Will it Really be a Debate?

hillary-trumpI will be surprised if tonight’s town hall event featuring Hillary vs Trump is anything like a debate. I am expecting a mud slinging contest.

Any discussion of the issues will probably be lost in the X-rated crossfire.

Spoiler alert: Trump will remind voters that Bill Clinton has a history of infidelity and Hillary will spotlight Trump’s consistently despicable behavior toward women.

Meanwhile, more bombs will fall on Syrian civilians, Kim Jong Un will test more nuclear missiles, Vladimir Putin will threaten more military aggression, ISIS will commit more unspeakable atrocities, the Saudis will massacre more goat herders in Yemen…

And on the home front, widening income inequality will spark more explosive anger, Congress will be frozen by more partisan stupidity, gun violence will claim more innocent lives, terrorists will plot more deadly strikes… and there will be more ethnic divisiveness, gender divisiveness, sexual-orientation divisiveness, generational divisiveness…

With just a month to go before election day, the real stakes are almost forgotten in a flurry of tabloid headlines.

Who will fill forthcoming vacancies on the Supreme Court?  Will the next President be “pro-choice” or “pro-life”?

Who has plausible solutions to America’s challenges at home and abroad?

Who is likely to ensure effective domestic-security measures and a common-sense foreign policy to keep us safe?

Who is likely to work with a deadlocked Congress to get desperately needed action on infrastructure repair, job creation and retraining, immigration reform?

Who will provide child care and family leave for working parents, a living wage for breadwinners, a soft landing for returning veterans, accessible quality education for all, a fair and productive tax code, criminal justice reform?

Who is likely to heal the wounds inflicted by the savagery of this election?

Of course, tonight’s debate audience will ask some of these questions.

But I’m afraid the answers will likely be drowned out by the lurid revelations of this tawdry election campaign.

More on the debate