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G.O.P. Debates Shouldn’t Be Limited to 10

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Fox News made the unfortunate decision to limit the first Republican debate, scheduled for two months from now, to 10 participants, based on their standing in national polls.

This will exclude some worthy contenders on a flimsy basis—including a candidate with 4% support, while a rival with 3% is excluded. Given that the margin of error in most polls—their admitted rate of inaccuracy—is at least 3-6%, this makes no sense. Also, ten candidates on stage is far too many since each prospective president will be limited to 5 minutes, maximum, to discuss all the big issues.

A much better plan would be something like this: the candidates should draw lots, dividing into three debates with five debaters each. As candidates quit the race, this can shrink to two groups, with eventually all survivors on stage together. It’s not too late to restructure debate plans for the sake of the party, and the country.

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  1. Sean Flynn  •  Jun 4, 2015 at 7:43 am

    The demise of the influence of the national party is to blame for this. Back when both quasi-corporate structure of the Republican and Democratic parties had more power, national party leaders picked their preferred candidates and you have election cycles with a relative (compared to today) handful of people running.

    Nowadays, candidates don’t need the party’s favor or, more importantly, it’s money.

    Anyone with the money, either their own (Fiorina) or some billionaire supporter, can throw their hat into the ring. And with cheap media exposure (Internet, Fox News, etc) you can become a known entity overnight, with no experience (Ben Carson).

    This creates chaotic, long primary battles in which the candidates (whom are basically all the same, policy-wise, except for Rand Paul) must try to destroy each other and create internal dissent, rather than build up unified support.

    George W Bush in 2000, John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012 each arose victorious in very bruising primary seasons, which have gotten worse over time. Did they really have the support of 100% of the GOP electorate come November?

    In 1952 Dwight Eisenhower and Douglas MacArthur each campaigned for GOP nomination. Ike won handily, then cruised to election in November. Imagine if they had highly publicized, televised state-by-state battles with contentious debates, going after each other in personal attacks by flooding the TV airwaves with brutal attack ads. Would the GOP ticket have benefited from this by November 1952?

    Maybe the days of the smoke-filled backrooms were better.

  2. Chuck Keilman  •  Jun 5, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    I agree that we should hear from everyone, however it is not feasible to have 20 people on stage at the same time. No one will get a real opportunity to express themselves.

    I believe that they should come up with a format that will allow each to explain their stand on the various topics for the debate. Possible have two debates and then we can compare all of the answers and choose for ourselves between those who are competing for the job.

  3. June  •  Jun 5, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Will Simon Cowell moderate?

  4. Julianne  •  Jun 6, 2015 at 7:56 am

    The biggest problem with the “debates” is that they focus on emotionally laden gotcha type of questions, too often about things that are not even in the scope of presidential authority. I think the first and most important question is the position of the candidate on constitutional federal government. That is, does s/he believe that the federal government should be restricted as to size, scope and power, with most authority reserved for the states or the people, or does s/he believe that the federal government should be infinitely expandable to include anything the electorate might want from it.

    That’s it. You have a horizontal line with a mark in the middle, and each candidate has to come down on one side of the mark or the other. No one on the left side of the mark should be a candidate for the GOP. With this foundation, debates could be relevant. With this foundation, many of most gotcha questions could be answered by pointing out the 10th Amendment and saying our Constitution gives our citizens the right to decide what they want our laws to say. but it also makes it clear that the federal government is limited in what it can and should be able to do, and made a point of keeping most of the authority in lawmaking at the state and local levels, where the citizens have more control and more oversight.

    This approach would have the benefit of starting the long and arduous process of educating people about the way our government is supposed to run, as well as limiting debate questions to issues that truly do belong at the federal level—-national defense, international relations and taxation at the top of the list. It would also have the long term effect of making people pay more attention to state politics, as they become more aware that this is where the real power lies, or at least should lie. And it would strip the Complicit Agenda Media of much of its ability to manipulate the emotions of the LIV.

  5. Jeff  •  Jun 8, 2015 at 1:13 am

    For all you pitchfork Republicans who are predicting the demise of the GOP. Who controls both houses of Congress?

    • Sean Flynn  •  Jun 10, 2015 at 6:24 pm

      The Republican Party does indeed have healthy majorities in both houses of congress.

      But in the House of Representatives this is, in large part, due to gerrymandered districts, which grow more so with every redistricting. The percentage of congressmen getting reelected has never been so high. It takes a sex scandal, money scandal or death to get them out of office once thet get elected the first time.

      And the anti-democratic nature of the Senate, i.e. Wyoming’s 600,000 people get 2 senators & California’s 42,000,000 also get 2 senators, was one of the Founding Fathers worst ideas (along with blessing slavery). Hell, Staten Island alone has twice the population of Wyoming.

      Is it any wonder that after the fall of the Soviet empire in 1989 when democratization swept eastern Europe, South America, east Asia and elsewhere that none of these new democracies, from Poland to Argentina to South Africa to South Korea, modeled their political systems on the US?

      Let’s not even get started with the electoral college (which, just for conversation, greatly benefits the Democratic Party nowadays).

      A hundred years the US has the most modern, forward-looking system of governance in the world. Now, it seems a creaky antique badly in need of modernization. Which, due to political gridlock, a deeply divided populace, and corruption (why would the guys in office now want to change things?) won’t get done.

  6. markest larson  •  Jun 8, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Please help san diego listen to the Medved Show. The Davis/Boze incompetence caused KCBQ to cancel the last hour of the Medved Show. We no longer get Call of the Week, Disagreement Day, and Open Mind Friday. Please call the asst program director at 1(888)344-1170 between the hours of 6 and 9 am and demand the Medved Show,

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