Friday, October 30, 2015

A modest proposal for presidential debates

The media on Thursday was filled with stories about who won or lost the Republican presidential debate on Wednesday night. I was watching World Series Game 2 that evening and flipped to the debate during commercial breaks. Later, I saw a portion of the event when it was replayed on CNBC.

Take out any party or political considerations for a moment. 
Being able to "debate" in these formats probably says little about one's capacity to perform well in public office. 
A good debate performer requires glibness and an instinct for going for the jugular. If you lack this latter quality, you resort to lines that make you seem less than knowledgeable or humane or gracious.
Those who are quick on their feet can get away with deflections. But those lacking that ability are left stammering or standing stock still or appearing to have yielded points which they had no intention of conceding.

I have no dog in the presidential hunt. I wouldn't tell you if I did.  
But I hate debates. 
Long before Donald Trump came along, the debates turned campaigning for the presidency into a reality TV show. And it's doubtful they tell us anything of substance about the candidates or the issues.
Do away with them.

No comments: