This article isn’t a ploy to get “my” candidate elected. It isn’t yesterday’s topic, for we elect a President every four years. I think The Commission on Presidential Debates should be dissolved. It was a good idea at one time, but the times have changed. The Commission has not.
I haven’t been satisfied with the Presidential or Vice-Presidential debates in about 30 years. In my opinion, The Commission on Presidential Debates operates on the assumption of old corporate media perceptions-that journalists are the “fourth branch of government” and that they remain solely objective. Neither is true.
It doesn’t take a genius to see bold bias in the news media, yet popular, highly visual media “stars” are who the Commission chooses to moderate the debates. While many Americans praised the second Trump-Biden debate on October 22, I didn’t. The time limits worked. I’ll grant you that. The questions and the follow-up were not scholarly but more for “show.”
Isn’t that what the debates on television have become? If you can present a great visual, you win. Look sharp. Feel sharp. Be sharp. not, you lose. Isn’t that like the game, “Heads Up I Win. Tails, you lose?” I take for granted that the candidates come to the stage, putting their best appearance forward.
What I want is more along the lines of a Lincoln-Douglas debate format. You might think that Americans can’t think this deep, but if that’s true, whose fault is it? Hint: teach Civics and Debate in school, not Underwater Basketweaving 101.
Here’s a sample of a Lincoln-Douglas style format:
Affirmative Constructive Argument (speaks for the Proposition, i.e., “Americans should retain their First Amendment rights in national emergencies”).
Negative Cross Examines the Affirmative
Negative Constructive Argument (speaks against the Proposition, i.e., “Americans do not retain their First Amendment rights in national emergencies”).
Affirmative Cross Examines the Negative
The two major candidates agree on the topics, the time limits (total speaking time to be equal), the place, and how many debates in all. The news media has one job: broadcast the debates. That’s it.
What do you think of this idea? Should the old-style media be taken out of the middle, and The Commission on Presidential Debates be dissolved?
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. ??