The recent surge of debates and forums among Democrats vying for the 2020 presidential nomination appears to be a continuation of what has been dubbed the “pantomime primary” — a spectacle of televised showdowns and fiery soundbites, more about theatrical personality than policy. In recent debates, the candidates have had the opportunity to attack each other’s credentials and policies, further sharpening the distinctions between their various visions for America’s future. Perhaps the most noticeable feature of the “pantomime primary” has been the increasingly hostile vitriol between the candidates, further distilling it down to a popularity contest. There have been few substantive policy debates, and, instead of a hearty exchange of ideas, viewers are often left with mere sound bytes. It is worth questioning if this spectacle is indicative of a more savvy approach to voter engagement or a sign of superficial and misinformed governmental decision-making.