Sunday, January 17, 2016

Debates

The Presidential debates this year haven't been all that debate-like. In fact, when two candidates start to disagree about something, Candidate #3 usually steps in and explains why they have to get along and work together, because in-fighting is petty and makes the political system look bad.

Someone needs to tell these politicians that "debate" means "people with opposing viewpoints discuss their differences".

The moderators have also been a problem, in this regard. When two candidates start going at each other, the moderators try to cut them off, change the topic, move on to someone else. Similarly, we've seen moderators who ask a bunch of safe questions, like "Are taxes too high?" and "Do you think we should improve healthcare?". Those questions don't lead to substantive debates. They lead to eight people, giving the exact same answer, because everyone likes good healthcare and low taxes. We also see a lot of questions which are, "Hey, tell us something we already know!"

On the other hand, I guess I prefer moderators with safe questions, as opposed to moderators who dole out "gotcha" questions, in order to make the candidates look bad. Those moderators tend to look like they're trying to steal all the attention, like they think they're the focus on the debate, instead of the candidates.

I guess we'll have to wait a few months, until we get a debate between a Republican and a Democrat. Then we'll have people debate their opposing viewpoints. Maybe. Sometimes, Republicans and Democrats are less like "conservatives VS liberals" and more like "right-liberals VS left-liberals".

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