In order to have more education in our electoral process, this voter would like to propose a completely new idea for presidential elections.

I propose a series of eight one-hour presentations—one show each week for the two months leading up to the election.  Each candidate would get 20 minutes to present their (“their” as in his or her) philosophy, accomplishments, ideas, proposals and plans for each topic of the hour.  I want to know not only what the candidate thinks, but why they hold their position and how they would like to solve the problems we have for each topic.  I want to move beyond sound bites and quick answers to real depth and content.

After each candidate has given his 20 minute presentation, each candidate would then be given 10 minutes to respond to the other candidate’s presentation.  At that time, if desired, the responder would have the opportunity to directly ask questions to the other regarding their presentation. 

Candidates will be able to say what THEY want to say—not merely answering what the media wants to ask.  The candidates may use multi-media equipment, but they must narrate their own presentations live.   In other words, they can use charts, graphs, power-point, images…whatever.  But their actual presentation must not be pre-recorded.

My vision is that only one network at a time would be responsible for hosting each one-hour program—with no commentary from the network.  They would have to do their commentary at other timeslots.  Each hosting network would agree to randomly choose which topics they would host.  Each host channel would also provide live internet streaming for their one-hour host show. 

Topics:    

  • education        
  • foreign policy           
  • abortion             
  • environment            
  • health care                  
  • economy            
  • marriage              
  • immigration

Notice what is NOT on the list: 

Taxes.   Why?  Taxes are inextricably connected with the candidate’s position on each of these topics and will naturally come into the discussion as the candidate explains how they will pay for their plans.

Jobs.   Why?  The topic of jobs would be included in a more in-depth discussion on how each candidate perceives the role of government in the economy.  

Why is a night completely devoted to abortion?  Because I believe that abortion is the root topic that is tearing our country apart and is the root cause for the growing viciousness in partisan politics.  We need to get past sound bites and emotions, and have a broadcasted educated discussion about science, reason and philosophy.

What I do NOT want to hear is: short answers, answers limited to what the media wants to ask, interruptions from media, endless statistics, endless numbers, campaign promises or tit for tats. I also do not want to hear statements like “The American people want” or “Women want…”  I want to hear what the candidate wants for America.   I want each person watching the programs to be able to come away and say, “Now I understand where this candidate is coming from, why they think like they do and why their policies reflect that world view.”  Let us work toward forming voters who have heard carefully crafted arguments, and are truly educated in their choices.

Melanie Frei was an evangelical Protestant missionary to Hong Kong with her husband Tom, pastor and seminary professor. But when they studied Scripture and Church history, the two of them decided to leave their ministry and enter the Roman Catholic Church. Melanie is the mother of three incredible young adults and three awesome grandchildren and is also a substitute teacher in the Tomah Area School District. Her favorite ministries are leading Bible studies, music and pro-life work. For fun, Melanie is a total fan of BBC dramas and Regency romance.