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The Presidential Debates

The Presidential Debates

September 26th, 2012 // 7:38 pm @

And What They Should Be

debates 300x189 The Presidential Debates

People are getting tired of the presidential election.

It’s too much bad news, week and after week, too many talking heads just saying the same old negative things about the other side, and too many mistakes, gaffes and 10-second clips getting blown way out of proportion.

But all of that is just the way politics works, and people are used to it.

The really frustrating thing in the 2012 presidential election is that neither of the two big candidates has given us a clear, inspiring plan for the next four years.

Both point out flaws of their opponent, and both try to explain away their own unfavorables, but neither have just looked the American people in the eyes and told us what they will do for us if elected.

David Brooks of The New York Times is right that Romney could totally sway this election if he would just ignore the fluff, turn wonky, and outline three or four main things he’s going to do in the next four years.

Romney spent his business life successfully using power point presentations and clear plans to turn things around; the United States needs the same thing right now.

“My fellow Americans,” he should begin the debate. “I’m not going to spend our time tonight talking about every issue under the sun, or answering every question the media thinks is important. We’ve been doing that for years, and it hasn’t gotten us where we want to be.

“What America needs now is leadership. There are four issues that will determine whether the next four years are a time of success and a return to prosperity, or a time of decline. It’s time for our leaders to tell us the truth: if we fix these four things, our future will be bright. If not, it won’t.

“So, others can talk about whatever they want, but I’m going to focus only on these four things that will make all the difference in America’s future. If you don’t like that, elect someone else. If you elect me, I’m going to fix four things. Here they are:

#1           jobs

#2           health care

#3           the economy (including entitlements, the national debt, government
spending, deficits and our credit rating)

#4           oil dependency

“So, for you who are asking the questions tonight, if you ask about how we’ll fix these things, I’ll tell you. If you ask me anything else, I’ll tell you my entire presidency is going to focus on these four things. Period. That’s what we need our leaders to do, and that’s what I’m going to do. The only other thing I’m going to focus on is to maintain a strong national defense.

“That’s what my presidency will be, a strong national defense and fixing these four things. That’s what America needs for the next four years, and as president I will make sure these four problems get fixed.

“I have a full written plan on how to accomplish each of these 4 priorities, and it has just been posted to my website in the last minute since I started speaking. I hope every American will read it. And in the days and weeks ahead I’m going to clearly explain this plan in every speech I give and every question I answer.

“If any of the media want to ask questions about the plan, I’ll answer them. If any citizens have questions, my website has a place to send questions and my team and I will answer every single question you send.

“I want every American to clearly understand exactly how we’ll fix these four problems, and to ask every question anyone has until we all fully understand the plan. Then you can decide whether to vote for me, based on a clear knowledge of what I will do in the next four years as your president.

“Because if I’m elected, I’m going to fix these four things. Nothing will distract me from these four priorities, because these are the greatest challenges for our nation right now and only by overcoming them can America truly be the great nation we should be.”

Then he should stick to his guns and only, only, answer questions about national defense and fixing these four things.

He should constantly refer to his plan, he should know his plan so well that he can refer to it in detail and answer every question, and Paul Ryan should do the same.

He should have the plan outlined in simple words in a short power point presentation on his website, and he should have a longer power point for those who want more details.

He should provide the full plan written out, word for word, and available for every person who wants to read it.

He should print his plan with an engaging cover and mail it to every home in the United States.

He should sell it in the bookstores, and have volunteers give it away to their friends.

He should talk about nothing but the plan, and he should refer to the plan in every setting and spread it far and wide.

He should buy prime time specials on television and give the power point and answer questions on live tv.

Frankly, Ron Paul should do exactly the same thing.

And if Romney doesn’t do it, President Obama should do it. In fact, if Romney does it President Obama should do it too.

Imagine a debate where both candidates are passionately dedicated to fixing these four things, and the question just becomes which plan we as voters think is best.

For once, we’d have a really excellent election.

Note that President Obama hasn’t given us a plan for the next four years any more than Governor Romney has.

They have both talked about dozens of issues and concerns, but neither has taken a stand about the future of American greatness, how they will fix the economy, or any other clear plan for the next four years.

We are left to vote on personality, ideology, lack of mistakes, partisan trust, or our general sense of who will do best.

But we should be choosing between specific plans, voting on the one we think will be best for our nation.

Besides, presenting and sticking to such a plan would just be good politics!

Tell us what you’re going to do, have an excellent plan for backing it up, and hold the nation to account: “I promise you this,” he should say. “If you elect me, four years from now these four things will be fixed. The biggest challenges of our nation will be met and overcome. And America will be great again. It will be like the difference that happened when Reagan beat Carter.

“On the other hand, if you elect Mr. Obama, four years from now you will still be struggling with all four of these problems. The debt will be bigger, our credit rating will most likely be further downgraded, we will be spending and borrowing even more, and the deficits will be bigger. Most importantly, unemployment will still be high and too many families will still be without jobs.

“In addition, if you elect Mr. Obama, the health care law will increase taxes and spread even more government regulations that hurt the economy. And entitlements will be bankrupting us by 2016.

“Four years from now, we will either live in an America where these things are fixed, or in an America where these problems are just as bad or worse. It’s up to you as voters. If you want a president who will fix these four things, you know what to do. My name is Mitt Romney, and I’m running for president of the United States in order to fix these four things!”

This election is still up for grabs.

Imagine the power of the following speech to sum up the debate: “My name is Barack Obama, and I’m running for president in order to fix these four problems, the four greatest challenges America will face the next four years. If you elect me, I’ll fix all four: #1 jobs, #2 healthcare, #3 the national debt and deficit, and #4 our oil dependency. These four things will be the focus of my entire presidency. If you want these things fixed by the time of the next election, vote for me.”

This is winning politics, whoever uses it.

Alas, I fear the debates will be far less entertaining.

Or, in other words, in four years these four serious problems—along with China—will probably still be America’s biggest challenges.

***********************************

odemille 133x195 custom The Presidential DebatesOliver DeMille is the chairman of the Center for Social Leadership and co-creator of Thomas Jefferson Education.

He is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, and The Coming Aristocracy: Education & the Future of Freedom.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

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6 Comments → “The Presidential Debates”


  1. Ammon Nelson

    2 years ago

    This is exactly why I am asking that people stop with the facade that voting third party or unaffiliated is “wasting” their vote.
    Since I live in Utah, it makes very little difference who I vote for. Mitt Romney will get all six of Utah’s electoral votes, which will not make or break his chances to win. Not that I want him to win. I don’t want either of the candidates to win. I think the lack of leadership and character exhibited by both campaigns is deplorable and indicative of the lack of character in general in our nation.
    But I am not going to vote for either of them. If I vote for Romney, it is giving his campaign and especially the RNC my endorsement of the things they have done to damage liberty. I will not even consider voting for Obama. His loyalties and intentions, as well as those of the DNC, have been evident from the beginning – to encourage and exploit the hostilities between those of different economic and social classes, for his own political benefit.
    I intend to find a candidate that is currently running with whom I have some principles in common and is not exploiting emotional responses through demagoguery – just so that I don’t give my support to either of the pseudo-options that the two main parties are presenting.
    Ammon Nelson´s last blog post ..A False Dichotomy – Part 2


  2. Keith

    2 years ago

    I am sorry, but that seems empty. The times are far too pressing. So here is my stab followed by the words of a real statesman from the past.

    As your president I will focus on theft. America is being robbed, downgraded, and impoverished by private secrete interests. Yes, we have become a bureaucratic fascist state. Our wealth is being stolen, our liberty whipped, and our freedom’s are now controlled by an increasingly obtuse police state in our airports and in executive orders. Powerful money interests are eating away at our republic and they are demanding more central control to eliminate their competition. Our new council of thirteen is of the devil. The enemy is not a foreign country, and it is not a communist or a Muslim. That is what the faceless controllers want you to believe. The enemy is a lack of fair trade and equal protection under the law. The enemy is the constant duality of a two-party system that is funded from the same sources. The enemy says with smoothness, “Give me control and I will fix things, ” and if we do not believe this lie, then a false flag terror event is certain to get us in line. As president, I will fight against the sowers of discord for more control. We do not need another to-do-list president who essentially gives secrete combinations of power more control while lying to the American people. We need a statesman. As your president, I do not want to lead you. That kind of vanity is of the devil. I want America to lead again. This is our fight to regain our republic, and I will fight with you and against the theft of freedom now destroying this great nation, and we can do it even in these troubles times.

    Now, if you really want to hear a statesman, read what John F Kennedy once said,

    The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know. For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed.”

    No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary. I am not asking your newspapers to support the Administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people. For I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.


  3. Chris

    2 years ago

    I agree, the times are far too pressing!
    It seems as if Americans believe that the political avenue is the only way to change things. Throw out the bad guys and get our guys in power. The problem I see is that it matters not who is in control.
    Anytime one rules over another, you have a win-lose situation. The question I have, can you reform a system that does not work, is not sustainable, and violates humanity?
    To me, where I focus my effort and energy is vital. Once I stop believing that it is okay to control other people’s lives and start believing that I must pick up the ball, be responsible, and control my own life by doing the right things then I am free and alive.


  4. Jason Fredrick

    2 years ago

    Oliver
    It sounds like the problem is your blog readers haven’t been reading your books. How can we, as a society, expect to regain freedom when the people who claim to want freedom so bad, aren’t reading.

    YOUR plan is spelled out pretty clearly in ‘A Thomas Jefferson Education'; ‘The Coming Aristocracy'; ‘ Freedom Shift'; and ‘1913’. If our society doesn’t educate itself, freedom is already lost.

    God bless
    Jason Fredrick


  5. Chris

    2 years ago

    I am wondering how you define freedom.


  6. Allen Levie

    2 years ago

    Do we know someone who can get this to Romney?

    Well said Oliver.

    I agree with the comments as well. Lets move this forward. No sense in slowing people down. We all need to shift, however slightly toward a better self and a growing understanding of who we are in freedom. Romney’s really in a good place. I’ll be fasting and praying this week for him and an opportunity, a door, which may be lust lightly opened for pure righteousness and freedom-enabling solutions. Whether opened by President Obama or would be President Romney. Romney for President this time.


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