It’s Time to Change the Format of the Presidential Debates

30 09 2020

2020-09-30 08_03_52-(26) First 2020 Presidential Debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden - YouTube

After the Dumpster Fire production last night, otherwise known as the first Presidential Debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, the Commission on Presidential Debates is rushing to change the format of future debates.

Per the Washington Post:

“After a chaotic and nearly unwatchable first presidential debate that devolved into interruptions and insults, mostly by Trump [this is bullsh*t, but peak WaPo, AGT], the Commission on Presidential Debates said it would look into changing the format of the remaining debates.

“The televised debates are supposed to be “for the benefit of the American electorate,” the commission said in a statement Wednesday, implying that Tuesday night’s unruly slugfest did not achieve that goal.

“Last night’s debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues. The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly,” the statement continued.”

How about losing the “additional structure” and totally changing the structure? In terms of Presidential debates, the Lincoln-Douglas format is pretty much dead. We have social media, new media, and a host of ways for the candidates to battle over their record and platform points.

Instead of more structure on a dead model, or CNN’s and the Atlantic’s rallying cry to get rid of debates entirely, how about we find new formats and ways for Presidential candidates to debate:

Here are The Girl’s recommendations:

Get better moderators

No one cares about Chris Wallace. I will say it again, NO ONE CARES ABOUT CHRIS WALLACE!

For that matter, people also don’t care about Norah O’Donnell, Brett Baier, Jake Tapper, Dana Bash, Martha MacCallum, Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes or Hugh Hewitt, et al. The list goes on of legacy media retreads left, right, and center who think anyone cares about seeing them outside of their panel sound bites or the hour box they are confined to on their respective networks. Much like the debate form is dead, so is the need for a “respectable” figurehead type ala Walter Cronkite and Tim Russert. The trust level of the traditional media is lower than the Congress’s, so these gatekeepers need to step aside and either cede or share a platform with new media; which most of us are digesting these days anyway.

Spotify’s Joe Rogan was being floated across Twitter last night, and his easy, free associative and direct style would have been a welcome change to Nanny Chris.

Other thoughtful, insightful, and popular new media personalities that could facilitate debate: Stephen Smith of ESPN, Jason Whitlock of Outkick, Rodolfo Roman of The Roman Show, Charlemagne tha God of The Breakfast Club, Sonnie Johnson of SiriusXM’s “Sonnie’s Corner”, Sharyl Attkisson, Daily Wire’s Andrew Klavan, John Solomon of John Solomon Reports, Daisy and Mockarena of Chicks on the Right, Michael J. Brooks and Sam Seder of The Majority Report… you know where I’m going with this.

Fresh voices, different perspectives, all sides represented, and questions that actually force the candidate to probe and ponder, not put him or her on the defense or give him or her an easy out.

And it would also be nice if traditional media did their research and got their facts straight. How many interns does Fox News have?

  • Proud Boys is not a white supremacist organization, no matter what the Southern Poverty Law Center says, and Antifa is not an “idea”. Portland residents and business owners wish they were.
  • The “fine people” comment has been debunked multiple times, and Joe Biden did call living troops, “Stupid Bastards.” All on video, could have been aired in real time had you taken the time to actually research.
  • Critical Race Theory is not just “Sensitivity Training”. One of its accolytes is Ibram X. Kendi, who took to Twitter to compare Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s adoption of two Haitian children to white colonizers who wanted to civilize the children and remove the parents! Nothing sensitive about that…

2020-09-30 14_18_00-Ibram X. Kendi on Twitter_ _Some White colonizers _adopted_ Black children. They

We remember Candy Crowley, and other media gatekeepers massacring facts to help one candidate over another during debate. Can we for once get some real reporting that undergirds the debate questions? Real delving into both sides of an issue before you craft the questions? It’s like these journalists only report what they have heard, rather than report what they have investigated.

Change the format

I would love to see an NDT-style debate with President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence v. former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris, on their domestic and foreign policy visions. Maybe bring in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, (even White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany), with two people who represent Biden-Harris’s domestic and foreign policy.

It would give both candidates a much-needed break and would also give a broader spectrum of the “team” who is running or will be running the country.

Another format change: break this debate over two days with three topics into a two-hour format. We are in a terrible time in our nation. Between The Rona, The Riots, and everything in between, I wanted more than 5–10 minutes for President Trump and Biden to discuss these issues. Instead it resulted in the expected: blame and name calling, and false declarations which neither candidate will probably live up to.

Finally, in the Town Hall-style debates, poll real people from across these 50 United States and get their questions and concerns. I doubt very seriously anyone in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho is concerned about climate change, but they might be concerned with an environmental policy that restricts their lives and livelihoods. They may be concerned about a mass shooting and desire to work to prevent that, but they also don’t want their gun rights restricted.

Here in California, where I live, I would welcome some limit to these draconian environmental policies that are the reason we have poor forest management, which in turn is causing these massive wildfires.

I would also welcome a conversation on #AB5, which outlaws independent contracting, and is destroying the livelihoods of women, minorities, and the middle class, along with the California economy.

Newsflash to those outside of California: the A-B-C test in #AB5 has been baked into the PROAct, which the U.S. House of Representatives passed earlier this year. If the Senate gives it a thumbs-up vote, it could take AB5 and its restrictions national. Bye, bye, Right to Work. Bye, bye, building a business through bootstrapping. Bye, bye, side hustles… NATIONALLY.

Don’t get me started on the newest hell for freelancers and independent contractors, the so-called Worker Flexibility and Small Business Protection Act that Washington State Senator Patty Murray is now trying to inflict on hard-working individuals and small business. So, if you don’t think other State’s politicians and the ridiculous policies they bring to D.C. won’t affect your little Red or Blue State, then I have a mountain cabin in Florida to sell you.

One of the reasons debates are mostly irrelevant in changing hearts and minds is because they fail to connect macro issues to micro concerns.

Start there, and maybe the next Debate will actually elucidate these issues and where the candidate and the President stand on them, rather than distract from them with trash talking and bar room brawling.


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