This won’t happen, but I think it should.
Television media should not be allowed to participate, other
than to do the broadcast. The media performance in the
10/30/07 Democratic debate shows that MSM do not know how to conduct a
Find a good media company, say Seed Media, and have
them host the Democratic Party debate. Have the editorial
board prepare topics & guidelines for questions. Show
the topics & guidelines, but not the questions, to the
candidates ahead of time.
Get some scientists to write the questions, using the topics &
guidelines. Get some college debate coaches to act as
panelists, or maybe have the scientists themselves pose the questions
to the candidates.
The point would not be to see who knows the most about, say, stem
cells, or whatever. The point would be to see how well
candidates can explain how they would go about solving
problems that they did not know the answer to.
Then, after the debate, the panelists would discuss the debate.
However, they would not mention any candidates by name during
the discussion. Instead, they would talk about the ideas
that the candidates expressed. This would take the focus off
of worthless topics, such as who “won” the debate.
At this point in the campaign, the focus should be on ideas, not the
polls. The media are trying to make a spectacle about who is
attacking whom, and who is winning. This is a complete waste
of time. Moreover, it is a waste of an opportunity to develop
a rational party platform in an open and deliberative manner.
For people interested in popularity contests, we could hold the debate
at the same time as the Miss America contest. People who are
not interested in ideas, could change the channel.
For the Republican debate, we would have slightly different format.
We would give them all shotguns, have them go out into a
field, and see who came back with the biggest duck. After
all, some people only came about who has the biggest duck.