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COMMENT | Don't let politics become circus

COMMENT | When spectacle triumphs over substance in politics, that is a sign of national decline.

Just ask the Romans, whose rulers kept the people distracted from serious issues by handing out free food while staging lavish, violent gladiator slaughter fests. This was described by the ancient satirical poet Juvenal as the opiate of “bread and circuses”.

The recent debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump was a kind of modern gladiator match, with the run-up treated as pure theatre.

As journalist Piers Morgan stated, the bar was so low for Biden, that to “win” he only had to dispel the rumour that he’s a “walking zombie”. So, for the 90-minute debate, he just needed to be “vaguely coherent” while “rattling Trump’s cage”.

The clattering cages allude to both wild beasts in the arena and Trump, who Morgan quipped threatened to “savage Biden like a rottweiler”.

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