Editorial Politics

Want a Voice in Presidential Debate Questions? Here’s Your Chance

Jodi Jacobson

There can't be a good debate unless the right questions are asked. And that's why Rewire has joined the nonpartisan Open Debate Coalition.

Electing a president is serious business, and while every election—from school board member to county council to Congress—is important, this election is especially critical.

So much is at stake for both individuals like you and me and for the United States writ large. The next president will have profound influence on many areas of our lives, such as expanding access to health care, including abortion care and contraception; shaping the regulations that govern whether we drink clean water and breathe clean air; determining whether we hold big banks like Wells Fargo accountable for unethical practices; making sure everyone has equal access to education from pre-K to college and beyond; choosing Supreme Court justices; ensuring the sustainability of Social Security and Medicare; and crafting responses to climate change, among many other things. There are vast and vastly different implications in all of these and other areas depending on who is elected.

As we saw on Monday night, televised presidential debates are a critical aspect of the election process because they give us further insight into the positions and plans a future president might pursue.

You can’t have a good debate, however, unless the right questions are asked. And I don’t know about you, but I often find myself frustrated about what does not get asked.

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So Rewire has joined the Open Debate Coalition, a large, nonpartisan coalition of organizations with a wide range of positions on a wide range of issues. The basic premise of the coalition is simple: The public should be empowered to conceive and select debate questions—so that questions addressed by candidates represent the will of the people. Although the members of the Open Debate Coalition don’t agree on every issue (on the list of signatories you’ll find MoveOn and Americans for Tax Reform, NARAL and the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Rewire and the Heartland Institute) we do agree that by bringing together the power of the internet with the voices of voters, we can ensure that debates are truly “of the people.” This is not a matter of right versus left, but new versus old. Participatory democracy is a driving principle of the open internet, through which the best ideas can rise to the top (if we make it happen).

The coalition has created a mechanism through which each and every one of you can participate in shaping the questions for the remaining presidential debates and the vice-presidential debate.

So please take this opportunity for your voice to be heard. Go to this link, now, and enter your question. Search and vote for other questions about issues that are important to you. As of this writing on September 27, we have just more than 12 days to submit and vote on questions. ABC and CNN moderators have agreed to review the top 30 for the forthcoming “town hall” debate.

Please note: Questions must not name or allude to a candidate and must be suitable for either candidate.

Don’t miss this chance to pose and vote on the questions you want the presidential candidates to answer, and don’t wait any longer to make your voice heard.

Evidence-based journalism is the foundation of democracy. Rewire.News, is devoted to evidence-based reporting on reproductive and sexual health, rights and justice and the intersections of race, environmental, immigration, and economic justice.

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