Class Warfare Blog

October 12, 2012

This Court (of Public Opinion) Needs a Judge

Filed under: Politics,The Law — Steve Ruis @ 12:08 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

In a recent post I recommended we follow the lead of our good neighbor Costa Rica and establish a fourth branch of government to run our elections, especially our debates. As good as Martha Raddatz was as moderator of the vice-presidential debate, there is still something lacking.

If you liken the debate to a courtroom proceeding, what we have is two lawyers going toe to toe. We are the jury but there is no one really at the helm. (Our debate moderators are more like the official of the court who keeps the calendar.) What I want is something akin to a British judge whose role it is to get at the truth. The two candidates are just trying to score electoral points and the truth suffers . . . mightily. These debates are often used to cloud issues rather than make them more clear.

Should not these debates inform voters about the issues and not just the candidates? Why are arguments permissible that have been judged inaccurate, incompetent, or both? Why are the “facts” really opinions when the real facts are available? Lawyers in court who try to make points that have been ruled another way get warned and then punished if they persist, by the Judge.

I know that Republicans will respond that they have a different set of facts (apparently including the Earth being less than 10,000 years old and that the small government recommended by the Founding Fathers includes inspecting womens’ vaginas), but do we not have the ability to tell fact from fiction? Are we that incompetent?

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