Panel Breaks Down Unprecedented Debate Ahead Of Clinton Detroit Visit

Jake Neher/WDET

Jonathan Oosting (left), Lee Wilkins (center), and Shikha Dalmia (right)

Last night’s debate was unlike any we’ve ever seen in this country. A major party nominee threatened to prosecute his political opponent - standing just feet away on the same stage - if he wins.

And GOP nominee Donald Trump said he disagrees with his own running mate on major foreign policy points, admitting he has not talked to Gov. Mike Pence on that subject. 

Is this what presidential politics looks like in 2016 in America? What does this debate say about us as a nation?

Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson sits down with a panel of experts and journalists to break down the debate and what it means in a historical context.

“It’s distressing that people 50 years from now…” will be able to view this as our state of politics, says Lee Wilkins, professor and chair of the Department of Communications at Wayne State University

Detroit News political reporter Jonathan Oosting notes Trump’s decision to hold a press conference shortly before the debate with women who have accused former president Bill Clinton of sexual assault or harassment.

This was absurd theater,” says Oosting. ”It’s a sign of our times that somebody is able to shape imagery of the debate before it starts.”

The debate “represented a middle finger to everyone who is not one of [Trump’s] supporters,” says Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia, a libertarian who is also a writer for Reason Magazine.

To me, what’s great about American Democracy and what’s great about the American political process is we all have our ideological persuasions which give us certain intellectual blind spots, right?,” continues Dalmia. ”There are issues we are interested in and we are concerned in and we don’t pay sufficient attention to the other side’s issues. This is a time when we kind of duke it out and put everybody’s concerns on the table.”

To hear the full conversation, click on the audio link above.

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This post is a part of 2016 Elections: Issues & Candidates.

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Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.  

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