APFwebs

Let us agree to disagree

“To fight or quarrel” is an obsolete meaning for “debate”.

Debate should be a calm back and forth of words: trading differing ideas and the reasons behind them. The moderator’s role is to ask, and to keep order in the answers.

Trump raged like a spoiled brat in a sham of a Presidential Debate. Doom came to the moderator. The Commission on Presidential Debates hinted at changing the rules: rumors of letting the moderator silence a mic.

My idea: run the debate like a quiz show. Jimmy Kimmel’s run game shows: let him moderate. He’ll ask each candidate a question—either his own or from the audience. The candidate has 30 seconds to answer for points. A large point board is lit behind each candidate, white numbers for good points, red for a deficit.

If a candidate doesn’t make a point—lies, nonsense, abuse, rant, interruption—or if the candidate goes over 30 seconds, then the candidate loses points. The candidate’s mic is silenced, a black shade descends, canned laughter, and Beulah the Buzzer moans: “WAAH-WAah-Waah-waaaaaah” (or maybe just a plain buzzer: “BZZZT!”)

At the end of the show, the candidate with the better number of points gets…wait for it…one THOU…sand dollars! (The other candidate walks off stage with a hang-dog pout.) Canned applause and cheers, confetti, theme song, masked dog comes running on stage bearing a pouch with a thousand one-dollar bills which the candidate may apply to campaign finances.

“That’s all for tonight, folks! Hope to see you for our next exciting quiz on…The Debating Game!”