Held on Monday, Sept. 26, the first debate between the two main contenders for president of the United States of America was rather disappointing. The political machine seems to have run out of ideas and projects. But is it specific to this country?
The first of three head-to-heads between Hillary Clinton of the Democratic Party and Donald Trump of the Republican Party was moderated by an African-American journalist. We wouldn’t see a French-African or French-West Indian in the same position any time soon, would we?
This first match-up was sharp and sustained, loaded with personal attacks, and often strayed off topic. Worse, it revealed a worrisome weakness in the intellectual and political level of both candidates. And to think that one of them will be president of the top world power! To be honest, with all of the experience she has, Democrat Hillary Clinton easily won the debate against a quack who can’t even string two sentences together and still makes us wonder how the Republican Party could have chosen him.
Since what happens in the United States tends to propagate in the Western world, there are risks that the presidential campaign in France might be of the same quality, between personal attacks and sterile debate. Eight months before the election, we have several samplings of the budding debate between the followers of a France that is withdrawing into itself and the partisans of extreme pragmatism. Alas, it’s a safe bet that the quality of the debate will be affected by personal ambitions or the erosion of political thought.
We will not see public life drop to the level of unresolved post-electoral gossip here at home. It’s true that original ideas, ambitious projects and clear perspectives are abundant here, right?