I hadn’t realized I could watch an American political event and feel grief — and humiliation.
Progress is not inevitable. We have to earn it. This mess happened because we allowed it to happen. Through our negligent distraction, we created a society in which an emotionally disturbed child could become president. Our civic discourse has devolved from the Lincoln-Douglas debates to what might as well be pro wrestling. (I talked about this on Fox News’ Oct. 2, 2020 edition of “Your World with Neil Cavuto.”)
I predicted the debate would be bad, and in the way it was. And even still, I wasn’t prepared for how bad it was. Below is what I wrote on social media — and if you think I’m exaggerating about attention spans, consider this: one of Facebook’s top metrics for ad success is how many people watch a video for three seconds.
The conservative icon William F. Buckley said, “Never debate with an amateur” — they’ll just yell whatever they want and you’ll get lost — and you’ll lose — in the chaos.
This may be the biggest risk that Joe Biden faces in the debate: Trump generating endless sound and fury, signifying nothing, and thereby dragging Biden into the void.
The risk is made much greater if Biden tries to develop arguments that require more than a short phrase to state: Trump will ensure no one can hear the middle, let alone the finish.
Biden should aim for perfecting the first second of his answer — after that second, attention spans fall off rapidly, and are largely gone between the 5 and 10-second marks.
It’s a sorry place to find ourselves, considering the debate format was handed down to us by Socrates. But it’s where we are. Trump knows it — and furthermore, as someone with no attention span himself, he’s in his element.