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These debates are worthless … read a book

These debates are worthless … read a book


President Donald Trump, left, and Democrat Joe Biden are shown at the Sept. 29 presidential debate in Cleveland. 

President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden have one more debate scheduled, on Oct. 22.

I won’t be watching. Enough is enough.

These “debates” are silly exercises in which there is no debating. It’s merely listing, in an exaggerated fashion, why everything you are for is cool and everything the other guy is for stinks. Oh, and did I mention the interruptions and talking over each other?

Stephen Stills put it best:

“A thousand people in the street

Singin' songs and a-carryin' signs

Mostly say "Hooray for our side"

I heard most of the first Trump-Biden wrestlemania because I was driving. At times it was difficult to tell who was yelling. I lasted 45 minutes in the Pence-Harris affair and then bolted to the front porch to read about trees. Excellent decision.

• Some random thoughts:

• 90 minutes is way too long.

• The moderators aren’t given enough control. They should have a kill switch like radio hosts do to flush annoying callers.

• No one ever admits that the other guy ever did or said anything good.

Heck, I saw that happen in last week’s Corvallis City Council town hall for Ward 7. Multiple times incumbent Paul Shaffer and challenger Nic Bowman noted that they agreed with each other on an issue. How refreshing is that?

Why is it that a Corvallis “debate” is more respectful and informative than one for the highest office in the land?

And when have presidential debates mattered? What presidential election post-1960 was influenced by debate performances? Maybe Gerald Ford saying that the Soviet Union wasn’t really dominating Eastern Europe in his 1976 session with Jimmy Carter. But Ford already was toast after pardoning Nixon.

Yes, George H.W. Bush looked at his watch in his foray with Clinton and Perot in 1992, but is that why 62% of Americans pushed the button for someone else? Don’t think so.

The best smackdown in a debate came in the VP affair in 1988 when Lloyd Bentsen fricasseed Dan Quayle by saying he was “no Jack Kennedy.”

Quayle and HW Bush somehow won 40 states despite the debate debacle.

I vote for an end to these debates.

Contact reporter James Day at or 541-812-6116. Follow at or


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