Ah, yes. Nothing quite smacks of disarray as political debates. Candidates given platforms to spout out information which anyone with any sort of researching skills can look up online in five minutes, insult their opponents and rarely offering up solutions to problems before them. They are like bickering kids dressed up nicely. The moderators are supposed to control the vitriol and make everyone play nice, while being impartial and fair.
Since what we saw the last time was nothing short of a hot mess served up to the public, some of my cronies have come up with suggestions for moderators. Considering these suggestions, I would probably even record the debates to possibly watch replays. It would certainly be a breath of fresh air to see how these individuals handled candidates and what sort of questions they would toss out.
#1. Mabel Earlene Simmons, aka “Madea” as moderator. An older woman of color who has been in jail and is not afraid of the “po-po,” Madea would be certain to verbally skewer candidates who had the nerve to ignore warning about going over time, and with a simple “Oh, hell, no!” should mute them in a hot second. Her questions regarding race relations and social programs would be fodder for at least two debates.
#2. Thelma Harper, aka “Mama.” As a matriarch who supported her grown children, even as they moved into her basement after marriage, Mama, would have some blistering questions regarding employment issues. Since she briefly served as Mayor of Raytown, and even ran for President herself in 2008, she would be quick to grill candidates on big government, budgets and all manner of issues facing the elderly. The only issue might be her snarling “In a pig’s eye” when she felt someone was sidestepping the truth and the possibility of her smacking someone with her pocketbook.
#3. “Dirty” Harry Callahan, as a former police officer and inspector of the San Francisco Police Department, Harry would steer questions toward national safety, crime and punishment and law enforcement. It might be a bit of a narrow debate, but who would not want to see him stare down a candidate with a “Do you feel lucky?” if they go over their allotted time to speak?
#4. My friend Ray recommended his mother. Apparently, Rosita has a built-in truth detector and is lightening fast with a slipper or wooden spoon when it comes handing out discipline to boys (regardless of actual age) who are being disrespectful or not playing nicely. An immigrant to this country a half century + ago, she would be extremely interested in preserving national security, a capitalist way of life and preservation of family. Religious freedom will be a big topic for her as well. I believe Rosita would also serve cookies to audience and crew members during commercial breaks.
We also liked the idea of using isolation chambers like they used to for the Miss America Contest. One candidate would be in there, while the other initially answered a question, then vice versa, the answers would be shared with each candidate after both had a turn and they could wrangle over the responses then. Questions would of course be drawn from a fishbowl, which had been submitted by the public and drawn randomly.
The idea of bullet points listing accomplishments behind each candidate was also approved. Areas noted would be economy, national security, job growth, race relations, and International Affairs. It would be like comparing resumes side-by-side.
The other suggestion was each candidate come out like contestants from the Masked Singer, they are physically and vocally disguised to avoid preconceived bias and they are not revealed until the end of debate- I really like this idea for the start of campaign season when there are 15-20 people battling for votes.
Unfortunately, none of these suggestions will be utilized, which is a shame. I truly believe it would keep the candidates on their toes and best manners, and voters glued to the screen.
Written and submitted by Sarah Roush for The Circleville Herald. The views of this column may not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.