I'll not try to argue that I have too much faith in people, despite all evidence the world has given us that the people of the world don't generally deserve faith. I can't make a good argument that a policy discussion would better inform anyone, but I can make an observation that a lack of a policy discussion certainly won't better inform them.
There are so few instances that masses of people are paying attention to politics like they are during a presidential debate, that it would be nice if they could tune in and find interesting things to think about. That they don't probably reinforces their notions about how pandering and wishy-washy politicians are. The few big name politicians I've met in person have been fabulously well versed in policy. You wouldn't know it from seeing their ads and news appearances.