Monday, August 03, 2015

Debates or a Root Canal? Hard Choice.

I am going to have a hard time watching these FNC "debates" with 10 Republican candidates. I've expressed some of my dissatisfaction before, but it needs saying again.

These are not debates. They are press/news conferences, with the candidates answering pre-selected questions from news media, who quite often let their bias-slip show under their dresses. Aside from having a completely ridiculous number of people running, making it impossible to really AIR OUT any issue, you are not going to get a clear or accurate picture of the candidates and how they stand with any detail. Sound bites do not tell you anything of substance. 

If we want a DEBATE, then we need to have two of them at a time or some workable ratio. It needs to be under traditional debate rules—the kind you would encounter in any high school or college forensics program, assuming you can still find one. The moderator if there must be one MODERATES and does not become part of the debate. You choose the issue, and then you let the candidates slug it out about why their ideas are superior and why they disagree with their opponents. No name calling. No smart aleck remarks. No impugning of motivations or character simply because they have a different point of view. Keep it on the facts.

1. Here is what I would do on said issue. My opponent wants to do this, but I disagree, and here is why I think his/her ideas will not work. Here's why mine will.

2. The opponent has the same chance, and both candidates (again under TRADITIONAL debate rules) has the chance to offer rebuttal.

Keep it off the networks. Put it on C-Span, where there won't be any commercials or other interruptions, and they won't be worried about time. Yes, it won't be "sexy" television, and the reporter/anchor/moderators will miss a chance to show the rest of us great unwashed their unmitigated brilliance. They won't get to zing a candidate with an editorial crack and then cut the candidate off so they can't respond either. If I was running the debate, they'd get hauled out of the auditorium by the scruff of their necks.

It wouldn't please the media, but we the people—the voters and the taxpayers—might just learn something of substance. And if we can't be bothered to pay that kind of attention to the issues of the day, we might as well be called Orwell's proles, stay home, live at the pub, and enjoy our collective ignorance while our statist overlords mother hen us to death. You see, we're too stupid to manage ourselves. ‪#‎CynicismOffTheChart‬