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Debate Rules

James Anthony
November 22, 2018

Party-sanctioned debates shall have no moderators, no commentators from the start to the finish of the debate, and no questions other than the questions asked by the candidates during the debates.

Moderators—and questions from outsiders—alter topics, perspectives, candidates’ times, and interactions. Commentators alter voters’ impressions.

In the 2016 cycle’s candidate-selection debates and forums, the Republican Party people deployed biased media extensively, as shown in Table 1 below. On a Progressive-vs.-constitutional scale, nearly all the media hosts would have rated as moderately to strongly Progressive. Available ratings used a less-informative left-vs.-right scale. Although Republicans are thought of as right-leaning, the Republican Party undermined right-leaning candidates by sanctioning debate control by left-biased media hosts.

Candidates can and should take back this airtime, cover their own priorities, and ask their own questions.

As the party grows, the media and the prior parties won’t shut it out forever; the candidates will be news, and content is king.58

56 “Republican Party Presidential Debates and Forums, 2016.” Wikipedia.org, 6 May 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_Party_presidential_debates_and_forums,_2016. Accessed 7 May 2017.

57 Van Zandt, Dave, editor. Media Bias / Fact Check. mbfc News, 2015, mediabiasfactcheck.com/. Accessed 7 May 2017.

58 Gates, Bill. “Content Is King.” Microsoft.com, 3 Jan. 1996, web.archive.org/web/20010126005200/http://www.microsoft.com/billgates/columns/1996essay/essay960103.asp. Accessed 18 Feb. 2017. 


Anthony, James. The Constitution Needs a Good Party: Good Government Comes from Good Boundaries. Neuwoehner Press, 2018, pp. 49-51, 217.  preview


  1. Be respectful.
  2. Say what you mean. 
    Provide data. Don’t say something’s wrong without providing data. Do explain what’s right and provide data. It’s been said that often differences in opinion between smart people are differences in data, and the guy with the best data wins.  link  But when a writer provides data, the writer and the readers all win. Don’t leave readers guessing unless they go to links or references. 
  3. Credit sources
    Provide links or references to credit data sources and to offer leads.