With the advent of the Internet and independent media, we can hold our own series of debates.
I envision there being a set of core principles one has to support to be part of these debates.
Support Accountability1. There needs to be accountability for the Iraq War.
2. There needs to be accountability for the Financial Crisis.
Oppose War1. The United States and allies should end the occupation of Afghanistan immediately and completely.
2. The United States should not directly or indirectly attack Iran by means overt or covert.
Support Civil Rights1. The U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from ordering the assassination of U.S. citizens.
2. "Due process" requires going before a judge, who is competent, independent and who has access to the relevant information.
3. Torture violates the U.S. Constitution and international treaties. Torture is also a crime under U.S. law. And waterboarding is torture.
Achieve consensus on these core points (with minor modifications) and then build the debates from there.
My vision is for the first debate to be held between August 6-13 with one per week held for the next eleven weeks. Each would be at least 90 minutes. They would be held in different locations with local organizers getting significant control of the specifics.
Moderators and question screeners would be required to be familiar with past questions. One of the goals would be to have a more nuanced and in-depth discussion of policy than normally occurs in the corporate media and the official presidential debates.
Hopefully, by creating a quality alternative product, the audience will gravitate to watching and reading about these debates online. And hopefully, this will cause the corporate media outlets and official presidential debates to be better.
I hope that the people who criticize the current politics will come of the sidelines to participate in this process. When I hear people criticize the choice between Democrats and Republicans as being a game rigged by the power elites, I say, "Right on!" But unless you're holding out for "the revolution" you have to get involved and support something by participating.