porcelainandporcupines

An uninformed proposal

Posted on: February 19, 2016

I should start off with the usual disclaimer that I generally don’t like to talk about politics, because I make a genuine effort to pay no attention at all to what is happening in the political arena and thus have no real idea what I’m talking about. It’s all extremely boring, and even though important things happen sometimes, everyone involved is so self-important and unpleasant that, even if I happen to agree with their stance, I mostly want them to shut up and stop being a jerk. Because, in politics, everyone is a jerk, and never more than in an election season.

And with that elegant segue, I will bring us to the actual point that brings us together today, which is that I very seriously don’t understand why we are still having candidate debates. I know the election is a mind-numbingly long 9 months away, but it’s not like there’s any  nuance that needs to be teased out of a candidate’s stance. At this point, all anyone is saying is “Hulk smash!” and the object of smashing doesn’t need to be clearly defined because whatever you can think of, you’re the Hulk and all you can do is smash it. And that everyone else is also claiming to be the Hulk and that they’ll be the ones doing the smashing is ludicrous because you’re the Hulk and you can prove it by how you’re smashing your opponent. Who you’ll gratuitously insult by calling a female, unless they’re actually a female, in which case there’s no side a woman can be on and not be wrong. Because you can’t be a feminist if you’re supporting a woman if it’s only because she’s a woman, and you can only be supporting her because she’s a woman since she’s the only woman to support.

But a larger issue than the lack of substantive issues is that it’s 2016. Which means that no one needs to travel for days into town to be able to hear what a candidate has to say. We don’t need to be in the audience or even in the same state in order to watch the debate as it’s happening, and we don’t need to watch the debate as it’s happening to find out what was said.  The first debate can be seen by just as many people in just as many states as any subsequent debate, because of technology. And because of technology, there’s no need to trot out the same people to say the same things over and over again if they’re doing it in front of the same audience.

Furthermore,  if the candidates don’t have to travel to each state to make their platforms known, then there’s no real need for staggered primaries. It’s extremely inefficient and serves no purpose other than to exacerbate an already unnecessarily prolonged process. Imagine if, instead of months of debates and polls, we had 1 debate? And then followed the broadcast television live +7 model and waited a week to let everyone catch up, and then had the primaries? Easy-peasy. Simple. What would we lose?

Or, perhaps another option would be to have the same amount of debates, but stagger the candidates who appear in them. Hypothetically speaking,  if there are 12 Republican front runners, you can take a mix-and-match approach to each debate and let everyone have a voice, rather than let 1 candidate run roughshod over every possible discussion. Hypothetically.

Additionally, and this is a little crazy, but since there are so many months and so little to say, why not have a major news outlet host a debate between some of the fringier candidates? It would do nothing to dampen the messages, such as the are, of the major candidates who still have every other media outlet at their disposal, plus it might actually help someone make an informed decision about who they want to be president. And isn’t that the purpose of a debate? Plus, imagine how high the levels of self-regard would rise in this country if one could simultaneously #feelthebern and support an actual Independent candidate.

Obviously, there are many things wrong with the current political landscape; even without knowing what they are, I know that. Fewer debates and simultaneous primaries may not solve all of them, and certainly has the potential not to solve any of them. But shorter seasons has worked very well for television dramas; I’m sure a shorter primary season could yield positive results as well.

Advertisements

1 Response to "An uninformed proposal"

Yes! Here, here!! YES!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 7 other followers

Fun With Song Lyrics

what we talked about when we talked about love in the '80s

The Cambridge Room

Historic tidbits, facts, and notes of interest on Cambridge, Massachusetts brought to you by the Cambridge Public Library's Archivist.

PST...

My Life in Pacific Standard Time

Grammar Party

a blog about grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, and sometimes cats

Everything's JOK

Just one idiot's opinon.

TPN meets FOG

Swirling about in the fog of the SF Bay Area and my head

%d bloggers like this: