Not to come off as overly negative or cynical, but aren't these televised political debates so inherently flawed as to be an exercise in absurdity? Wouldn't the Founding Fathers have gone nuts if forced to watch them?
Besides being scheduled for three debilitating hours, they managed, simultaneously, to be both morbidly fascinating and mind-numbingly boring. That's quite a feat, even for CNN.
Given that these candidates are so adept at weaseling out of responding to any question they choose not to answer, isn't the format itself so fundamentally flawed as to be more or less a cruel "joke"?
If the goal is to genuinely learn something about these people, they shouldn't be asked (1) questions that they and their staff were allowed to prepare for (e.g., What would you do in regard to Syria?), or (2) questions they can readily circumvent.
You can always tell when a politician is going to resort to pompous rhetoric when responding to a tough question, because he or she will confidently and resolutely say, "I'm glad you asked that question." Yeah, right.
Granted, given a politician's natural predilection for slickness and obfuscation, circumvention may be something that can't be avoided. After all, you can't put a gun to their heads and force them to answer.
But if that's the case, then at least make their unwillingness to answer painfully obvious; make their refusal to answer a straightforward question a source of embarrassment for them.
Here are six oddball questions which none of the candidates would likely expect to be asked, and therefore couldn't prepare for. Moreover, they are questions that would be hard to avoid answering without looking gutless or mentally inert.
Also, as unusual as these questions are, they could provide us with some insight into what kind of people we have standing before us. Insight into the kind of people we have immodestly asking us to make one of them our president.
1. Have you ever changed a baby's stinky diaper, and if so, in what way was that a life-altering experience?
2. We define our Christian deity as being "limitless" and "perfect." God is defined as All-Good, All-Wise and All-Powerful. Given those attributes, how do you explain the Evil that exists in the world? Why doesn't God step up to the plate and do something?
3. What is the one thing you most regret not having done in high school?
4. In its nearly 230 years, the U.S. Constitution has been amended only 27 times. If there is one thing you would change in the Constitution, what would that be?
5. It's been said that if Jesus Christ were to return to Earth, he would be a Socialist, not a Capitalist. Do you agree? And if not, what do you think Jesus would say in regard to some people being worth billions of dollars, while children die from malnutrition and families are forced to eat out of dumpsters?
6. Can you remember the last time you intentionally lied?