Every election cycle, I get aggravated about the debates.
Candidates want to have a say about the format and the questions. Who are they to demand anything? Debates are how we test the mettle of candidates. Do job seekers negotiate potential employers’ interview techniques and demand to review and approve the interview questions in advance? Of course not.
Granted, this year’s debates need tweaking. But it’s not the politicians who should do the tweaking. Here are my suggestions:
· Three moderators — a conservative, a liberal and a moderate. Each takes turns asking a question. They can ask whatever they like and do not share their questions with the candidates ahead of time. If a moderator chooses to waste his or her turn on a goofball question about fantasy football, so be it. How the candidate responds says a lot about his or her character.
· The debates are made available to all the networks, not just aired on one. Hell, if every channel carried the debates, maybe people would go to the polls better informed.
· The moderators determine the format and rules for the debates and tell the candidates. If a candidate doesn’t like it, he or she can choose not to participate or suck it up and be an adult about it.
· Instead of broadcasting the debates live, have a time delay. Non-partisan fact-checkers review the candidates’ comments and post on-screen corrections when they lie.
· Treat these bozos like public servants, not royalty. If the media are making politicians happy, they are not doing their jobs.