Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Democratic Debates: Take These Events Seriously

The debate last night was uncomfortable because it was like trying to pour drawerful of precious jewels into a small bag since so many important, valuable talking points were stuffed into a short time frame--a time frame and format hat left very important talking points fragmented leaving us to judge a candidate by mostly sound bites and what we already know about that individual and their ideas. In many ways, the debate like most important considerations today, was not the best platform for comparing and sharing important ideas. Is there a better way?

That said, however, I think that at this point in the Democratic candidates' bids to represent the party in the primary election, this format of debate after debate might be the best way to get the candidates out in front of the people, a way to narrow down the field to a manageable few. The way we watch, evaluate, and supplement these debates matter too. As we watch, we basically want to get an idea about what each candidate might be like as President of the United States. We can use these questions to guide our viewing:
  • Is the candidate able to speak about important issues with knowledge, confidence, respect, intelligence, confidence, and courage? If a candidate does not well represent their ideas, then that candidate is probably not prepared to be President of the United States.
  • Is the candidate truthful? This is something we can assess by reading the large number of fact checking articles that come after the debates.
  • Are the candidate's ideas viable? Are there articles online that one can read to learn about the details related to the ideas expressed? Last night, after the election, I read about Elizabeth Warren's Ultra Millionaire Tax, it's a great plan.  I wanted to follow up to see if it is as good as it sounds.
  • Are the candidates willing to listen to each other, defend their ideas, contest ideas they oppose, and even, perhaps, acknowledge another candidate's good ideas and support those candidates onstage if they agree? This is the kind of good work a POTUS has to do, and it's important to consider candidates' abilities in this realm.
  • Does the candidate exemplify good character? 
I found that watching the debates was a stressful event, however, I believe it's important to listen with an open mind. Going forward I hope that every candidate will be able to capsulate their ideas with as few truthful and representative words and stories as possible, words and examples that essentially provide listeners with a headline to their good ideas, a headline that people can look up online to learn more details. I also hope that the candidates will add informative sight bites and images that well represent their ideas because people process complex information through images better than through lots and lots of words. 

At present, I remain a supporter of Elizabeth Warren for President of the United States. I believe she is intelligent, quick, experienced, collaborative, and creative. She's done her homework; she's worked in government; she knows the law, and she's ready and willing to work with others to forward what's best for all Americans. This is essential. I hope that she will bring many other formidable democratic candidates with her in leadership positions. The democratic team of candidates are mostly well qualified, good Americans who have what it takes to serve our country well. It's important that they work together to continually raise the conversation related to our country's potential and future. Rather than Trump and his Republican cronies' self-serving policies masked in catchy, empty sound bites, I hope that these Democratic candidates together will continue to uplift Americans' ability to understand the issues and get involved in the process to better what our country can do for each of us now and into the future. We can do better, and the next President of the United States has to be a candidate that not only believes that, but works with us to make that happen.