Repub­li­can debate: Trump’s chal­lengers build a wall of sound, then strug­gle to break through

If you watched the sec­ond Repub­li­can pri­ma­ry debate with closed cap­tion­ing, you might have con­clud­ed that the lead­ing can­di­date was “Crosstalk.”
Wednes­day night’s gath­er­ing at the Ronald Rea­gan Pres­i­den­tial Library was less a debate than a cacoph­o­ny in which the sev­en can­di­dates each said worth­while things but often strug­gled to be heard.
REPUBLICAN DEBATE: CAN GOP DEBATERS PUT PRESSURE ON TRUMP TO SHOW UP?
This is sym­bol­ic of a field that has large­ly failed to dis­tin­guish itself from for­mer Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, the over­whelm­ing front-run­ner, and one anoth­er. The debate was a Tow­er of Babel over­look­ing Rea­gan’s shin­ing city on a hill.
Instead, a col­lec­tion of can­di­dates who are most­ly in the sin­gle dig­its trad­ed insults and took care­ful­ly script­ed shots at the for­mer pres­i­dent, who was cam­paign­ing in the bat­tle­ground state of Michi­gan rather than join­ing them.
If Trump was sup­posed to build the wall, his pri­ma­ry chal­lengers are build­ing a wall of sound, and their cam­paigns are pay­ing for it.
Entre­pre­neur Vivek Ramaswamy reprised his role as the vil­lain on the stage, …