Sharp: Why are Presidential Debates Continuing Without any Significant Public Interest?

by | Dec 13, 2023 | Opinion

The 2024 Presidential primary cycle has lacked the flash and glitter of years past.  With Robert F. Kennedy Jr opting to run with no party affiliation it appears that Joe Biden will not face a significant primary challenge to be the Democrat Nominee.  Donald Trump is leading all Republican Primary polls by a large margin that only appears to be growing.  

Despite both parties having candidates who appear to be well on their way to being nominated, the Republican Party continues to stage debates in an attempt to bolster any other candidate than Donald Trump.  The November 30th Ron DeSantis vs. Gavin Newsom debate might have been the most awkward of them all.  

I cannot come up with a single logical reason as to why a primetime debate would take place between someone who is not running for president and someone who should not be running for president.  Looking for other opinions on why this debate was taking place, I reached out to political icon Roger Stone as to his opinion.   Roger simply responded “Newsome is debating to advertise his availability. DeSantis is debating as a hail Mary pass in a desperate effort to breathe life into his dying campaign”.  

While I agree with Roger’s assessment, I have begun to wonder if there is a broader attempt to shift public opinion.  It would be easy to make the argument that Ron DeSantis and Gavin Newsom in a public debate was a uniparty attempt to remind the public what a Republican and a Democrat “should” look like.  Both men are beloved by the establishment wings of their party, they are youthful and well spoken.  Donald Trump is a wildcard who doesn’t always fit the GOP mold, and Joe Biden is simply a liability the more he is allowed to speak.  

There has been much speculation online and in political circles that Newsom may enter the 2024 presidential election cycle as a candidate.  Newsom has a long history of being a party yes man and barring a tragedy for Biden I find this highly unlikely.  Newsom is ambitious and is likely positioning himself for a 2028 campaign.   Meanwhile the RNC continues to pour money into hosting establishment debates where the vast majority of time is spent discussing foreign funding rather than issues that would affect the majority of average Americans.  If America has learned anything about the GOP from watching these debates it is that the party has been hijacked by necons who want to send your hard earned dollars and sons and daughters to foreign lands.  Outside of Vivek Ramaswamy, this has been on full display from every GOP candidate who has attended these debates.  

It would be reasonable to ask if the GOP is more concerned with recapturing the White House or defeating Donald Trump.  While spending significant amounts of money to produce slick television broadcasts, there has been minimal if any effort to fight for election integrity or to truly reach voters where they are and educate them on how the process works.  

Is either major party in the American political system concerned with representing the American people or are they both just concerned with consolidating power and wealth?  It’s uncomfortable, but it’s a question that must be asked. 

Follow Tim Sharp on X at @realtimsharp.

NEXT: The Lost Expedition of Sir John Franklin

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