By Tank Murdoch
(TNS) We never thought the day would come when we would find something to agree on with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but it has arrived.
Following Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate, the New York socialist said that the American people would be better served if such events where “themed” — that is, all about one topic (or a couple, realistically, since there are a number of issues that concern Americans).
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Ocasio-Cortez’ comment was in reply to a tweet by journalist Tanvi Misra calling for a debate solely about immigration with immigration reporters as moderators. The representative replied in agreement.
“Honestly, there should be themed debates. Doing so educates the public far more on issues & actually serves the purpose of distinguishing who knows what they’re talking about +who doesn’t. Climate debate. Foreign policy debate. Healthcare. Racial justice. Labor&Econ. Can’t hide,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “We can work out the logistics, but we could absolutely use far more opportunities for candidates to shine based on substance.”
This is a rational, cogent suggestion that has a lot of merit and should be seriously considered moving forward. No, that wasn’t sarcasm.
It’s not that candidates don’t currently discuss issues, per se, but a lot of what ‘debates’ are really have nothing to do with actual debating.
Candidates — Democrats and Republicans — make a lot of political statements about their positions on issues designed to win votes, but they seldom, if ever, are forced to actually flesh out their positions and explain them, then defend them from other candidates.
Having themed debates would allow time for discussion and actual debate on topics concerning Americans — immigration, certainly, but others as well.
Take Wednesday’s debate. At one point, Sen. Bernie Sanders and former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg got into a back-and-forth about economics — Sanders’ socialism versus capitalism that works. The two candidates merely traded barbs over the issue, they didn’t discuss it in any depth at all, despite the obvious hypocrisy of millionaire Sanders’ constant complaints about wealth.
A ‘themed’ debate over economics would force Sanders to not only explain his socialism but to defend it — with examples (which he couldn’t do because there are no successful examples of purely socialist countries).
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Maybe the networks will get together and come up with some themes for the Trump-[fill in the blank] 2020 debates later this summer. The key will be to prevent the moderators from getting into debates with the candidates.
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