Western movie buffs cannot agree on who first warned combatants not to bring a knife to a gunfight.
The message: never go into a fight under weaponized ,is indisputable.
Many of Joe Biden’s supporters fear he will be doing this when he meets Donald Trump in the Presidential campaign debates starting later this month.
In the one poll Biden is trailing, he is given a 41% chance of winning the debates.
Donald Trump is expected to win by 47% of respondents.
Biden has rejected the suggestion that he give the debates a miss altogether.
This comes from supporters who say it is impossible to argue fairly against a pathological liar.
They point to Hillary Clinton who rose to almost every outrageous statement made by Trump in their 2016 encounters.
It was like shooting the proverbial fish in a barrel.
So far, Joe Biden has avoided this. But is it an express tactic or simply his understated COVID 19 campaigning?
We will have to wait for Cleveland on September 29.
Trump has had a week turning the focus of the campaign away from his lethal failure to manage the COVID 19 pandemic onto the issue of law and order.
But he cannot expect this to last, given that 97% of the Black Lives Matter demonstrations he rails against have been peaceful.
Biden might have lanced the law and order boil early on had he used his formidable running mate.
Kamala Harris was attorney general of California, the world’s fifth largest economy.
She has a reputation for toughness that has repelled some Democrats.
Had she stepped in and reminded protestors that America is a nation of laws that will not tolerate violence, she would have countered Trump’s claims that the Democrats are soft on law and order.
This would probably not have convinced Trump’s hardline base.
But it would have impacted the middle ground that both he and Biden need to capture for victory on November 3.
The three debates between the presidential contenders and one involving the vice-presidential candidates Harris and Mike Pence will be among the most watched television in America.
No fewer than 84 million people watched the 2016 clash between Trump and Clinton.
The authoritative Pew Centre revealed that only ten percent of viewers had not already made up their minds by the time of the debate.
Things might be different this year because of the COVID 19 lockdown.
More people might need persuading.
For some the debates will be too late.
North Carolina has already started issuing postal ballots and aspirant postal voters in the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Michigan andVirginia will soon get theirs.
However one reads it, there is still everything to play for.