Campus Reform | Colorado State promotes prof's warning that Trump is 'undermining democratic institutions'

Colorado State promotes prof's warning that Trump is 'undermining democratic institutions'

The professor said that during the September 29 presidential debate, both candidates engaged in "performative masculinity.”

Colorado State University published an op-ed from a professor at the school warning that President Donald Trump is "undermining democratic institutions."

Karrin Anderson, a communications professor at Colorado State University, argued that President Donald Trump’s debate performance had effectively ended democratic debates in America. The opinion piece was reposted on the university’s website.

The professor wrote that during the debate, Trump promised to "dominate rather than debate," and said that this strategy made clear that "he would continue his signature strategy for campaigning and governing: undermining democratic institutions."

"That leaves one big question: Is a debate even possible?" the professor wrote. 

The professor continued to criticize the president's debate strategy by stating that Trump "broke the rules."

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"Trump broke the rules, abused the process and treated the notion of democratic debate with disdain. In so doing, he single-handedly created a Catch-22 in which the debate is either canceled or goes on as planned, but ceases to function as a debate," Anderson said, adding that "Neither option is good for democracy."

The professor went on to say that presidential debates "can serve important functions for the public" by helping them choose who to vote for during the election, but noted that the September 29 debate "achieved none of that."

While primarily discussing Trump's performance, the professor did note that "Joe Biden expressed exasperation, using language unprecedented for a presidential debate."

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Anderson mentioned political scientist Jennifer Piscopo saying that parts of the debate were displays of “performative masculinity.” 

She held that the reason the 2016 debates were less contentious was that Hillary Clinton is a woman and thus “would have subjected herself to sexist criticisms if she had taken the bait. "Anderson closes with the claim that, “The world may have two more chances to observe Trump and Biden together on a stage. But not in a democratic debate.”

Anderson and Colorado State University did not reply to a request for comment from Campus Reform.

Follow the author of this article: John Hanson