Given my rising level of anger as I watched Tuesday night’s Presidential debate among nine Republican hopefuls -B– which concentrated on foreign policy and national security — I expected that my interview with Monocle 24’s The Briefing might be markedly different from the headlines in US newspapers this morning.

Q: “Who won?”
A: “No one.”

My takeaway line:

I am far more worried, beyond the individual candidates, about what this says about the state of American politics. What you saw last night was not an engagement with the issues but a fear, almost to the point of hysteria, in some of the remarks.

Listen to more from 7:05:

Actually, there was a likely political winner last night — barring a flight of most of the US public into the alley of fear, Hillary Clinton’s road to the White House will be a smooth one — but it does not assuage the damage being done to what is supposedly the most powerful country in the world.

This bitter, nasty, relatively issue-free fight continues until next March, when the majority of the Republican primaries are held.

I feel that American political culture is being poisoned.

Rather than looking for dialogue and a constructive way forward — on the economy, social issues, immigration, foreign policy — it is being poisoned by hatred and suspicion.

That is far more damaging in the long run, to the US and what is supposedly stands for, than any outcome from last night’s debate.