Years ago I skimmed a book in a library about the rules of debating. I don’t remember much of any of the rules, nor whose rules they are, or were. But that’s more than enough to make me an expert. And my expert opinion is that debates as they are now are a waste of time. At most, they give Fact Check, Politifact, etc., content to cover. Maybe they give voters insight into the candidates, but mostly just in how eloquent they are or in how much confounding bullshit they can spew. Formal debates, as I recall, have opening statements, a series of rebuttals and counter rebuttals, and closing statements, summations, or whatever.
Here are a few suggestions should we change some rules for the debates:
- Allow candidates to create questions for their opponents.
- Make each debate happen on a different network which would make both parties debate on a favorable and opposing network.
- Talk about actual policy instead of the people magazine side of politics.
- Allow third parties into the debates.
- Give candidates equal time to ask one another questions (regarding policy).
- Debates should follow actual debate rules.
- Moderators should be of high quality, perhaps political science professors from a variety of colleges that would be considered both liberal and conservative schools.
- Have the voters ask the questions not the Press, instead of the media trying to start fights among the candidates.
- 30 second opening & closing statements.
- If a particular candidate is attacked, they would get 30 seconds ONLY to respond.
- The moment a candidate says “I’ll get to that, but first I’d like to…” Would be cut off with the simple phrase, “Thank you candidate, but unless you answer the question as asked, we’ll have to move on.”
- Ask questions based on the current needs of the nation.
- Don’t allow any negative attacks, especially coming from those asking the questions.
- Stop the rudeness; keep it mature and classy.
Eventually, I would get down to the real issues the country is having, like the big corporations taking over and the Super PAC’s giving to the candidates. Let the people question them not a moderator! After all, we are voting for these candidates, all the people in the audience should be of different backgrounds and not plants! Real people with the real issues we are having! Last but not the least, each candidate must say how he/she is going to deal with the most important problem of our country, the corruption.
We are all tired of stupid debates!