The Republican Debate Sounded like My Facebook Feed…

…And I don’t mean that in the good way. 

First there was a question based on a YouTube link to the red-haired guitar guy who is very angry. Everyone is required to say that he is correct and a good person who is not confused at all, so that the uncles in the audience will agree to send them money. 

There was Mike Pence, dropping a Bible quote out of nowhere, to a response that can best be described as equal parts cringe and “GOBBLESS!”

There was Ron Desantis, the guy who rage-types with the anger of a thousand suns in a way that feels strangely rehearsed but when you see him at a diner he’s way too nice in a socially awkward way. (Plus, he does the Hide the Pain Harold smile. Google it / you’re welcome.) 

Tim Scott, yawn. Whatever. He’s like your GenX friend who smoked too much weed and now speaks like every one of his sentences is profound, but in reality he offers nothing original.

Vivek Ramaswamy, a guy you knew in college who can only be summed up as manically libertarian, “yes-and”ing Trump’s improvised ideology with more Bannonesque calls to dissolve half of the government. All because he doesn’t want to pay more in taxes, even though he can definitely afford to. Voted most likely to post “the grind never ends” memes and use the word “bootstraps.” 

An abortion debate between seven men – with the only woman on the stage, Nikki Haley, suggesting a *relatively* less extremist compromise, only to get labeled an evil coward by the Jesus guy.

Chris Christie, trying so, so hard to be the adult in the room (there’s a first for everything) and getting torn to shreds by a rabid audience for it. All they want is 30 more years of Trump. Founding fathers be damned. Take that, libs!

Even Doug Burgum, your local Constitution-in-the-pocket enthusiast (fake and weird) who tried to stuff so many buzzwords into every sentence that it sounded more like a telegraph than a cogent thought. 

Everyone shouting over one another and going for the jugular the second there’s a disagreement about anything. 

The “lightning round” nobody asked for, in which the format requires the stupidest, most reductive answer to complicated questions possible, in the least amount of time. (Literally zero people cared about the UFO question. Sign of the times, man.)

And, last and absolutely least, Asa Hutchinson, the guy on your friends list most likely to make you think, “who are you again?”

If there’s a macro-level inference to be made from all of this, it’s that the debate was annoying because we have become more annoying too. A far cry from the Lincoln-Douglas format of presenting an argument and respectfully cross-examining that of your opponent in an allotted amount of time for the purpose of clarity, this debate was chaotic and way more about vibes than science, logic, or decorum. Because who has time for that anymore? This debate was nothing short of apocalyptic in tone, and that’s because a good chunk of America feels like the country is falling apart.

The internet and the state of our world and economy have made us less attentive, less thoughtful, more susceptible to dopamine hits, more extreme and combative, more desperate, and more comfortable with a worldview that’s easily validated than one that’s productively challenged – and it shows! I am craving the day that America decides that this is all very exhausting.

The next debate is September 27th, and once again it will be a mirror of America’s worst. So get your popcorn ready – they’re earning those ratings no matter what.

Dave Pilmenstein is an award-winning media strategist who prides himself on not raising your blood pressure.

Pic by Morry Gash of the Associated Press.

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7 responses to “The Republican Debate Sounded like My Facebook Feed…”

  1. When Trump and Tucker Carlson released their pre-recorded video at that same time as the RNC debate, the video–on Twitter X–has now garnered over 250 MILLION views, vs. the debate, which was much worse than the 2015 debate viewership, the debate was a “nothing burger”.

    I wonder what Dave Pilmenstein would call the EMPTY-SUIT DEMOCRAT PRESIDENT and mentally challenged Vice-President??? Especially when they have a real, live candidate in RFK, Jr. willing to take on the entire government as well. Pilmenstein has no words for the Democrats because he is doubtless, a “useful idiot” for the Democrat-Communist apparatchik.

  2. NoMoreMarxistsInDC is confused. The real empty suit just got booked at the Fulton County jail.

  3. Nomoremarxists is absolutely correct in my opinion.

    Mr. Schnackenberg, calling anyone an empty head, numbnutz or other insults achieves nothing. You loose all credibility. No wonder you are not taken very seriously.

    You are entitled to vote for Biden. In reality it’s a vote for Kamala. I hope anyone voting Biden Harris is satisfied with the results. You get what you vote for.

  4. Biden’s agenda, or who ever is really running the country, has been to weaken America military, embolden Chinese, Iranian and Russian aggression, increase gas & food prices, destroy free speech, control social media & the press,
    Push racial divisions, arrest political enemies, push perverted sexual norms, destroy religion,
    End the Second Amendment, push climate change political agenda, open our borders to millions of illegal aliens, criminals, gang members, increased crime and murder rates thanks to lenient District Attorneys.

    Is this an agenda anyone really wants? If so go right ahead and vote for President Kamala.

    I’m sure she will be a fine president following the footsteps of Biden.

  5. Michael Schnackenberg is persona non grata. He offers no relevance to any of his comments, and can only make personal ad hominem attacks. He’s been ostracized by the Sussex County Republicans and their supporters because he makes false allegations against people, in trying to ruin their political careers, lives and careers. This is typical Democrat maliciousness. However, upon seeing who Michael Schnackenberg really is, he makes Star Wars character Jabba the Hutt look small.

  6. It is apparent reading supporters of Trump responses, channel Trump in being immature, offensive and repulsive which they believe is appropriate behavior. By overdosing on mindless Fox propaganda, their ability to be objective and open-minded has been lost.

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