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GOP Debate – 4th Time’s the Charm?

Tonight is yet another GOP Presidential Debate. This one comes at a time when Donald Trump’s chief rival, Dr. Ben Carson, is coming under increased scrutiny on his life story. Many allege that the media’s treatment of Carson is unfair and due to bias, while others say that it’s all a part of the vetting process.

Whichever you believe, one thing is clear: the debates thus far have been quite revealing and highly entertaining, to say the least. However, that entertainment often comes at the cost of exploring the depths of the issues and what the candidates believe.

This was abundantly clear in the CNBC Debate, which was heavily criticized for its poor moderation, lame gotcha questions, and obsession with issues that, frankly, don’t matter. Social media (myself included) lacerated CNBC for their performance, and it seems the Republican National Committee wasn’t too pleased with their work either.

The debates prior to CNBC were better, but had their share of questionable moments as well, such as the infamous fight between Megyn Kelley and Donald Trump.

For the next debate, I would hope the moderators would provide an environment that fosters the following:

– Deep, intellectual discussion on policy prescriptions, instead of questions aimed at inciting fights between candidates or pushing personalities’ buttons.

– Questions which are cutting, but fair – not asking Jeb Bush about whether he’d kill baby Hitler or asking Donald Trump what he thinks about Ben Carson for the umpteenth time.

– Inclusion of all candidates. The moderators often ignore candidates like John Kasich or Rand Paul for extended periods of time, and as we saw in the CNBC Debate, even attempt to squelch their voice.

– A fun but rigorous atmosphere. I’m not suggesting that the candidates shouldn’t be themselves or loosen up a little bit from time to time. Debates provide just such a forum for the candidates’ personalities to shine. But today’s political culture and much of political “journalism” today is focused on things that are not of much importance. The media lives on diverting attention towards petty drama and are concerned with driving ratings higher, rather than bring the crucial issues to the forefront.

And finally, I’m hoping that the candidates will clarify a vision for America which involves less government and more freedom for the individual. It’s time for the voters to see the exact policies and ideas that the candidates will promote if they are elected, rather than be distracted by personalities or sideshows. The electorate needs to be informed as they consider who they will cast their vote for to be the next leader of the free world.

I’m planning on livetweeting the debate tonight, like I have with the previous Republican debates and the one official Democratic debate we’ve seen so far. You can follow along @EvanBuckCom.

Here’s to hoping that the 4th time’s the charm!

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