Fix the Format of America’s Presidential Debates

Fix the Format of America’s Presidential Debates

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Alejandro Rodriguez started this petition to President Donald J. Trump and

America’s presidential debates have devolved into vulgar personal attacks, meaningless sound bites, and scripted rebuttals. Voters learn very little about policy. With the current system, there is no time for depth and serious discussion. The debates have great influence over voters, making it necessary  that the candidates and the Commission on Presidential Debates adopt Oxford-style debate.

This is how it would work:  Resolutions — such as, “expand social programs” or “the United States intervenes abroad too often” — are created for one side to support and the other to oppose.

The Democrat and Republican each would start with an opening statement that they deliver without interruption. Then the contenders address and rebut the best arguments their opponent has made. The moderator’s role is to ensure that the candidates actually debate each other—that they respect the process, respond to points made, refute or concede as necessary, and honor time limits. The debate ends with two-minute closing arguments, a final opportunity to sway the audience.

Oxford-style debate would better demonstrate the candidates’ platforms and ideas and would force the candidates to respond to intense questions, marshal relevant facts, and expose weaknesses in their opponents’ arguments.

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