out a better understanding of this process [of “Incarnation”] than we have – I dunno, perhaps with *technology* of some kind?

            Maybe these strange kids being anomalously “triggered” by garden-variety politics isn’t what we should be worried about. What if there is some other (perhaps 5G-BCI) neurotechnical “Trigger” for them that awaits in future years, which unlocks their real nature, identity, and purpose [as in ‘Alien Past-Life Memories from Offworld’] ? If we had no proof of Human Reincarnation, it wouldn’t even occur to Ufology to look at this vector – But We Do.

            “Audentes fortuna iuvat.” – “Acta non verba.”

            1. AvataritsmeRitaC

              I followed along with your post here PD. Seriously. I personally work with past life regression at times in my practice, and i have also ‘gotten’ information for myself and others. It is not a ‘bad’ thing that these memories are not easily accessible, as there would be total confusion – this can happen in some cases and cause profound psychological problems but of course, main stream psychology does not recognize these things.

              I have no doubt at all that memories of lives in other ‘realities’ are also within our consciousness. In the end it is all interconnected. I happen to believe that the potential for people to be far more aware of these realities exists and that there is a future where that will be the result of an evolutionary quantum leap. By the way, the regression process works with people who don’t even believe in ‘past lives’, although that term is itself very limited. Consciousness is multidimensional. And i have just scratched the surface of the surface here.
              rita

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        2. AvataritsmeRitaC

          “You have kids that age (whom I’m sure are more resilient than most); do you – do THEY – have any explanation for what is *SO* different about young adults today? What’s wrong with these people? Its like they’re from *another planet* or something…”

          Are you implying something here about the origins of that generation? I am sincerely asking.
          rita

            1. AvataritsmeRitaC

              Based on the few posts i have read here, i really can’t tell when you are being humorous. And i am usually very quick to pick up on that.

      3. AvatarOgronWaitress

        Antifa IS an idea, a rallying point, not an organisation. I won’t bother to refute the many distortions and inaccuracies in PtD’s posting, it would probably cut into my supper time.

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  12. AvatarGreg

    Hi Richard,

    There’s a litany of things to keep us awake at night, completely aside for the UFO/ET issues that usually occupy us here: Looming shortages of critical resources (not just conventional oil). Accelerated environmental degradation, not the least of which is topsoil depletion and the insect apocalypse. The decline of free republics and the rise of totalitarian systems. Etc. Etc. Among the people with intelligent things to say about these issues are Gail Tverberg, Chris Martenson, Catherine Austin Fitts and you, just to mention a few voices of sanity.

    The opposite of such commentary is what presidential debates have become.

    By the debased standards of today’s politics, there did seem to be some strategies in play last night. Trump apparently was wanting to solidify his base, while attempting to alienate Biden from his far left supporters. Biden was apparently wanting to draw support from independents/undecideds by portraying himself as a moderate who was in charge, not the far left. Biden interfered with his strategy by refusing to take a stand on court packing, for example. (“Vote for me first, “fellow moderate” and if I wind up betraying you afterwards, tough beans.” Not very persuasive.) And a genuinely neutral moderator would have pressed Biden to give an answer.

    Trump might have reassured some undecideds if he had reminded the audience that “good people on both sides” referred to those debating about the status of the statues; he had specifically repudiated white supremacism at that time. But if he had answered in that fashion, he may have alienated some voters on the right. It’s a tight contest; neither candidate wants to single out voting blocs, however reprehensible, who might provide the margin of victory.

    Now, I don’t think the far left will drop their support for Biden on account of his implied repudiation of them. If his perceived moderation increases his chance of winning, that’s all too the good from the far left’s point of view. Once in office, Biden can either be bent to their will, or soon replaced with Harris. On the other hand, Biden’s inconsistent remarks and lack of candor may make the independents/undecideds trust him less than Trump: whatever Trump’s faults, he’s not going to acquiesce to the United States’ version of Mao’s Red Guard.

    I think that most voters are in the unhappy position of deciding which candidate is the lesser of two evils, rather than the greater of two goods (like Adlai Stevenson vs Eisenhower). The voter who thinks Trump is the lesser evil is not ipso facto a racist; and the voter who thinks Biden is the lesser of two evils is not ipso facto a Maoist. Chances are, they’re people who could get together and figure out sensible solutions, if they refuse to be bamboozled into fighting each other by all the disinfo.

    I think many of our major messes would have occurred even without AHO mischief. But even a “conventional” grasp of our problems would be infinitely preferable to the current confusion, and a much better starting point for considering the effects of off-planet mischief.

    Richard, your body of work includes many helpful insights concerning issues of interest to people outside the UFO community. Within our community, you’ve shown how important it is to integrate UFO phenomena with the other big issues of the day. Thanks for your smizdats of sanity.

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  13. AvatarEd Claytor

    Very well written Richard , your are right on point. Who every gave Trump that strategy should be fired. Unfortunately I think President Trump, himself went off script. There is a old Trailer Park saying about never pick a fight with an old man. You win everyone thinks you not much of person for beating up an old man. You lose, Everyone thinks you just got your backside handed to you by an old man. Lose /Lose strategy. Yes I believe also that its going to get whole worse before its better.

    1. AvatarOgronWaitress

      Trump behaved as he did in order to bamboozle and enrage an old man whom he though he could trip up. His cynical ploy backfired on him. Biden let Trump speak and wanted to deal with the issues. Trump however interrupted CEASELESSLY turning the debate into the shit show that Richard rightly calls it. This is on Trump, but still the orange fantasist insists the polls ranked him higher. They didn’t. He was exposed as the empty bully he really is.

  14. Avatarjjsedona

    Not sure if you watched the same debate as I did. Ahahahaha! The one I watched was mostly Trump debating Mike Wallace, who did a shameful job as a left-leaning moderator. He came to Biden’s rescue at every turn, interrupted Trump 73 times and then ran the clock out so Trump was unable to answer the question.

    Admittedly, I am NOT a supporter of Biden, who I think is too old and too creepy to be POTUS. His fondling of children makes me queasy and Harris is not fit to be in any kind of public office even tho we all know she’s BF’s with Hillary.

    The turning point where Trump clearly won the debate was when Wallace asked if Trump were willing to condemn white supremist groups and to say they need to stand down and not add to the violence in cities like Kenosha and Portland. Ahahahaha! What a crock of bull puckies. We know where the violence is coming from – and Trump has offered to send in the National Guard and federal troops, but the governors/mayors always respond “that’s OK, we have it under control while they march with those doing the burning, looting and acts of terror in the streets. Unreal. But this is the way MSM works to shift the focus away from the Democratic’s allegence to ANTIFA and the BLM – the terrorist groups who are causing violence in the streets which the Republicans HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH. It is NOT a bilateral problem – Trump and others have offered to help. Ahahaha! Oh my. Trump maintained his presidential composure and said, “Sure, I’m willing to do that – does this not count?” He just said “everything I see is from the left, NOT the right.” This is true. Then Wallace and Biden teamed up on Trump because they were not happy with Trump’s answer. Wallace: “Then do it! Say it say it say it.” Ahahaha!~ Trump already said it – he said he condemned it. “What – do you want me to call them? Give me a name – what would you like me to condemn?” United, both Wallace and Biden said “White supremists, the proud boys. I noticed that they didn’t mention any names. I also noticed that Wallace never put old sleepy Joe on the spot. (By this point, Biden was having a hard time keeping his eyes open). Trump said, “Proud boys, stand back and stand by.” So Trump did tell them to stand down, but did Biden tell ANTIFA or BLM to stand down? Not that I can recall.

    Biden got a pass. Harris said that this violence was going to go on after the election but Wallace framed the questions to make Trump look like he was responsible for the violence. Most who were paying attention saw right thru this.

    Stanton Friedman always said “You demonstrated the primary rules such as selective choice of data, false reasoning, positive and negative name calling. If you resort to name calling during a debate, you automatically lose the debate. When data can not be refuted, attack the person, it’s much easier.” I thought about this as I heard Biden call Trump a “clown” numerous times because Biden could not refute the truth Trump was speaking about.

    I thought Trump did pretty well. The fact that Trump got Biden to deny his support of the Green New deal when he clearly states on his website that he does support it….genius! Best line of the debate is Trump telling Biden “you just lost the Left.” Trump should have really let him have it and was clearly holding back. I await the next debate, should there be one, where Trump can finish mopping up. Still to come: Hunter Biden, Hillary’s Russian collusion, abortion, violence, and a mod who doesn’t interrupt.

    And next time, let’s have that drug test, check for wires on the candidates, check eyes and ears for electronic devices and a different moderator.

    1. Richard DolanRichard Dolan Post author

      I agree with you about Wallace, I still think that Trump handled the matter in a very unfortunate way for his prospects. Still, October will likely be an eventful month. Everything right now is volatile, and truly anything can happen.

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    2. AvatarOgronWaitress

      “Trump said, “Proud boys, stand back and stand by.” So Trump did tell them to stand down”

      Er, no. He did not. What he actually said, and you quoted him yourself, was…”stand back and stand by”.

      If you can mangle English and logic to such a wanton degree, I’m unsure how anyone can take your other points seriously.

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  15. Pyroxide_MartiniPyroxide_Martini

    What an unmitigated disaster… I caught some of it and it was just an embarrassment. Is this what the “world’s greatest democracy” has come to? From an outsider’s perspective we are used to America naming itself “the greatest” routinely but honestly these day’s America is the equivalent of the movie “Alien 3”. The golden age is seemingly over and the latest instalment is just pure trash. Hopefully American politics re-establishes itself in the future and doesn’t start pumping out more awful sequels (though Alien 4 was somewhat more watchable). I wouldn’t vote for either candidate TBH. For the rest of the world, we need America (unfortunately) and seriously your politicians just need to get their sh-t together, f-ck the lobby groups off, prevent donations from outsiders and actually provide a budget for each party that’s federally funded and limited to prevent further corruption. It’s about governing for the betterment of mankind and creating a more equal, educated, sustainable and thriving society.

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  16. Avatarjennymemon

    Ooh I didnt watch cause I hate debates, they make me cringe and give me anxiety! But I am tempted now, who can resist a good shitshow?

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  17. AvatarJ-Rod

    My interest and understanding of politics is minimal. I didn’t see the debate, just bits and pieces on a news broadcast. I’ve seen enough of Biden in past speeches and I guess it beckons the question ; in the event of an invasion (human) who would you want to be making the decisions?

  18. Avatarstlthlvis@hotmail.com

    Watching this “altercation” brought back the feelings I used to get as a child when overhearing my parents argue. Not to say those two are parental figures to me. That feeling of people who are supposed to “know what they are doing” showing their worst side and proving they are no wiser than I is a familiar source of disappointment. I wish it was not so.
    I saw it coming but truly did not expect much more than what we saw. Someone who can be a good president in the world today has to have a certain set of characteristics and being a role model or even a nice guy isnt necessarily one of them. Sadly Trump is the only one in my adult life who even comes close. In a different world or at a different time the standards would be much much higher.
    At this moment in our country’s development I believe we need to restore the ideas and principals outlined in our constitution and declaration of independence. We desperately need to rediscover our lost foundation if we ever hope to achieve the America we are meant to be. It is a very, very long road. We have to bury the swamp before we can begin to rebuild. Trumps ego might just be the supernatural force we need to accomplish this. I hope and pray it is.

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  19. controlrodcontrolrod

    The number of Undecided Voters should include those that are undecided about voting at all.

    Thanks Richard,

    Yes you stuck your neck out with this.

    One point I would like to make is about undecided voters. The common consensus is this amounts to 5 or 6%. I believe the number is much greater and should include those that are undecided about voting at all. I am one of these people. Trump / Biden is not a choice. Neither Candidate represents a clear choice for California. I would also like to point out that all the old rhetoric about this being a “Free” Country has ended. As I said last month in a post that caused a moderator to go ballistic, I may “write in” my preferred choice for President as “None of the Above.”

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  20. AvatarAndromeda107

    I didn’t get to watch it ,I was working,but I did see parts of it on youtube, and from the name the calling to the and not being able to finish answering a question, and the talking over each other,I could tell from just those short clips it was a disaster on both sides

  21. Robert McGwierRobert McGwier

    **SHIT SHOW** is too light.

    I doubt now that our president has COVID-19 there will be any more debates.

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  22. AvatarGary Calderaz

    The debates make me glad the “Deep State” is actually in control of the “Launch Codes”. What do we know of the Deep State? As our Masters, are they all bad? Are there factions? Sure, in an ideal world we would elect our leaders through a democratic process, but, just look at these idiots!— Gary Calderaz

  23. AvatarMarkS

    I still believe that the United States of America is the greatest country in the history of the world. That doesn’t mean we have always been good neighbors to the rest of the world or even to our own people. What it does mean is that we were founded on the ideal of all men being created equally. We have a constitution that guarantees life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Throughout our history, that constitution has had to be updated occasionally as a way of making it better and more inclusive. Abolishing slavery, making former slaves citizens, giving women the right to vote should have been assumed in, “all men created equally,” but it wasn’t. Our country probably wouldn’t have gotten off the ground if all the rights of today were included in the beginning.
    It’s taken us 244 years to get where we are today with our laws and constitution. Are we done? Not hardly, but we keep trying. When I hear people shouting, “Burn it down, start over!” I think of all the people who have died over those 244 years trying to, ” get it right.” I’m not ready to burn it down and start over. I think what we have in place gives the most opportunity and security to the most number of people, races, genders, ( I think we are up to 54 now), nationalities and sexual orientations than any other region of the world.
    Our problems have always come from people who don’t think the law applies to themselves. If we want our constitution to endure, we must root these people out. What went on in the Obama/Biden administration in 2016 must never be allowed to happen again. Biden may not be a far left candidate, but if elected, all of the people who nearly destroyed what we have worked so long and hard for will get away with their crimes.
    I will support whichever candidate will honor and protect our constitution and right now that is President Trump.

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  24. AvatarGary Calderaz

    R.D. has written extensively about a break away “organization” influencing our nation (the world?). Do you truly believe it may be a possibility, can you accept that it MAY be possible? Dolan’s not alone. Joseph P. Farrell and Catherine Austin Fitts appear to be saying our political process is a mere distraction. IF my interpretation of their message is correct, there is a whole lot we are missing because we have been staring at the “sh_t st__m” instead of what they don’t want us to see._Gary Calderaz

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