Friday, September 21, 2012


           In the early 1970s David Frye did a satirical LP recording called “Richard Nixon: A Fantasy.”  As Frye’s basic comedic gift was that of vocal impersonations, this was a roaring success simply on those terms.  The fact that later on several of the wildest details of the album’s storyline turned out to be true gave the whole production an aura of hallucinogenic quality.
            This is my political fantasy.  Sadly, I am certain it will never come to be true, but I wish with all my heart that it could.
            In (especially, but not exclusively limited to) presidential election years, I would love to see campaigns limited as follows:
            3 sets of “public debates” will be offered on national television.  The format will involve one moderator and the two candidates.  The moderator will have a list (shown beforehand to the candidates) of 18 issues of importance for the election.  Each “public debate” will deal with 6 of the 18.
            To each of the 6 issues, each candidate will be strictly limited solely to explaining what he/she would propose as the best way to respond.  The candidates will be strictly forbidden to comment on existing for former policies, and they will also be forbidden to speak with regard to the perceived benefits/drawbacks of their opponent’s replies.
            In other words, the campaign would be based completely and only on the actual positive proposals made by the men/women running for office.  There would be therefore no negative attack ads, and there would be no criticism of present or former policies and the degree of their success or failure (with the single exception that the incumbent could refer to his policies if they are intended to remain in place if he/she were to be elected.   There would also be no room for saying why one’s opponent is wrong; there would only be space for saying what the candidate would do that is right or best (never “better” as that would require a direct comparison with the opponent’s ideas/policies).
            So the electorate would make their political decisions on the basis of their agreement or disagreement with the candidates’ vision and recommendations for current policy and future direction for the nation (or state, or city).
            One can always fantasize…


  1. Sadly, there is far too much money to be made by too many people, e.g., advertising, for something like this to move from the realm of fantasy to reality.

    When you add into the mix a largely ill-read electorate who accepts as gospel the opinions of late-night talk show hosts and responds to negative ads, the result is our current toxic environment.

    Marie G.

  2. Sadly nearly 70% of the population has no clue as to the issues much less solutions to our nations problems........
    Hummm maybe that is the real problem/issue

    S Sykes