John F. Kennedy famously outshined Richard M. Nixon in the first televised presidential debate. Radio listeners gave the win to Nixon. Television viewers went overwhelmingly for Kennedy. From that day to this, being good in front of a camera has been a qualification for running for national office. Performance and short jabs have become the measuring stick for suitability.

We have lost nuance and well-argued positions which used to be common in debate. The last few cycles have continued to devolve into shouting matches and quick comebacks. We will continue to get what we have asked for (regardless of which party has the advantage). Performance has been reduced to what one does to get into office. There is no guarantee that it will translate into performance that matters.

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