In 1960, a gentlemanly quarrel about these two tiny islands was the most significant policy difference in the Kennedy-Nixon debate, though historians call the proceedings a watershed event in televised politics.
Nixon said the islands off China’s coast merited Cold War saber-rattling. Kennedy said they didn’t.
The Clinton-Trump presidential debates? Nothing of that sort. Really, nothing at all. However, I’m here to convince you that they were the most important, and yes, substantive, ever.
They were important because we saw the substance in both candidates. More accurately: In one candidate we saw substance; in the other we saw a charred crater.
As many have observed, any real policy distinctions in these debates were obscured by layers of tar and slime. Personal distinctions, however, became crystal-clear, like – you know, the first time the optometrist fits you for corrective lenses.
The polls say hundreds of thousands of Americans watched these debates and exclaimed, “Oh, my goodness; I see.”