Dump the Debates
It’s time to dump the debates. We can do better.
In late September or early October, the spectacle starts.
You know how it will be. There will be boxing match music and Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will walk on stage from opposite sides.
A news media star will be called the moderator, and a panel of “experts” will be looking for “gotcha” moments. After all, this is just another round in the news network extravaganza, where they’re looking for ratings.
After the combatants throw their opening jabs, for the next 90 minutes or so, Clinton and Trump will slug at each other with clever quips. The crowd will wildly cheer for their favorite contestant in the hope they can influence the effectiveness of the gut punch.
When this bout is over, the network commentators will tell us what we heard and how we’re supposed to interpret it. Many of these “news people” are just shills for their candidate. After all, they hope to get jobs with the administration if their person wins.
That screams the problem with our debates as they have evolved. These debates are about which candidate won.
But elections are not about the CANDIDATE winning. Elections are intended to always be a WIN for the PUBLIC. The candidates are supposed to be just holding the office in trust for the people.
So, let’s dump the debates and have SOLUTION DISCUSSIONS instead.
SOLUTION DISCUSSIONS — Here’s how they would work:
We’ll still have a stage – that’s important in our culture. There will be two chairs facing each other, a few feet apart. No table. No lectern. No teleprompter.
Rather than talk to a panelist, Ms. Clinton and Mr. Trump will talk to each other. They will discuss our problems. They will relate what we’re doing well and where we need improvement. They’ll tell us their ideas and how can they make them happen. They’ll show us what they know about doing the job, as the holder of the highest public trust. We hope they will learn from each other so that we can get the best from both.
We deserve this kind of exchange, not one that gives us stilted responses. Instead, we will see them in action with each other. They are the leaders of their parties. Each of them represents about half of everyone in the country. We need solutions coming from them, not more partisan bickering.
When the election is over, the PUBLIC needs to be the winner.
So, let’s dump the debates and have Solution Discussions instead.