Despite the fact that no one is going to listen to my proposed rules for the upcoming Presidential debate, I am exercising my First Amendment rights to voice them. My purpose is to lobby for civility, decency, and (please God) some earnest discussion about the issues facing America and the world.

  1. The candidates cannot make eye contact with each other. This is mostly for Hillary’s benefit, but since eye contact is a participatory thing, the rule obviously has to apply to both of them. You know the rule about not making eye contact with a grizzly bear? Because the bear will interpret it as a threat? Well, I think Donald Trump might have that same reaction — go on the attack, and then Hillary might attack in return…and there goes any hope for civility.
  2. Each candidate must call the other candidate by their proper name. It’s Secretary Clinton and Mr. Trump. No adjectives, no additions to the names. Just the names please. And politely — like most of us were taught to do long ago by our parents.
  3. People who have been killed, either on the streets of America or overseas in war must be spoken of respectfully, given the dignity they deserve, not treated as pawns in a political game.
  4. If Donald Trump tells a lie, the moderator must call him out on it…but not before he finishes telling the lie. We need to know just how far his stories travel into the world of make-believe.
  5. Hillary Clinton cannot use the word ‘deplorable.’ Actually, I think she should never again be allowed to use that word.  Ever. The same goes for  the word ‘basket.’  If she gives one of those items to her grandchildren at Easter she must refer to it as an Easter woven thing. I realize I’ve strayed outside the parameters of the debate, but I feel strongly about this.
  6. Donald Trump can only say “believe me” 3 times. That’s it. We’re tired of hearing those two words. They mean nothing, he says this way too often, and it would be healthy for him to expand his vocabulary.

Most people would like to watch two human beings who are aiming for the highest office of the land exchange ideas and intentions, discuss their plans for healing the wounds of our country and lessening the dangers that seem to wait around every corner. There is enough reality television out there — the Presidential debate shouldn’t be just another reality show.

2 Responses to DEBATE RULES

  1. John Dukakis says:

    I agree with most of this but I’m not sure a substantive debate on the issues is realistic because one of the participants knows little beyond bumper sticker or 140 character answers. As a HRC partisan, I hope she’ll remain calm but, to use your bear, I hope she’ll calmly pokes it because temperament is a rather key differentiator. I also think her looking directly at him will have an effect on him so I hope she looks at him intensely while he’s answering every question.

    I laughed very hard at your ‘basket’ comment.

  2. Edward Jenny says:

    Totally love it, intent is accurate to what a debate should be and the ground rules will reduce the number of viewer migraines … Thank you Patty, always able to perceive and articulate what a good number of us think about. Be well, Peace

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