Tuesday night’s first “raucous” debate between President Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden proves that “the traditional model of presidential debates does not work very well,” said Laura Ingraham on Wednesday morning.
In general, argued the host of “The Ingraham Angle,” debates over modern general elections have been low stakes and have pitted candidates against each other who are rarely very different from one another. For example, said Ingraham, the four debates between Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon during the 1960 campaign took place at a time of “peace and prosperity.”
“[Lyndon] Johnson and [Sen. Barry] Goldwater had passionate differences, but they did not debate [in 1964]she said. “Nixon and [Vice President Hubert H.] Humphrey and [Alabama Gov. George] Wallace had some major differences, but they didn’t debate [in 1968]. Nixon and [Sen. George] McGovern had huge differences on all issues [in 1972], but they didn’t debate either. “
In 1976, President Gerald Ford and Democratic Governor of Georgia Jimmy Carter shared the stage for three debates, the first since the famous Kennedy-Nixon clashes sixteen years earlier, but according to Ingraham, “neither had very strong personalities. no stage presence “.
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After Ronald Reagan largely defeated Carter in 1980 and Senator Walter Mondale four years later, “for over three decades we had middle-class candidates who weren’t that far apart on most issues.” . said the host. “And under the circumstances, it is not surprising that we have become accustomed to the soporific debates.
“But the stakes in 2016 and the stakes in 2020, they’re really, really big. A lot of money and a lot of power and a lot of freedom: everything is up for grabs.”
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Ingraham added: “We have monumental choices to make, and some people are really going to lose a lot. Under the circumstances, the traditional model of presidential debates does not work very well. It is a model designed to bring out minor distinctions and quibble. It’s not really designed to deal with the kind of dramatic disagreements we’ve seen tonight and in our politics today.
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“But what we need now is a model that gives candidates more time to explain their point of view and to present voters with what is really at stake. Because like it or not. , voters have to choose – not us in the media, but you, ”she continued.
“Now it’s not like 2000, when the stakes just weren’t that high. Losing this election will really hurt – and will take a very long time. I think the more you will let everyone have their say, even if they’re angry and upset, the better off we’ll all be. “