Op-ed: Proposal To Replace Presidential Debates With Something Much More Entertaining

Paul Kruger,
Times Staff

Let’s be honest with one another – the presidential debates are terrible. The candidates talk over one another, the moderator asks vague, uninformative questions, and we all come away from it learning absolutely nothing new. And don’t even get me started on the live audience (pre-Covid era). Those mindless drones in the audience clap for anything that sounds remotely snappy, so the debates just turn into a contest to see who could get the best “zinger” in rather than a platform to say anything of substance.

And why does there need to be so many of these debates? Every debate follows the exact same formula: both candidates tossing out meaningless talking points and lobbing pathetic political jabs at one another while completely ignoring the question the moderator just posed. If we can learn anything from this most recent election cycle, it’s obvious that the debates are a complete waste of time, right?

Well, they don’t have to be. Under my proposal, we will get a far more entertaining, informative, and ultimately satisfying viewing experience to judge our next president. This new televised event -- which will replace the debates -- is broken up into three sections, each one testing a different attribute necessary to assess who truly deserves the Presidency.

First off, a good president needs to be able to think on their feet, and what is a better measure of quick wit than skydiving off of a burning airplane to save their life?

In the first section of my proposal, we will send each candidate in a separate plane under the premise that they will be having a friendly “sky chat” interview. Then once the plane has taken off and reached a normal cruising altitude, we will light the plane on fire and see if the candidate can save themself. There will be a fully functioning parachute in plain sight onboard, so if one of them can’t figure out how to safely strap the parachute to themselves and deploy it, they don’t deserve to be the most powerful person in the world and thus we will let them die. How can we trust them to make important policy decisions if they can’t even figure out how to deploy a parachute? We will, of course, send a camera crew to capture every moment of terror and panic.

If both candidates survive that round, they move onto the next round. If one dies, then that makes our decision much easier. The candidate who survives becomes the next President. If both die, we have a sticky situation, but let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. The second section will measure the candidate’s intellectual prowess. We will arrange for the candidate’s most loved person in their life – maybe a wife, husband, or child – to be kidnapped. For this job, our crew has hired the MS-13 gang, so you know it’ll be convincing and tastefully executed.

Once the candidate discovers their loved one has been kidnapped, we will give them a tricky riddle to complete. For every ten minutes that pass without the correct answer, we have instructed the gang members to cut off a body part of the kidnap victim (which, of course, will be livestreamed on the internet). If the candidate can’t figure out the riddle in time and the victim dies, I suspect public opinion on the candidate will quickly sour. Citizens may ask: why allow for so much tragedy during the presidential race? In my personal opinion, this trajedy is a lesser of two evils, and can potentially prevent an incompetent candidate from causing far more tragedy while in office.

Finally, our third section will test the candidate’s ability to convey strength and power to the American people. Assuming both candidates are still alive and have not dropped out, we will lock them in a caged octagon, UFC style. No one can leave until someone has blacked out. This final section will also likely get rid of the pesky problem we’ve been having of old hags running for President. If someone can’t stand their ground in a UFC bare-knuckle fight, they obviously are not fit to become the leader of the free world.

If you support my new proposal, I urge you to email and call your local representative and pitch this idea to them. If they hang up and call you crazy, drive to their house and start banging on pots and pans in their front yard until they acquiesce. Never take no for an answer. That is how change happens. Together, we can build a better America.

For more articles by Paul Kruger, click here. To get in touch with this writer, email kruger.paul@surrealtimes.net.


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