Once upon a time, it felt like a public duty to witness the beads of sweat lining Richard Nixon’s lips while the glowing complexion of John F. Kennedy burned visible anxiety into said grumble face made for print media and the quotes that come with it. Once upon a time, there was the underlying sense that gentlemen (now women, too!) standing atop a stage in front of tens of millions of people to discuss the fate of our still-young nation was a piece of this, our great democracy, a piece not to be missed. And then 2015 happened: The debates had to be split into kids’ table and grown-ups’ table by dint of polling percentages, and all of American life turned into a reality show based around a pageant based around hate and ignorance based around what the hell life has turned into.
By no means does this column mean to discourage public communication by those who would like their finger on the imaginary red button or desire to have their private lives ravaged by the altitude of overexpression. Heavens, no. We’re all spectators out here. Bring on the dancing horses.
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