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In Case You Saw the Third Republican Debate, Here's What You Missed

In current “debates,” what matters the most are the things that go undone and unseen.

James Anthony
December 6, 2023

The third Republican presidential primary debate featured oppressive silence:

  • No discussion of covid coercions and vaccine harms [1].
  • No discussion of how a candidate would fully protect life as required by the Fifth Amendment [2].
  • No credible focus on what actions a candidate would take as president to limit the government to its constitutional scope [3].
  • No credible discussion of how, as president, a candidate would promote state legislative actions that ensure that either the times, places, and manners of holding elections are as prescribed by each state legislature, or all tainted pools of votes are forfeited [4].

Republican “debates” are like all Progressive media content: kill the stories that matter the most, and pretend that the remaining clickbait is serious discussion.

In a nutshell, here’s what you saw (or would have seen) instead:  

  • Ron DeSantis is the serious candidate. He has a record of limiting governments and cronies [5]. He took stands, and he’s ready to take the heat.
  • Nikki Haley and Tim Scott are lingering in this race to replace Trump as the establishment favorite either now if Trump quits or is injured, or to build name recognition for their next times around, when Trump won’t run. Chris Christie is there to nurse his grudge against Trump. Vivek Ramaswamy is there to build name recognition for his next time around. Yielding the serious candidate’s time to any one of these parasites [6] doesn’t serve the interests of any voters.
  • Donald Trump has nothing at all to offer [7].

What’s the most wrong here? Nowadays—figuratively speaking, with winks and nods, or secret handshakes—Republican Party officials and candidates alike pretend that the way to vet the most-powerful government employee is to have Progressives set the entire agenda [8]. As candidates, politicians duck and cover. In office, politicians largely just keep campaigning.

All of this is bad wrong.

When Lincoln and Douglas debated, obviously each was accountable for what he said in response to questions. Only a little less obviously, each also was accountable for what topics he himself addressed, and for what topics he challenged his opponent on.

Delegating the agenda to Progressives ducks accountability. It also is a conscious choice to be reactive, not proactive. Bad changes at best only get partially rolled back. Good changes never get initiated [9].

Executives who are genuine leaders give information of the state of the government [10], and recommend that legislators consider such measures as the leaders judge necessary and expedient [10]. They take these actions when they’re in office. Before that, when they run for office, they demonstrate that they will take these actions, and how they will. They respect us.

Debates should be conducted by the candidates themselves [11]. No one else should negotiate terms of engagement, control the agenda, police the candidates’ actions, interject commentary, or silence the people who are watching. Any candidate who can limit governments and cronies, making our rights secure [12], will conduct himself appropriately in meetings, and in the process will look after our interests.

If a candidate accepts the Republican Party officials’ “debate” conditions, this decision makes him the core problem during campaign season, and he will remain the core problem throughout his time in office.

Should Ron DeSantis forgo exposure by not debating without Trump, or should he work out terms with Nikki Haley and possibly Vivek Ramaswamy? Yes, definitely, DeSantis should do something significantly different. The reprehensible Republican Party-controlled “debates” diminish candidates and deprive voters.

First do no harm.


  1. Anthony, James. “COVIDcare Is Obamacare.” rConstitution.us, 11 Mar. 2022, rconstitution.us/covidcare-is-obamacare/. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.
  2. Anthony, James. “The Abortion Debate Is Larger than Life.” Daily Caller, 19 Dec. 2022, dailycaller.com/2022/12/19/anthony-the-abortion-debate-is-larger-than-life/. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.
  3. Anthony, James. “The First 1,461 Days of a Constitutionalist President.” rConstitution.us, 8 Jan. 2021, rconstitution.us/the-first-1461-days-of-a-constitutionalist-president/. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.
  4. Anthony, James. “Zero Tolerance for Election-Manner Violations.” rConstitution.us, 11 Dec. 2020, rconstitution.us/zero-tolerance-for-election-manner-violations/. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.
  5. Anthony, James. “Why DeSantis Matters.” rConstitution.us, 30 July 2021, rconstitution.us/why-desantis-matters/. Accessed 6 Dec. 2022.
  6. Bagus, Philipp. “Javier Milei’s Populist Strategy in Argentina Is Working.” Mises Institute Power & Market Blog, 14 Sep. 2023, mises.org/power-market/javiers-mileis-populist-strategy-argentina-working. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.
  7. Anthony, James. “Learning from Trump.” rConstitution.us, 2 Sep. 2022, rconstitution.us/learning-from-trump/. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.
  8. Anthony, James. “How the Media Can Increase Freedom.” rConstitution.us, 26 Nov. 2021, rconstitution.us/how-the-media-can-increase-freedom/. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.
  9. Anthony, James. “Changing Government by Stepping, Phasing, or Doing.” rConstitution.us, 23 Apr. 2021, rconstitution.us/changing-government-by-stepping-phasing-or-doing/. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.
  10. USA Constitution, art. II, sec. 3.
  11. Anthony, James. The Constitution Needs a Good Party: Good Government Comes from Good Boundaries. Neuwoehner Press, 2018, pp. 49-51, 217.
  12. Barnett, Randy E. Our Republican Constitution: Securing the Liberty and Sovereignty of We the People. Broadside Books, 2016.

James Anthony is an experienced chemical engineer who applies process design, dynamics, and control to government processes. He is the author of The Constitution Needs a Good Party and rConstitution Papers, the publisher of rConstitution.us, and an author in Western Journal, Daily Caller, The Federalist, American Thinker, Lew Rockwell, American Greatness, Mises Institute, Foundation for Economic Education, and Free the People. For more information, see his about, media, and overview pages.


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