During the latter part of the much hyped but excruciating-to-watch first presidential debate, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt posed a seemingly straightforward but cunningly devised question.
“On nuclear weapons, President Obama reportedly considered changing the nation’s longstanding policy on first use. Do you support the current policy?”
it assumed that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton each possess some familiarity with the longstanding policy to which Holt referred and with the modifications that Obama had contemplated making to it.
The absence of relevant information elicited by Lester Holt’s excellent question speaks directly to what has become a central flaw in this entire presidential campaign: the dearth of attention given to matters basic to U.S. national security policy.
a system that makes someone like Trump a finalist for the presidency isn’t rigged. It is manifestly absurd, a fact that has left most of the national media grasping wildly for explanations (albeit none that tag them with having facilitated the transformation of politics into theater).
Yet beyond the outsized presence of one particular personality, the real travesty of our predicament lies elsewhere—in the utter shallowness of our political discourse, no more vividly on display than in the realm of national security.