Friday, August 16, 2013

Why the GOP Echo Chamber Is Bad For Everyone

This morning the RNC voted for a NBC and CNN debate ban for GOP primaries over a potential Hillary Clinton biopic.  The idea is that they don't think people that might support the other side shouldn't ask questions.  The idea of a debate is to explore all ideas in a free and open marketplace of ideas.  Encouraging debates in an echo-chamber is an excellent step in destroying democracy.  It becoming more and more difficult to encourage the population to actually care about involvement in politics.

In 2012, I worked very hard to try and host a debate for candidates in District 6 considering that it was a new district.  I spent a lot of time to make sure that the candidates felt that it would be an open forum and focus on questions that ranged from education, small businesses, and agricultural issues.  I learned a lot from trying to host these debate.  The biggest thing that I learned was people just don't want to go to debates.  They don't seem to care.  The second thing I learned was to host it in a small location so that you can provide easy to hear and see video footage.

To avoid the idea that a Democrat would play unfair, I established some basic rules.  I gave the candidates the questions ahead of time.  The format was established ahead of time to provide equal time for candidates.  The candidates had a chance to make a statement and after everyone had a chance to speak, they were allowed a chance to rebut any of the comments.

The GOP shouldn't be afraid to go to supposedly hostile places to debate (just as I would condemn the DNC if they banned debates on FOX),  candidates shouldn't be afraid to hold town hall meetings that will allow for as much of the public to attend and ask hard questions, and the public must be willing to ask those questions and then shut-up and listen. Our democracy will not be destroyed by things like Obamacare or outside sources:  It will be destroyed when we ignore the marketplace of ideas.

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