A Debate About Debates
Dictionary.com defines a "debate" as: "A formal contest in which the affirmative and negative sides of a proposition are advocated by opposing speakers."
That is not what will take place during three exchanges between President Obama and Republican presidential nominee
The selection of liberal "moderators" for these sessions by the nonpartisan
Has anyone come up with a statement of purpose for these sessions? It seems less about getting information useful to the public and more about showcasing TV anchors and reporters who mostly ask questions through the liberal prism of their own biases, hoping to produce "gaffes" by at least the Republican candidate.
"Diversity" is the stated reason for the selection of two female moderators --
Question: What is the difference between a male liberal and a female liberal? Answer: There is none. That would also be true for any minority the commission might have selected as moderator, if that person were also a liberal. Debates should not be about gender or racial diversity; they should be about ideological diversity.
During the Republican primaries,
Here are some better alternatives. 1) Let the country vote on moderators and any panel members like baseball fans do for the annual All-Star game. Since one of these men for the next four years will be spending our money, starting or ending wars, and regulating or de-regulating businesses we either did or did not build ourselves, the public has a vested interest in who wins the election. Let the people decide who should ask the questions that will generate information useful to them when they cast their votes.
2) Allow each candidate to pick one panelist to question the other candidate. President Obama might pick
3) Have the candidates question each other. This has been tried on occasion in various races for other offices, but never consistently in presidential debates.
4) Put a former president on the panel. Since these men have had the rare experience of being president and know the challenges and unexpected events that often arise during a presidency, have
5) Put a "loser" on the panel. Let
As for questions a moderator never asks, he (or she) might try these: What should government do less and we the people do more? What do you see as the constitutional limitations of government?
The tired "debate" format devised in 1960 for the televised Nixon-Kennedy meeting and made worse in the '70s needs serious updating. Everything else has advanced. So should these political face-offs.
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A Debate About Debates | Politics
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