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Wed Sep 30, 2020, 09:21 PM

George R.R. Martin's comments on the debate

Ugly, Ugly, Ugly
SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

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I have seen every presidential debate ever held.

I began taking an interest in politics when I was still in grade school. The first presidential election I followed was the race between John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon in 1960. I was twelve years old. It was an historic occasion.

Most of you are probably way younger than me. JFK died before you were born. You may not even remember the day he was shot, let alone the election that won him the presidency, or the debates that played such a big part in that contest. But fortunately you have YouTube. Take a look.



Millenials, Gen Xers, Gen Zs, play a little of this. The opening statements, at least. The issues and controversies of 1960 are part of history now, and may not seem hugely relevant to us today (though some of them still are)… but it is the TONE of the debate that I want to draw your attention to. This is what a presidential debate is supposed to look and sound like. Two candidates exchanging views and ideas, debating facts, dealing with the issues of the day, all the while treating each other with respect. It was a DEBATE. Lincoln and Douglas would have been proud. Maybe it was not the most exciting television in the world, but it gave us a good view of both candidates, where they agreed, where they differed.

I have seen every subsequent debate as well. Nixon and Kennedy had three more of these, and I watched. I was watching when Ford blew his election against Carter with a gaffe about Eastern Europe. I was watching when Bill Clinton turned the 1992 race in the three-way debate with Bush the Elder and Ross Perot. I saw Ronald Reagan debate Jimmy Carter, and John Anderson, and Walter Mondale. I watched Obama against McCain, and Obama against Romney. I saw all the good moments, and all the bad ones.

I have never seen anything like what I witnessed last night.

It was appalling. Offensive. Disgusting. Donald Trump was bad four years ago in his debates with Hillary Clinton, but last night he set new records for being offensive, obnoxious, and rude. He ranted, he raved, he shouted, he interrupted again and again and again and AGAIN, refusing to let Joe Biden finish a sentence without breaking in. He spoke over Biden, he spoke over the moderator, he ignored the questions, he ignored the rules — rules his own campaign had negotiated and agreed to — he told shocking lies, and doubled down when called on them, he engaged in smears and personal attacks, he tried to discredit the result of the vote before most of America has even voted.

More: https://georgerrmartin.com/notablog/2020/09/30/ugly-ugly-ugly/?fbclid=IwAR3-Fj5xRD4Cg7-NedEs4ANc7BlBUv4jSTtsO6DNzTbyPq5hGF4Ozf0zMAc

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Arrow 30 replies Author Time Post
Reply George R.R. Martin's comments on the debate (Original post)
Quixote1818 Sep 30 OP
BootinUp Sep 30 #1
tblue37 Sep 30 #4
BootinUp Sep 30 #5
SharonAnn Sep 30 #12
ailsagirl Sep 30 #19
Aerator Sep 30 #22
thucythucy Oct 1 #26
Hekate Oct 1 #25
SharonAnn Sep 30 #13
BootinUp Sep 30 #14
Ferrets are Cool Sep 30 #2
Cha Sep 30 #3
Sympthsical Sep 30 #6
regnaD kciN Sep 30 #7
Quixote1818 Sep 30 #9
soldierant Sep 30 #16
FakeNoose Sep 30 #8
peacebuzzard Sep 30 #10
Pepsidog Sep 30 #11
ancianita Sep 30 #15
Sogo Sep 30 #17
Aristus Sep 30 #20
Sogo Oct 1 #24
NBachers Sep 30 #18
burrowowl Sep 30 #21
niyad Sep 30 #23
Yavin4 Oct 1 #27
BComplex Oct 1 #28
Statistical Oct 1 #29
Tommy_Carcetti Oct 1 #30

Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Wed Sep 30, 2020, 09:29 PM

1. A book about this debate was the first book on politics I read

I was about the same age 12 when I read it. Found it quite interesting.

Look how relaxed JFK is compared to Nixon

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Response to BootinUp (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 30, 2020, 09:38 PM

4. Nixon was ill.

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 30, 2020, 09:45 PM

5. Yeah I recall something about that. A cold wasnt it?

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 30, 2020, 10:27 PM

12. And JFK had stage makeup and Nixon didn't.

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Response to SharonAnn (Reply #12)

Wed Sep 30, 2020, 11:18 PM

19. I believe it was the other way around

Kennedy was offered TV makeup, and he refused. Overhearing that, Nixon likewise turned it down, forgetting that JFK was tanned and rested, while he was pale and gaunt from his hospital stay.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/2020/09/behind-scenes-first-televised-presidential-debates-nixon-jfk-1960/

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Response to ailsagirl (Reply #19)

Wed Sep 30, 2020, 11:27 PM

22. I think he was running a fever

I think he was running a fever and his leg was hurt .I just remember that the sweat he had on his lip was a bad look for him on TV .Also if I remember right the majority of people that watched the debate on tv thought Kennedy won while the majority that listened to the debate on the radio thought Nixon won .

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Response to Aerator (Reply #22)

Thu Oct 1, 2020, 09:26 AM

26. Nixon had had a bad infection in one of his knees

requiring him to be hospitalized.

Heading for the debate a car door was slammed into that knee, so yes, he was ill and in pain.

Of course Kennedy also had some serious health issues, and was also dealing with chronic pain.

All this was back story entirely unknown to the vast majority of voters.

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Response to SharonAnn (Reply #12)

Thu Oct 1, 2020, 12:30 AM

25. JFK was considered the first TV-savvy presidential candidate. He did use makeup for the camera...

...and iirc Nixon was unfamiliar with the concept — and the lighting — and thought that was sissy, so refused. As a consequence, Nixon’s 5-o’clock shadow was prominent, and he looked as uncomfortable as he no doubt felt.

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Response to BootinUp (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 30, 2020, 10:32 PM

13. I remember "the missile gap" and 'Quemoy and Matsu"

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Response to SharonAnn (Reply #13)

Wed Sep 30, 2020, 10:42 PM

14. The one i recall had a picture of this debate

on the cover and the title was about how television changed debates and that it was this debate that started the trend,

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Wed Sep 30, 2020, 09:29 PM

2. Bravo!!

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Wed Sep 30, 2020, 09:37 PM

3. Excellent lead in! "..he ignored the rules -- rules his own campaign had negotiated and agreed to --

he engaged in smears and personal attacks, he tried to discredit the result of the vote before most of America has even voted.

The "both sides" fucking m$m Needs to READ THIS!

TY, Quixote

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Wed Sep 30, 2020, 09:48 PM

6. I never get over the journalists' chair swivels

I’ve seen that debate many times, and every single time they do the swivel after opening statements, I lose it. I have no idea why it’s so funny.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Wed Sep 30, 2020, 09:55 PM

7. In other words...

..."Trump's performance was far too violent and nihilistic for me."

-- Author of "Game of Thrones"


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Response to regnaD kciN (Reply #7)

Wed Sep 30, 2020, 10:07 PM

9. LOL.

Would love it if this was Trump holding the dragon:



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Response to Quixote1818 (Reply #9)

Wed Sep 30, 2020, 11:08 PM

16. Grabbing a dragon which didnt belong to him,

especially from a woman to whom the dragon did belong, is so exactly what Trump would have done.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Wed Sep 30, 2020, 10:07 PM

8. Nixon refused to wear TV makeup so he looked bad on TV

I guess he thought it was vanity, I don't know. Anyway Kennedy had no such problem, and he looked great on TV, young and handsome. It was 1960 so most TV broadcasts (especially news programs) were in black & white.

Kennedy used humor where he could, just to lighten the tone. Nixon's tone was more serious and maybe a little defensive. But both candidates were polite and dignified, both made a genuine effort to answer questions, and both were deferential to the other candidate.

What a refreshing difference to last night's shitshow!


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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Wed Sep 30, 2020, 10:10 PM

10. this clip positively, overwhelmingly verifies dump is the absolute idiot

and the bottom feeder of presidents. He does not even comprehend what a debate is, he thinks it is a duel; correction: dump is as dumb as a door-nail, he does not think...just spews bile.

Thanks for posting Quixote. This is important recent history.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Wed Sep 30, 2020, 10:14 PM

11. Thank you

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Wed Sep 30, 2020, 10:58 PM

15. Important to give perspective. Thank you for this.

There really were adults in government back in the day, and this stands as a reminder about what adults have always looked like.

Republicans have never set standards of adult debate. But at least most of them have followed what standards existed.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Wed Sep 30, 2020, 11:15 PM

17. "I have seen every presidential debate ever held."

I doubt it....Lincoln/Douglas?

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Response to Sogo (Reply #17)

Wed Sep 30, 2020, 11:23 PM

20. The Lincoln/Douglas Debates were prior to the election for Senator of Illinois.

Not the Presidency.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #20)

Thu Oct 1, 2020, 12:00 AM

24. Oops....My bad. nt.

.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Wed Sep 30, 2020, 11:17 PM

18. In addition to Kennedy, it's a pleasure to see Howard K Smith, Sandor Vanocur, and the others.

I'm surprised to see that Sandor Vanocur just died last year. He had a hell of a career covering history.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Wed Sep 30, 2020, 11:27 PM

21. Kick!

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Wed Sep 30, 2020, 11:57 PM

23. KNR

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2020, 09:32 AM

27. One of the main plot points was dealing with a king who refused to leave.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2020, 09:44 AM

28. Glad to see George RR Martin finally got over his writer's block!

I've missed his voice, and I'm glad we have this guy on our side. He's incredibly talented and brilliant.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2020, 09:51 AM

29. The sad thing is we will never get it back.

I mean don't get me wrong likely whoever the GOP's next candidate is in 2024 won't be as all around terrible at decorum as Trump so it will get marginally better but Trump has shifted the line on what is "over the line" and thus stuff that use to be over the line will be seen as normal.

The damage Trump has done on things big and small will last generations.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Thu Oct 1, 2020, 09:59 AM

30. I clicked on a random part of the attached video of the Nixon-Kennedy debate.

And it just so happened to come on a part where Nixon says, "Our disagreement is not about the goals for America, but rather the means to reach those goals."

Such an eloquent and proper and righteous statement, even coming from the mouth a man who up until 2016 most had the most corrupt and shameful presidency in American history.

And Trump has gone so much past the person who we used to hold up as the worst of the worst.

Light years past that bottom standard.

Amazing. And a damn shame.

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