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Well, that's over.

Well, that's over.

John Donvan
Thursday, October 20, 2016

"Such a nasty woman."
"He choked."
"No YOU'RE the puppet!"

That's how low it went last night, in the third and last of the so-called "debates" between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. As an example of civic discourse, it was an embarrassment. Once again, we saw a display of:

a) Pivoting away from valid questions 
b) An all-out personal insult strategy 

That is not debate. It's the antithesis of debate.
And that's a shame, because for the first 25 minutes or so, under the guidance of Fox News' Chris Wallace (in my opinion, the best of this cycle's moderators), the two candidates did, actually, debate -- substantively. For a little while, discussing the significance of the Supreme Court, and then immigration, both candidates explained what they believed in, and what they would do in office, and why.
And then. Then, we got the next 65 minutes of it. They just couldn't help themselves. My tweet when it was all over: "wow. depressing."
But here's what's good: we're going to have a REAL debate on Wednesday, one that can remind us not only of what debate should look like, but how uplifting it can be. Our proposition, straight from the better portion of last night's encounter, is this:
Give Undocumented Immigrants a Path to Citizenship
I can tell you this: all four of our debaters are committed to taking the question seriously, as well as their mission to persuade you with facts and logic. They know that, in our debates, dodging, weaving and putting down the other side is how you lose. Proving your point is how you win. That's real debate. We do it all the time. And it's inspiring.
And boy, we could all use some of that right now.

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