The current debate template is heavy on the moderators and personal attacks and light on the issues.
I propose a debate series where each debate will cover a single question/topic that is known to the candidates in advance. The debate will be started by a moderator and closed by a moderator, otherwise they will be unheard and unseen. The rules go like this: After the question is posed, each candidate has 10 minutes to answer. The answers can include visuals or powerpoints to illustrate (this is possible because the question/topic is known in advance. Following each answer/ presentation, each candidate will be permitted to ask the candidate who just presented one 15 second question and that candidate will have a minute to respond. Except for those 15 seconds, the other candidate’s mics will be shut off. After each candidate asks a question of the presenting candidate, there will be a second round of optional questions and responses. There will be a brief commercial break between each candidate. There will be no further comments from the moderator. The microphones will control the debate and a timer will be visible to the candidates.
The debate series covers the following topics – each in a separate debate:
1. Taxes/Debt/size/scope/fiscal and regulatory jurisdiction of the federal government. Here’s the opening question:
The average state relies on XX% of its state budget from federal funding sources. The interest alone on the national debt will cost XX% of the federal budget by 20XX. Business failures now outnumber business births and the federal register grew by XX new regulations since 2005.
Since states and, often individual citizens have become reliant on money we don’t have and can’t afford to borrow for much longer, what is your plan?
2. Entitlements/health care
Social security disability has grown by XX recipients and XX dollars, Medicare has grown by XX recipients and XX dollars, Medicaid has grown by XX recipients and XX dollars. Social security now has X paying in for every XX paying out. X of X Obamacare exchanges have failed, premiums have risen X% and only X% of the projected market have gotten insured. What do you propose in response to these facts?
3. Foreign policy/global terrorism
Congress authorized military action in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Does that authorization have any limitations and what is your threshold for U.S. intervention militarily or diplomatically against foreign governments and/or terrorist organizations?
4. Immigration/domestic terrorism
The 9/11 attackers and Boston bombers were immigrants or immigrant families. XX% of illegal aliens are visa overstays. 1 of 3 prisoners in the U.S. prison system are illegal aliens. H1B visa abuse has been alleged at major U.S. companies. There were X jobs created since 2008 and X legal immigrants and an estimated X illegal immigrants. Yet millions want to come to the U.S for opportunity. How would your immigration policies address these issues?
5. Ethics, religion and the role of government. (abortion, marriage, bill of rights)
State and Local officials were not prosecuted for ignoring their state laws prohibiting same sex marriage. A county clerk in Kentucky was jailed for violating a federal court order after the supreme court reversed states’ constitutional ballot initiatives prohibiting same sex marriage. Fines and other actions have been taken recently against religious objectors to same sex marriage. In other cases, juries have awarded damages to Muslim employees who refused to transport alcohol. Obama care contraceptive and abortion drug coverage has been a contentious issue as well. How do you apply the bill of rights to these 21st century issues?
Erick, Leon: let’s have a RedState debate series like this and show them how its done! It could even be the first web-based debate!