Nothing could be better than to hear the thoughts, opinions, and concerns of The People themselves during debates with the future leader of our free country.
The YouTube debates are beginning to change the landscape of how the Q & A sessions carefully masterminded by big media are done and not a moment too soon. In a free country, we should be hearing more from The People themselves.
Typical questions from pundits by big media during debates are exactly that...typical. They are often sterilized, expected, and seldom get to the heart of what concerns people (a.k.a. - the folks whom our government is supposed to be working for).
Hearing from The People themselves gets us down into the trenches, onto the deck plates, and into reality. More importantly, it gets the candidates there.
I applaud this effort and I hope to see it develop. Naturally, however, its development will not be without resistance.
There are many people who prefer the standard, institutionalized method of Q & A for the debates that we are used to putting up with. There are several reasons why, but one that erks me the most - the one I hear the most - is that such a format is "beneath the dignity of the man or woman who would lead the free world".
When the Democratic YouTube debates were complete, I heard this sort of dribble from all sources...talking heads on big media, journalists, bloggers, and everyday people I met on the street or in the workplace (although I also heard just as much support for the format).
Worst of all, I even heard it from some of the GOP presidential hopefuls (Giuliani was the biggest protester) who even hinted at refusing to participate in such a debate, simply because there were snowmen and children asking questions.
The latest complaint I've heard is from an article I recently read here, written by famed columnist Kathleen Parker whose writing is syndicated to multiple papers around the country.
Of particular concern to me were comments made by Ms. Parker in her article that included such things as a comparison of the YouTube debates to athletes who should avoid playing with "lesser mortals" for fear that they will "bring down your game."
She also classified the debate as "sophomoric" and said the debate was "an insult to voters' intelligence". And, of course, she threw out "the YouTube debates were beneath the dignity of the man or woman who would lead the free world".
I decided to respond to Ms. Parker, and I sent her a short email. This is what it said:
I read your article about how you thought "the YouTube debate was beneath the dignity of the man or woman who would lead the free world".
The way I see it, any candidate who resents having to respond to the free expression of the very people that he or she will be leading in a free country has no business leading a free country, much less a free world.
Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org . I encourage anyone to write and explain to her how responding to the free expressions of The People, no matter how creative those expressions are, should be something that a future/current leader of the same free people should take great pleasure in doing, because:
It's a Free Country! (that he or she will be leading)