"So no, last night was not a debate. It was more of a competition over our perception of reality. [The 45th] showed that the only way he can win a debate or an election is to convince us that there’s nothing we can do to stop him. That resistance is futile."

Convention has kept the man who hijacked a democracy safe so far: government and media convention. Nice to see someone going against the grain. Sort of. You're still using the wrong sense-making frame, though, Douglas.

You're right: it wasn't a debate. There are no such things as "debates" when the ground on which the two old white men stand is not democratic.

One has vowed not to cede power peacefully (he said the same thing in his inaugural speech--signaling to his "2nd amendment people" for support in January 2017.) One has used his resources to shut down the free press. One has reached out and actively developed relationships with authoritarians around the world. One has used military force to crush civilian dissent. One has demonstrated--IN HIS ACTIONS AND WORDS-- that he's a white supremacist, if not a nationalist. One has not been playing on democratic ground all along and has no intention of starting now. And he has access to all the levers of government resources.

The other tried to play debate in a democratic frame. I didn't watch--didn't have to, but I can read about the cognitive dissonance of viewers or listeners who are using democratic sense-making frames to try to make sense of what was an authoritarian event. It was not an event to share power (that's democratic): it was an event to steal as much as possible from the people, pre-election.

The 45th has never acted within a democratic frame. Media folx need to stop using that frame to make sense of authoritarian events. The wrong frames lead us to the wrong questions, the wrong descriptions, the wrong analysis, and the wrong solutions.

Written by

A San Francisco independent researcher, creative, and cultural worker. Content developer for The Relational Democracy Project. (relationaldemocracy@gmail.com)

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