Columns
Premium

The Only Way Debates Will Recover Is With Equally Hyperpartisan Moderators or None At All

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

We are now two debates into the 2020 presidential election season and I think we can conclude with sincerity and conviction that the moderators are the real losers this time around. I think it’s time for a massive change. After all, 2020 is a year like no other year before it. Why must we have the same old tired debate format, where as soon as it gets good, the moderator calls a time-out or changes the subject? Here are my ideas to liven up the debates:

Hyperpartisan Moderators

Wouldn’t it be fun to watch Rush Limbaugh or Mark Steyn or Mark Levin grill the Democrat candidate? At the same time, someone like Rachel Maddow, or any of the usual debate moderators, like Chris Wallace or Candy Crowley, can grill the Republican candidate. As it is now, we always get a far-left biased moderator to throw softballs at one side and use a blow torch on the other. Is that fair? What are they afraid of? I don’t think Republicans would be afraid to answer questions from Maddow or anyone like her. We’re used to it. But has a Democrat ever had to face a real inquisition from the opposition? Clearly, no. Why not? Can’t they take the heat? I would pay good money to watch Limbaugh go head to head with any Democrat running for office. We could probably pay off some of the national debt by selling tickets to that.

No Moderators = Free-for-All Fun!

Why do we even need moderators? Are we really concerned that grown adults will start wrestling or something? And what if they did? That would get great ratings. I have it on good authority that Joe Biden is itching for a pushup contest. But seriously, why can’t the two candidates go on TV together on a debate stage live for two hours? Just let them hash it out and take the discussion anywhere it naturally goes instead of getting to the good part and having your thoughts interrupted by a Democrat moderator who wants to help her favorite candidate. That’s dumb, as my six-year-old would say, and I’m tired of it.

Imagine how fun it would be to let Donald Trump just go after Joe Biden for two hours. It would be like a cage match. Every thirty minutes a bell could ring and each candidate could get a drink of water and consult with his team for a minute and then head back out to go again. This would be the must-see TV of the century.

No one is voting for the moderators, so why do they get to inject so much of themselves into presidential debates? I always come away from these things knowing way more about the moderator than I ever wanted to. I don’t care what Chris Wallace thinks about anything. He’s just some dude who reads cue cards on television. Why on earth do I care what questions he wants to ask? If we’re going to have a third party, why not the Libertarian candidate for president? (Why don’t we ever get to see the Libertarian in the debate? Do you ever wonder that?)

Citizen Participation

Since 2020 is the year of Zoom, let’s let the people ask the questions. Every four minutes or whatever, the candidates hit a button and up pops an American with a question. The questions can be voted on ahead of time by both sides. Dems get to pick theirs and Republicans get to pick ours and both sides get the same number. I’d rather hear any questions from the first 20 people in the phone book than from anyone at CNN. Honestly, why does anyone care what newspeople want asked? Don’t we hear enough from them every other hour of the day? I want to hear what the people of Kenosha and Oklahoma City think. I’m tired of New York and LA media people who all have the same agenda and the same opinions as if they came off the same processing line at a Chinese factory.

I can’t be the only one who feels this way, but I guess it’s a moot point since the all-powerful Commission on Presidential Debates is determined to destroy debating forever. Did you hear who runs that commission? It’s a real scandal. Turns out, it’s Never Trumpers like Olympia Snow. Great.

It is unfair and it’s time to get rid of it. The Commission on Presidential Debates is a fraud. Surely, we can watch two candidates just talk to one another without all the nonsense rules and regulations. And if we can’t, then why even do it at all? It’s a scam. I’m glad the president called off the “virtual” debate. The commission has no intention of playing fair, so the answer is not to play or change the rules.