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Presidential “Debates”

Posted on Wednesday, October 11, 2023
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by Outside Contributor
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5 Comments

By: Paul Gregorio

Republican Debate Stage

“What we Have Here is a Failure to Communicate”

It’s time for a new format for so-called presidential “debates.”  Calling these childish food fights debates with three or more “children” yelling at the same time, is profoundly stupid, degrading, denigrating, and utterly insulting to citizens.  We learn almost nothing from such immature behavior except to wonder if, as President, any or all of them would behave that way when engaging Putin, Xi Jing Ping, Netanyahu, or Zelensky.  One shudders at such an image. 

First, Who decided that so-called “news” people are at the top of the food chain of potential “moderators” at presidential debates?  Who decided they — any of them — are the paragons of virtue, truth, knowledge, and intelligence, or that they — any of them — are founts of all knowledge presidential?  Probably someone in the Federal Election Commission.  That person’s sanity must be held in suspicion. 

Second, how about a new format.  Rather than “all-knowledgeable” news persons (or should I say know-nothing) people running the “show,” how about truly knowledgeable people — true subject matter experts?  We have in existence countless so-called “think tanks,” entities that specialize in specific subject matter.  For example, on foreign affairs, wouldn’t it make more sense to have intelligent questions be posed by, say, the Council for Foreign Relations, and/or the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace?  On the economy, how about The Heritage Foundation and/or the National Bureau of Economic Impact?  Or, on immigration, how about the Human Rights Institute and/or the Center for Immigration Studies?  Pick a subject and there is a think tank who studies that subject matter exclusively and in-depth, uncluttered with other subjects that are dealt with by other think tanks.  According to thebestschools.org, in 2021 there were 1984 think tanks in the US!

There are any numbers of primary subjects that have been dealt with in debates of the past.  E.g., foreign affairs, economy, health, health insurance, manufacturing, big-pharma, big-tech, immigration, inflation, social security, the federal budget, congress’ budgeting process, terrorism, military readiness, rogue terrorist  nations, climate/weather, space exploration, lawlessness, the Constitution, school curricula, CRT, trans-people and LGBTQ1A+, abortion, free speech, gun rights, religion, weaponization of the government – both State and federal, etc., etc.  For every subject, we can find one or more expert, knowledgeable think tanks. No mere news person can be expected to frame an intelligent, relevant question in all those and more areas of concern.  Quite the contrary, the fact that a news person’s expertise is limited will reduce the topics they wade into.  Case in point:  for lack of an intelligent question, we had to endure the childish question “Who should be voted off the island.”

Third, no matter how many candidates are running, it seems very apparent that as the number of candidates increases, we enter the realm of diminishing returns, because they are prone to talk over each other (the likelihood of a food fight by children increases), and no amount of control by the moderator, time limits, bells, whistles, squirt guns, or gongs will cause polite, respectful sanity and a decipherable answer, things we assume are inherent in our candidates.

Here is one possible format scenario:  In one session, two candidates face off against two think tanks on closely related topics, such as (1) the economy, inflation, the budget, and Congress’ budgeting process;  or (2) health, big pharma, and the role of the CDC, NIH, FDA, etc.;  or (3) national security and military preparedness;  or (4) legal vs illegal immigration, Ellis Island, the wall, and invasion at the southern border;  or (5) national security and the invasion at the southern border, or (6) central bank digital currency (CBDC) and the fate of the US dollar, or (7) lawlessness in America including the “defund police” movement and George Soros buying DAs across America, or (8) the all-out assault and over-the-top pursuit of a presidential candidate to “get him before he gets  us.”  Perhaps such topics with the same two think tanks could rotate to another pair of candidates, etc. 

Perhaps several think tank teams and subject matter combinations can be set up ahead of time in a way that candidates can volunteer for the contingent teams of their own choosing, thus allowing the candidates to participate in the subject matter sessions with which they are most comfortable.  In any case, pairing off two candidates against each other might just result in an actual tit-for-tat debate.  Think Kennedy-Nixon!

The question arises as to which two candidates would be paired together in any contingent “group.”  Also, would this scenario capture all possible pairs of candidate face-offs?  Probably not if we have more than three or four candidates.  It may seem silly, but how about some sort of playoff system such as that of the NFL or MLB?  Yes, I am serious!  Maybe based on reliable, unbiased polling?  Or an apriori selection by interested voters?

How much of any of this is doable?  I don’t know!  But, what we have now is a “failure to communicate.”  It ain’t working.  You got a better idea?

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PaulE
PaulE
6 months ago

This article started off quite well for the first two paragraphs and then unfortunately it veered into the same ditch that many inside the beltway types seem to consistently gravitate towards. That being that all so-called think tanks are populated by actual subject matter experts knowledgeable enough to actually be unbiased and wholly accurate fact checkers. Some of the think tanks mentioned in this article are nothing more than purely political in nature and their stances uniformly support some of the left-wing agendas discussed later in this article. So, if the intent is for them is to act as unbiased moderators asking truly probative questions, there needs to be a reassessment of some of the organizations mentioned.

As to who approved this terrible debate format and who qualifies to be on the stage, well that is a combination of the FEC, the DNC and the RNC, along with input from the MSM that would have to agree to the format for both duration and their need for commercial breaks so they can profit from the airing of any such event. Thus, we end up with the horrible and unqualified TV personalities acting as so-called moderators on subjects they know little to nothing about. Reading off a teleprompter nightly does NOT mean most of these on-air personalities know anything about the subject matter they talk about each day. See the problem here? Of and by the way, you don’t hear anything from the RNC about the lack of quality on the last two debates, do you? So, who in this bunch is looking out for the voters on our side being able to make an honest assessment of the candidates? Answer: No one. The left controls all the other players making up FEC, DNC, and the MSM, so they are happy with this format. It works for them. It is a game to the factions controlling how the debates are run. Debates between candidates before television were done quite differently and proved to be much more effective than the clown show we are now treated to every four years. Today debates are considered entertainment programming for the networks hosting the event and a chance to showcase their on-air talent.

As for the number of candidates running, let’s be really honest here. More than half of the people running don’t honestly expect to be elected POTUS and they only announced to either sell a book, promote themselves for upcoming re-election bids in their current political office or they want to be hired as an on-air guest consultant on one or more of the networks. So that narrows down the real list of candidates to less than a handful. If journalist did their jobs properly during the early phases of the primary cycle and asked truly valid questions were asked of the candidates during interviews, instead of the standard nonsense or gotcha questions depending on the network, most of these candidates would implode on their own and fade away long before the debates ever rolled around.

Rik
Rik
6 months ago

What about Harvard? . . . Just what we need, a debate moderated by Far Left HATE AMERICA types! . . . In your dreams, Comrade!

Rik
Rik
6 months ago

What Republican Debates? . . .

Without the “Overwhelming Leading” candidate missing, who cares?

Trump ONLY NEEDS to Debate the “Chosen” Democratic opponent as I would in HIS position!

Matthew Baca
Matthew Baca
6 months ago

Yes there is certainly a better way “Live” is the problem, try a taped calm rational, thoughtful, elequent, not hurried, nor a volume duel can still get ur cheap shots in if ur style decrees it. Hell, try it what have we got to loose other than the Public, taped shows with a live audience always more civil cuz all the crap gets edited, which live you dont have that luxury…… With think tanks is a marvelous approach its who you would consult when time to gather facts to make an informed decision is it not? Makes perfect sense, tape it i know it will be a hit…… I shoulda been a director, cut, print!!!! Action! Can even have Narration, walk the Brain Dead thru it just like always….. Honestly the Vivek meet the Candidate show with Weber

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