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How To Overhaul Presidential Debates? Stop Pretending it’s a Debate.

This past week both political parties agreed to hold a Presidential debate between President Biden and former President Trump. Many observers are already criticizing it as a waste of time and unlikely to change anyone’s mind. They are probably right, but what if they weren’t?

The idea of giving the public a chance to hear directly from candidates in an unfiltered way is an important one.
Unfortunately, it’s an ideal that the modern debate format rarely lives up to. Instead, these televised debates are filled with one platitude after another in a quest to make and say that things that satisfy a politician’s base without turning off too many undecided voters (if they even exist anymore) or making too big a gaffe (which I once heard entertainingly described as a moment when a politician accidentally tells the truth).

The problem with debates is that the “winner” is often declared based on things that really don’t matter.
So, we focus on things like who had the better body language or the better soundbite “zinger” to attack the other person. A real debate is an exchange of ideas and an argument by someone who has a position and is willing to take a stand behind it. That never happens in most political debates.
So, what would it take to make debates actually useful again?

Imagine if we skipped the naïve idea that pitting two presidential candidates against one another on stage was going to be a debate at all and instead turned this into a real time interview.
Read my full article about this idea and why I think it could work here »
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Rohit is the author of 10 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.


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