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The first presidential debate will include: some topics.


Today, NBC’s Lester Holt, who will moderate the first debate, announced the topics he selected. They are as follows:

  • America’s Direction
  • Achieving Prosperity
  • Securing America

These topics are topics in the most generous sense of the word. Forget things like Social Security, Syria, or paid leave. This debate will answer: What’s the deal with America, man? Even my fourth grade American history teacher (a class that still exists, despite David Brooks’s insistence otherwise) wouldn’t have accepted these as topics for a paper on presidential debates. In fact, they would fit better as part of a BuzzFeed quiz titled, “Presidential Debate Topics or Names of Super PACs?”

If these are the topics that Lester Holt chose, then the real question is, what are the ones that he nixed?