Every third and fourth year, the United States media decides who will be the nominee for the party out of power. One of the biggest ways they do this is by getting ratings samples for each of the candidates. Debates have proven effective at gauging viewer interest and quantifying a candidate’s ability to prime viewers to buy whatever is advertised at the breaks.
But let’s face it, relying on the same metrics that gave us prime time television to decide who should lead our nation hasn’t exactly panned out. We have not had the best of leadership in this country for quite some time, and although it’s not solely the president’s city, Washington does have a rudder that the president can use to beat some sense into congress. They, for the record, have vuvuzelas that they can play at all hours of the night to make the president’s arteries harden from lack of sleep.
So while I say ditch the media-selection system, keeping the debates might be worth it. But they need some fixing. Namely, they need substance. Hell, is there a substantial difference between Biden calling the uncompromising members of congress terrorists and Huntsman calling the EPA’s record a “reign of terror?” Maybe we could look at the nonsense the debaters say and simply categorize it as how it aligns with other figures in Washington. So Huntman’s rhetoric qualifies him to run for VP, but not for president.
But, no, more seriously the debates need to be grounded. You figure, someone on the stage needs to talk some sense, and not just revert to PolSpeak. The moderators don’t really do much beyond asking questions, so they don’t fit the bill.
The best bet would seem to be adding more debaters to the mix, but these newcomers wouldn’t actually run to be nominated or elected to anything. They would just be qualified to actually evaluate the economic issues, international issues, and moral issues being discussed. They would be professionals of varying backgrounds that would be directly engaging with the other debaters.
The hope is that the contrast between PolSpeak and reality would force the politicians to actually step into the peoples’ office and have a real conversation, instead of acting like a bunch of wind-up toys.