I have an idea for something to replace debates!

We had choir rehearsal last night so I only saw the last half of the second presidential debate. I came in when Obama was discussing coal and oil and effectively refuting everything Romney had said. I caught Romney talking about “binders full of women,” suggesting marriage as the best response to assault rifles, and that being able to leave work at five to feed your family was the most pressing work issue for women, completely flubbing immigration, and, of course, the Libya moment, the best part of which was when Obama rounded on him in indignation and said, “And the suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the secretary of state, our U.N. ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we’ve lost four of our own, Governor, is offensive. That’s not what we do. That’s not what I do as president. That’s not what I do as commander in chief.”

It was a balm to my worried heart. That said, I want to repeat what I’ve posted many time: I hate debates. Always have. I’m glad Obama won, but I’d vastly prefer to abandon the practice of presidential debates altogether. It’s too much of a warrior thing, which is not entertaining or informative. I don’t want to watch a battle. And I reject that this tells us anything about a candidate’s ability as a president (or how they would do in a real battle).

I have a better idea. Give each candidate a half hour (or more) to lecture. Sorry, I love a good lecture. I’d like to see Obama speak about constitutional law. What would the Romney equivalent be? Wall Street investments? This would give each of them an opportunity to shine in areas they are knowledgeable about and I’d get to learn something.

There’s be all sort of rules, just as there are in a debate. Leave the other guy out of it. No discussion of your opponent whatsoever. This is your opportunity to show the public what you know and also to educate the public on something you think is important. The subjects of the lectures are not released beforehand. This would be to prevent the other candidate from working in references to the subject in their lecture.

I’d have to give this more thought to come up with the most useful guidelines.

I’m going to take a bunch of pictures of Bleeck. Someone I know who also lost their cat and got a kitten has been shooting up a storm. I don’t have many early shots of Buddy and Finney and I want to make sure that doesn’t happen with Bleeck.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

7 thoughts on “I have an idea for something to replace debates!

  1. I ruptured a quadricep tendon on Sept 1, not a life-threatening injury but that doesn’t stop me from feeling plenty sorry for myself. Yes, I know it’s a sneeze compared to cancer but I don’t have cancer, I have a knee that aches 24 hours a day. The only thing that cheers me up is when I console myself that at least it’s not a toothache. Toothaches are what kills my will to live.

    So yeah, I feel for you. That bone graft sounds brutal. Hang in there.

    I prescribe lots of face time with B & F.

  2. What a great idea about the lectures. I cannot abide to watch debates. I wait for the highlights. I pray that your bone graft is very easy and you feel comfortable very quickly!

  3. Ah…the warrior thing. One of the pundits opined that this sort of thing might turn off women voters.

    Absent the national stage-wonder what would’ve have happened?

    Good luck on your surgery.

  4. Hope all went well today with your bone graft procedure and that Bleeck and Finney will be appropriately sympathetic and cater to your every whim!

  5. Thank you all (and poor you, Vivian that sounds painful, and more long lasting than my thing).

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