Brad Friedman was no doubt correct when he described the insanity that passed for a Second "Presidential Debate" as "one of the darkest chapters in modern U.S. Presidential history." That unfortunate event, however, led to a moment of extraordinary candor. Former Republican strategist Steve Schmidt told NBC's Chuck Todd that Donald Trump's candidacy had "exposed the intellectual rot in the Republican Party."

Schmidt's point is well taken, but there are also systemic sources for our current political malaise. These center upon (1) a privately-owned media system that elevates its own commercial interests over the public interest,, and (2) the euphemistically self-described "non-partisan" Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) --- the undemocratic guardians of the status quo who, in conjunction with the two major political parties (which its commissioners represent) and the mainstream media, tirelessly strive to prevent Presidential debates from achieving their true function --- the facilitation of an informed electoral decision...

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