If any amusement is left in politics, it must be sheer irony. This week we learned the Republican National Committee (RNC) may boycott 2024 presidential debates by the “Commission” for not being “fair and nonpartisan.” The case is real, based on leaks and bias. Yet, Democrats are livid.
Unpacking this story, one must see both sides and laugh. The GOP argues, with evidence, that the forum’s recent debates tipped Democrats, no policing bias, and leaks to and from moderators.
Facts are hard to dispute and are rather one-sided. Beyond that, the process is controversial, some candidates summarily excluded, live mics muted by grand authority as if the Wizard of Oz was in charge. See, e.g., Commission on Presidential Debates.
Meantime, as a result of confusion, errors, and half-truths, candidates have filed lawsuits, moderators have been fired, debates canceled, formats shifted. Some consistency might help.
But the irony is – how Democrats responded. At a time when leftists around the country, on college campuses, in the media, in a host of public forums regularly “cancel” Republicans and conservatives, we see Democrats objecting to a request for “fair” 2024 debates.
In other words, when Republicans ask for a fair and open exchange of views on matters of public concern, including a presidential election, the comeback is an objection that this is “canceling.”
Is there not something ironic in seeing those who dare to exclude viewpoints with which they disagree, threatening forums like the Supreme Court and traditional Senate procedures with cancellation – or “packing,” “revolution,” and “repeal” – and now saying they cannot stomach a request for fairness? See, e.g., Liberal media panics about no debates in 2024 as RNC feuds with Commission on Presidential Debates; Sen. Jeanne Shaheen predicts ‘revolution’ if Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade; THE DEMOCRATS’ PLAN TO PACK THE SUPREME COURT.
Is there not something precious about a stand taken for a tainted forum – unless changes assuring fairness happen – from those who pressed unfairness to the point of wanting to pack the Supreme Court and eliminate a 150-year-old filibuster, even pressing a Justices to retire?
Yes, America is a great country – in part because we have a First Amendment, which assures we can speak our minds, whatever is on them. That includes objecting to bias, cancellation, intimidation, and disingenuous nonsense – and insisting on fair and open presidential debates.
Should we have a fair forum for presidential debates, allowing all a fair shot at physical presence, articulation of views, time to speak? Accommodation of styles? Yes, we should.
The Commission has a rich history, but bias is not and should not be a proud part of any forum that aims at non-partisanship, fairness, and honest debate. What the RNC is saying, in so many words, is stop the circus, be fair. Is that so much to ask? Politics has become more heat than light, blather, and overtalk than listening and evaluation, but unbiased debates is a fair ask.
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