The US Presidential Debate of the Future

horse competition - future presidential debate format blog post - DelightabilityThe US Presidential Debate of the Future
The horse race of a republican presidential debate last evening gave us an opportunity to become a little more acquainted with candidates we didn’t know. For some viewers, it may also have been a reminder of what junior high school was like. What it didn’t give us was a sense of what these candidates are actually about. It also didn’t give us real facts.  See Fact Checking the GOP Presidential Debate here or here or here or do your own research. Sure, we heard sound bites of what they didn’t like about each other and what they would promise to undo, obstruct, and de-fund. But, what would they actually do?

What the US needs most right now is a restored middle class and a path to get there for the 46 million that are experiencing some level of poverty. I don’t expect that these candidates will understand this. They are insiders to a system that has run amok and left behind the majority of the American people. This is why I suggest a format change for presidential debates.

Summary of new presidential debate format

  1. Topics of interest to the American public are crowd-sourced over the internet not by moderators of one television station
  2. Any voter can participate and can vote up topics they’d like to see advanced
  3. Candidates then prepare a video response to the winning topics
  4. Videos are then subjected to edits to enforce behavioral rules and a respect for the truth

Starter topic for every candidate for US President to expound on.

The Scene.
These United States 2015. GDP and Corporate profits are up and to the right. But, real wages have been down. Labor force participation is down. BLS statistics are questionable as to what the real unemployment rate is and underemployment is seemingly unknowable. But, talking with ordinary people, there seems to be much evidence that household prosperity is on the decline with the outlook, not promising. So, with that ….

Topic for Each Candidate’s Video
Middle class prosperity is important to the security and stability of the United States. It is also critical for advancing human progress.
1) What would be your plan for improving prosperity as felt by every household, including those residents that don’t currently have a household?
2) What would be the components of such a plan?
3) Who else do you envision would be involved in making this plan a reality?

Where to Send the Video
Please upload your video to the YouTube election channel where it will then be picked over by the public for rule violations and further scrutiny.

Rules – We Have Some
You cannot make references to other candidates and anything you say in your video will be subject to fact checking. When portions of your video violate either of these rules it will be dubbed over and stamped appropriately as “not true” or “rule violation”.

Reform is welcome

Imagine the promises for such a change. We would most likely have increased civic participation. We could have real discussions in every household, club, and social setting. Voters would get to “see” candidates in a way that addresses issues important to the American public. The candidates would be more factual and probably feel a breath of fresh air knowing that all candidates are playing by the same public rules. No longer would they have to bite their tongue for fear their campaign donors or would be donors might become unhappy. Lastly, perhaps, we could open the field up to candidates that don’t solely have the backing of billionaires. People that might have real solutions to the problems we face as a nation but don’t want to be pranced about in the moments leading up to the final horse race.

See related posts:
A Glimmer of Hope in Your City – Do you know about participatory budgeting?
An Open Letter to City Leaders in the World Community – City Leaders as Designers.
Food for Thought and For Neighbors and the Friends You Will Meet – Food: There is an App for that, and a Mouth.

about the author

image of Greg-Olson-Managing Director of Delightability and author of Experience Design BLUEPRINT

Gregory Olson is a consultant, speaker, and author. His latest book is L’ impossi preneurs: A Hopeful Journey Through Tomorrow, a light-hearted and deadly serious book about a brighter future where we live more meaningful lives, governments invest in people and sustainable progress, and technology serves humans.


Greg also authored, The Experience Design Blueprint, a book about designing better experiences and then making them come true. Exercises and mental models in the book will build your confidence in envisioning better possibilities and your competence in making them come true.

The models in the Experience Design BLUEPRINT are equally relevant to organizations of all types and sizes including start-up entrepreneurs, nonprofits, for-profits, and government. Chapters in The Experience Design Blueprint, that especially pertain to this post include:

  • Chapter 6: Aiming for Remarkable, Unbroken, and Generous Design
  • Chapter 8: The Promise Delivery System
  • Chapter 9: The Neighborhood
  • Chapter 11: Barriers to Innovation and Overcoming the Wall
  • Chapter 14: The World of Work Has Changed

See a book summary. Read the book reviews on Amazon. Read The Experience Design Blueprint on Kindle or any device using the free Kindle Reader application or read the full color print edition.