We Need Real Political Debates

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    U.S. Presidential candidates, U.S. media
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This is a non-partisan demand to have real presidential debates, not just an opportunity for candidates to repeat their stump speeches. Too many debate questions can be better answered by simply visiting a candidate's website. The questions should go beyond generalities and ask about specific policies, actions, and statements.

Each question should be designed to make a candidate defend their positions, not just state what they are. If someone is running for President of the U.S., they should be able to defend their positions and respond to critics.

Each debate should be focused on just a few topics in order to avoid generalities. Debate moderators should consult with policy matter experts from across the entire spectrum, and ask them to craft questions designed to reveal flaws in the candidates' positions. Journalists are not policy experts, and there are some topics - such as immigration and globalization - where the mainstream media is aligned with most politicians despite what everyone else thinks. Moderators - together with experts from across the spectrum - should be allowed to ask a series of questions in order to hone in on a candidate's actual positions and in order to reveal flaws in their policies.

One of the greatest threats to the U.S. political system is that politicians are frequently allowed to make obviously wrong or misleading statements without being challenged. We urge you to end this practice and craft real debates about vital issues.