Sperry: How Trump stole the debate


I think we were all disappointed at Joe Biden’s performance at the debate June 27. But here is food for thought: I think he had prepared so thoroughly that he was trying to cram too many facts into his responses to Dana Bash’s and Jake Tapper’s questions. Donald Trump was loud and lying compulsively.

I would like to call attention to Boston College history professor Heather Cox Richardson’s “Letter From an American” of June 27, where she discusses a technique called “Gish galloping.” It is a rhetorical technique in which someone throws out a fast string of lies, non sequiturs and specious arguments so quickly that it is impossible to fact check or rebut in the amount of time allowed. Just trying to respond confuses the opponent grappling with what just hit him. This is a form of gaslighting and is especially effective against one who stutters, apparently.

Perhaps, in light of this technique, we should rethink our conclusions that Biden lost the debate due to his age and reduced mental acuity. I prefer the conclusion of Simon Rosenberg (Hopium Chronicles, June 28): “Joe Biden is a good president who had a bad night.”

Julia Sperry


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