New Rules for Political Debates

Written by: Mitchell Robinson

Primary Source : Keep Talking, December 16, 2015



In an attempt to address the rampant lying and truth bending at the debates, here’s a modest proposal:

  1. Every time one of the candidates says something that is factually wrong, or intentionally misleading, a flashing light should be activated in front of their podium.
  2. At the same time, the news crawl at the bottom of the screen should scroll by with the correct information, while the candidate is speaking.
  3. The moderator should point out each correction before each commercial break, with the time used to do so taken from the appropriate candidate(s) allotment.
  4. Finally, each lie told should result in a penalty of 3 minutes of reduced speaking for the lying candidate.

With the millions of dollars in advertising revenue the networks make on these debates, there is no excuse for not implementing such a system immediately. The networks could employ a team of fact checkers from a spectrum of news organizations with access to the appropriate news sources and databases of information required to check the veracity of the candidates’ statements in real time.

It is simply unacceptable for persons who are running for the office of the President to stand on the stage and flat out lie to the public and not be held accountable for what they say.

If you agree with these new rules, please sign the petition linked here, and share widely on your social media networks!

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Mitchell Robinson
Mitchell Robinson is associate professor and chair of music education, and coordinator of the music student teaching program at Michigan State University. Robinson has held previous appointments as assistant professor and coordinator of the music education area at the University of Connecticut; assistant professor of school and community music education at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.; and director of wind activities and wind ensemble conductor at the University of Rochester. Robinson’s public school teaching experience includes 10 years as an instrumental music teacher, music department facilitator and high school assistant principal in Fulton, N.Y.