By now, you know that I think the media are puppeteers: they pull the strings to make us dance. They determine what’s important, and how content should be delivered. They make us hear what they want us to hear.

Let’s think about the process for picking a Democratic candidate.

A bunch of people form exploratory committees, raise money, go to Iowa, and decide that they will run for President.

Fine.

This year there was a bumper crop of candidates flying around the country, extolling their virtues as to why they should become the leader of America.

Fine.

Then came the debates.

Now with a group of 20 or so people, it’s logical that you would split the candidates up and have two different debates. I agree with this.

But…..

The Democratic party has two sides, the progressive side and the moderate side. This is how it should be- different types of people with different opinions. But if you have two different factions, why wouldn’t you have the progressives debate one another on one night and the moderates debate one another on another night? Wouldn’t that be the logical thing, allow the voters to see the differences between the moderates, how they stack up against one another, and similarly the progressives. We already know how the moderates are different from the progressives- that’s easy. But against one another? Not so much. In my mind, narrow down the people in each faction, then when they get down to about five progressives and five moderates, let them duke it out.

Were moderate choices drowned out by progressive candidates?

Why wasn’t the debate split up so that each section of the party could be highlighted properly?

Did the media want to highlight certain candidates and hide some others?

Have certain candidates received more “time” than others and is this fair? In an election cycle, shouldn’t all the candidates receive the same amount of attention from the media? And I know there is a sort of balance game where they technically do, but if someone is constantly on page one, and someone else is back near the sports, is that equal coverage? If one event is reported at 7pm, and another at 11:30- is that fair treatment?

Have the news networks already picked out the Democratic candidate for President?

 

 

 

42 thoughts on “Debating

  1. I can debate and consider the merits of any candidate. But it’s like being a man without a country, because people are not so eager to debate and discuss as they are to shout and judge.

    You’re spot on in this piece. The debates have indeed become an American Idol contest. The only thing missing is the toll free number to vote for your favorite.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Right? The judges (oh wait, the panel of questioners) decide who gets what question and who gets how much time to answer, and decide who they’ll hold to the rules, and who they won’t.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s clearly evident on both sides. I used Democrat’s as an example because it’s happening now in front of our eyes. I didn’t get to hear what every candidate thought. How is that fair?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. With as many people as there are in the “race” it is hard to hear anyone’s voice clearly. There should not be 10 people on stage at once. I realize there are 2 or 3 different factions and maybe as you say that is how they should be divided on the debate stage, but I do not think it will help narrow down the candidates. People will naturally watch those whose views they agree with. The convention is where it all happens and while this is far from the best method for choosing a candidate and running mate it is what we have. It is hard for the regular voter to get invested in a candidate only to lose him or her at the convention.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. As an independent voter I pay attention to presidential election politics in the same way that I pay attention to the NFL. I’ll tune into football when it’s close to the time for the Super Bowl– or in a political sense, after the parties are done with their shows and decide who’ll represent them. Until then… 🤷‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So you know that old Broadway way bromide—that when the curtain goes up you spend the next few minutes determining which cast member you’d like to sleep with….and then settle in for the show. Well, of course members of the press will hop in and out of bed with the players in an American Presidential campaign. A campaign, which in modern times is, if nothing else, American Theater Writ Large. The fact the media is going to whore it up, ain’t no breaking News.

    So stop crying about which ever Chyron is currently churning your butter and spread some down-low info on your thinking about moderates and progressives. You are aware that when the candidate count was 20 or so, who shared the stage with whom was determined by lot. If the press had tried to determine which candidates were to be bundled by subjective ideological herding, I would have been the first to call the media out for actually renting that hotel room by the hour.

    And in closing, the public and especially the media can view a candidate as moderate or progressive not just by their policy proposals, but by the process they favor in implementing those goals….think the executive order of DACA versus the legislative act of the ACA.

    Regards,
    r.douglas

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Exactly. Deciding where on the continuum between far left, mid left, sort of left, and “I’m actually a Republican but thought my chances might be better as a Democrat” a candidate ranked would be fraught with peril.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. They say it was determined by lot. I say “no way”. I think it was rigged to highlight certain candidates, and hide others. I realize there is no litmus test to truly ascertain where a candidate stands in the left to centrist to right scale….but it’s sort of obvious which candidates might entice members of the “opposite” party…..

      Liked by 1 person

  5. We’re on opposites on this one, I guess. If anything, I want DNC party heads to start being more ruthless on creating higher bars for debate entry so that they can whittle down on the number of candidates on the stage. Some of those people, in my humble, have no business being on that debate stage (thank goodness de Blasio came to his senses).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Then you’re putting the party ahead of the individual. I like to base my opinions on individual issues. If you let the party decide, you’re basing it on the ideals of the party as a whole, which basically means some unknown is determining the course of action

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, you’re right. I am. This time around, probably for the first time in my voting life, I am indeed putting party first. We’re in a constitutional crisis, and I want to see the Democrats win. I want Trump voted out decisively. I do acknowledge, however, that this is a rather mercenary approach.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree about the way the media influences – this can cut both ways. In the last election they kept saying Clinton would win – that actually drove out the Trump voters, and gave the democrats an incentive not to vote, since they thought it was a sure deal. So were they on one side or not, and whose? I think the Democrats are stupid for offering up so many candidates. That, to me, just shows the party is totally disorganized and floundering. If they had offered six strong candidates, who had some name recognition, including those from multiple camps, we would have some focus and no need to be splitting debates 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I do think the media tries its best to influence elections, but they don’t always succeed. Still, my biggest question about the debates is always: why do we let debates determine our candidates or elected leaders? Once someone gets in office, is the ability to debate well really that important? Especially when the “debates” consist of people shouting each other down, avoiding direct questions, and basically calling each other liars. I don’t watch debates anymore, because they tend to turn me against all the participants!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny…before I wrote this blog, I was toying around with the idea of an application for President (much like a job application) I know there’s a blog in there somewhere, but I just can’t figure out how to write it, but it will come out eventually

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I couldn’t handle the debates. They made my anxiety level go bananas. I agree that the debates could’ve been divided in a more logical fashion, but there would be pitfalls to aligning all the more progressives on one night and all the middle of the roaders on a different night. I’m not sure how to move forward, but I do know I’ll support whoever wins the democratic party nomination.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t usually watch televised political debates, but I did watch that of the candidates for leader of the Conservative party earlier this year. There was meant to be the same level of balance – but of course analysis proved this to be bunkum. There was meant to be balance in the selection of questions being asked of those candidates but, unsurprisingly, the producers of each programme had an agenda of their own. Even with that said, it remained an interesting experience. I didn’t just accept the line the producers wanted me to, I used my brain and listened analytically, so learned stuff about some of the less well-known candidates, even if they’d no chance of winning. But I was able to put them down as potentially ones to watch for the future.

    Liked by 2 people

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