Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Taking Control Again . . . Starting With Debates
First, I apologize for my dearth of posts lately -- not in number, but in substance. I have been so busy of late that I haven't had time for writing of this nature. I've posted a lot of clips, nuggets and links, but my own commentary has been rather sparse.
Next week, I will be out of town and my posts will be even more sparse for a while. Hopefully things will settle down in time and I can make this blog more of what I intended it to be. But until then . . .
I've been pretty riled this election season, for a host of reasons. It bothers me to see the country I love about to commit national suicide. But, as Kurt Vonnegut once said, "so it goes." Right now, I want to talk about the so-called "debates" on the eve of the last one this season.
I've said this before and I'll say it again. These are not debates. These are glorified news conferences governed by a biased media and a ridiculous "Debate Commission." The talking points are well rehearsed, and you can get very little of substance out of any of the candidates.
In future, I would like to see the public demand a real debate in real time. Take it away from the news media "moderators." Take it away from the "Commission." The two candidates going at it one on one as it was done with the historic Lincoln-Douglas debates. Here were the rules as they were back then:
The format for each debate was: one candidate spoke for 60 minutes, then the other candidate spoke for 90 minutes, and then the first candidate was allowed a 30-minute "rejoinder." The candidates alternated speaking first. As the incumbent, Douglas spoke first in four of the debates.
No one knew what would be said in advance. There were no moderators to pick questions and steer the discussion. No one was concerned about time. And people actually paid attention.
Oh, yes. I can hear the caterwauling and objections already. The media won't like it. The public won't like it. They can't pay attention that long. It won't work in today's society.
Too bad. Do it anyway. If people want to know badly enough, they'll listen. And if they don't listen, they'll pay the piper later to the point that they'll listen the next time around.
And there should be some sort of sanction for media that don't report fairly or accurately. I'm really sick of the media, and I say that as a former "media."
But then, I'm a meanie.
P.S. By the way, everyone talks about polls and what they show. I've never been called for a poll in an election. Most of the people I know have never been called for a poll in an election. Who is being polled and where?
Don't you find that curious?