Trump's just gonna wing the debates

I expect to see a lot of this.

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Please no. I’ve gone through so much popcorn this year already, I think I’m going to have to swear off the stuff.

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Well, the guy they had on The Nightly Show is obviously free now…

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Well in the UK we recently discovered that it was slightly more than half of the voters.
(OK, that was a low blow. But it still bothers me that it might be as much as 20%, and they are the ones who are highly motivated to vote in a scenario like this.)

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There are only four undecided voters at this time…


Via: The Last Four Undecided Voters - by Matt Bors

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Soon to be 3… The person on the bottom right is going to hear the litany of beloved icons who have died this year, and end up back in the coma until 2017.

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The way I am most frightened of is the “Lockbox” direction where an affable but incompetent opponent beats the stiff but qualified candidate. http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/cold-opening-gore--bush-first-debate/n11360

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Relevant quote from Roger Ailes’ wiki page:

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Let’s hope they fill the orchestra pit with something deadly. Vipers?

ETA: To prevent anyone diving in, of course.

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Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?

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And this is t-Rump’s problem - if he goes off script, he alienates anyone reasonable, but if he’s half-way articulate and reasonable, he alienates his core fanbase. Then there are the arch-conservatives who really, really want any excuse that allows them to vote for him (“he’s not that bad!”), and the super-low information voters who can connect with his populist economic message but are turned off by his being a dumpster fire, so if he can walk anything close to some middle path, he might bring them on without alienating his existing supporters. The question is if he can hold it together long enough to do that - history suggests not.

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In my dreams, both candidates are surprised upon arrival at the debate to find that it will be conducted via the rules of debate as practiced in American High Schools. There is a panel of judges who will keep score and at the end, a winner will be announced.

Both candidates flail uselessly until they figure out that they need to actually use references and directly rebut each others remarks. The match barely goes to Hillary, but the High School level rules of debate cause mass boredom among the supporters of her opponent. A common complaint is that the debate was too long and boring and the candidates needed to “speak English.” At least, that’s how I remember it going when I was in High School.

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I must:

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Due to having a restaurant supply store membership, I’ll buy a 50 lb bag of Act II kernels and just pop a cup at a time or so. Great healthy snack when you don’t have the movie-theater butter stuff. Takes me about a year or so to get through. I think I’ve been going through it faster this year. :rolling_eyes:

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Trumps debate strategy, approach to interviews, and weirdly his entire campaign approach resembles the Gish Gallop.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Gish_Gallop

Its essentially the shot gun approach. Eat up time by throwing out as many small, disprovable or non-sequetor statements as you can. Bully and interrupt the other debaters so they get minimal chance to respond or redirect. It keeps the substance of the debate entirely on your terms. And attempting to refute any of the statements can quickly bog a person down, as now all you’re doing is questioning/debunking individual statements. And its next to impossible to do that for so many in the time allotted. And even if you do successfully point out the fallacies in the major points, the judges/audience are often left with the impression that since you didn’t disprove all of it, you haven’t undercut the central concept or done anything to bolster you’re own argument.

Its not a valid debate strategy, doesn’t make for good and effective arguments, and its a definite sign of a serious huckster. But it does give me some pause. Because even very talented, experienced debaters often have trouble working around a Gish Gallop. You need to be active about getting your allotted time, avoid the pit falls of actually fact checking each statement, and find some way to recapture control. That can be tough, particularly in the face of a manic stream of endlessly repeated statement insisting some falsehood.

IIRC the typical tactic is to ignore the steady steam of BS, stick to making your argument and attacking the other guys position. Call out interruptions, fight for your allotted time. ETC. Basically an active version of ignoring it, while trying to avoid being put on the defensive.

So while it worries me a bit. Clinton is known as an excellent debater. And a presidential debate is sort of a different beast. Its not the sort of scored collegiate or stunt debate where you can “win” on points to claim success despite coming off like an asshole and noone buying your argument. The gallop is well enough known in the debating field that rules are often put in place to prevent it. And a presidential debate is a lot higher profile, with a lot more scrutiny. The press is resolutely not having Trumps bullshit these days. And in a presidential debate even otherwise weak journalists/moderators often make a show of being a little harsher.

So its kind of a wash. If he can get away with his usual approach, and Clinton hasn’t specifically prepared for the great flood of horse patoot, he might come off well to the American public (which is the point after all). But its probably more likely that in the face of some one not insane or weak willed. With moderators and formatting that don’t allow rambling nonsense. That he either comes of as a fool or collapses/explodes. In which case he falls back to petty accusations of “rigged” debates and unfair treatment from the press. A thing that’s not working for him. Though I’m sure that’s his thinking. Its a win win in his mind. If he comes out successful he’s the best, greatest debater! HUGE debates! If he loses he thinks he can make hay by blaming the media and scary conspiracies.

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On the other side, Stephanie Miller, liberal talk radio host, fell into the orchestra pit during her stage performance of “The Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour.” Would that help?

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I want to believe that that is Julie Andrews singing. If not it’s a wonderful imitator.

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Thank the deities that Trump is nowhere near that affable.

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