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[Photo credit: YouTube/CNBC]

By Sean Fitzpatrick, Crisis Magazine , October 1, 2020

“All has been occupied by Noise—Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless, and virile—Noise which alone defends us from silly qualms, despairing scruples, and impossible desires. We will make the whole universe a noise in the end. We have already made great strides in this direction as regards the Earth.” — C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

The first presidential debate of the turbulent 2020 election between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden was a tour de force of tension. If the sheer power of Noise was, in some way, the goal of this debate, especially for the Trump campaign, then it was a roaring success. Noise there was, and plenty of it, too, to the point of cringing incredulity. But it certainly left something to be desired by way of stating clear positions for the American people to judge. The noise that is consuming our politics may be the occasion for a cultural quietus—whether that quietus be one of death or peace remains to be seen.

The first presidential debate of the election cycle is often regarded as setting the stage for election night, where first impressions are made for November 3rd, and the candidates establish who they are with respect to one another and the voters.  ….

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