Roger L. Simon

The Presidential Debates are a National Joke

Today’s Drudge headline – BOOB TUBE: CNN DUPED BY HILLARY PLANT AT REPUBLICAN DEBATE – is yet another example of the pathetic quality of the endless presidential debates. But it isn’t just the dubious provenance of these questions – or even their inanity – that makes these events so pointless. It is their basic construction, actually their very existence, that makes a mockery of our democracy. Has anyone learned a single thing about anybody from these events? They are an embarrassment, a national joke. Amusing as people like Stephen Green are, satirists like him are in the unfortunate position of having to parody a parody.

The danger behind this is that it makes our presidential candidates (all of them) seem like idiots. [Maybe it’s true. -ed. How would I know? Not from these “debates.”] It also makes the media seem like clowns and reduces everything to spectacle of the sort you wouldn’t even get at a third-rate Vegas hotel way off the Strip.

Is there a solution to this? Yes, stop this nonsense and do in-depth interviews with the candidates about subject matter that counts…see what they think… what their policies are. Then, we narrow this sideshow down to some people who might conceivably be president, we can have a debate – with enough time alloted for the candidates to explain their point of view. Simple-minded? Yes. But not nearly as simple-minded as we currently have.