Kadner: What you need to hear in a debate
By Phil Kadner firstname.lastname@example.org October 12, 2012 5:38PM
Workers prepare a stage for a political debate. | File photo
Updated: November 15, 2012 6:36AM
The rules for this debate are simple and previously agreed to by both parties.
No one is expected to tell the truth.
Moderator: Could each of you explain why you deserve to be elected?
Candidate 1: I will eliminate all taxes, increase spending for the military, preserve Social Security and Medicare for future generations and destroy all enemies of this country.
Candidate 2: I will tax the filthy rich and give their money to everyone else. Also, I will tell the truth at all times.
Candidate 1: That’s a lie.
Candidate 2: You lie.
Candidate 1: I will give everyone in America a job.
Candidate 2: I will create two jobs for every American family.
Moderator: Thank you. Could each of you please share an absurd anecdote about a typical American?
Candidate 1: I will never forget Jimmy Bob Roberts down in Claustrophobia, Texas. He owns a small hardware store that employed 12 people until government regulations made him eliminate three of those positions.
Moderator: That’s tough.
Candidate 1: When I heard about those three workers who lost their jobs I told my wife and she said, “We need to help those poor people.”
And that’s what we did. We gave them each $100,000 to invest in the stock market and even sent some of their children to Harvard, Yale and Stanford.
The government didn’t do that, I did. That’s the way Americans have always gotten things done. Personal initiative; not government handouts.
Moderator: Amazing. Now we’ll hear an outrageous story from your opponent.
Candidate 2: Martha Littleton, from Westhaven, Ill., was only 5 years old when both her parents were killed in a car accident. She went to live with her grandma, who didn’t have health insurance due to a pre-existing condition and ended up dying of a heart attack.
But Martha didn’t give up. She slept in the woods but still went to public school every day, walking barefoot through a foot of snow. She eventually obtained a government loan for college.
Candidate 2: Don’t cut me off. I’m not done. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree despite having a baby when she was 19.
This single mother got a job only to be laid off when her company relocated to China.
She survived on unemployment and food stamps. Went back to school, took out more loans and became a nurse. She owes about $250,000 today, but she’s working full-time.
Moderator: Great story.
Candidate 2: Did I mention she joined the Reserves and is currently stationed in Afghanistan.
Candidate 1: I love our troops. They’re all heroes.
Candidate 2. I love them more.
Moderator: How would you each bring peace to the Middle East?
Candidate 1: We would threaten to nuke the entire region if they didn’t come to the bargaining table. Draw a line in the sand. Be tough.
Candidate 2: We’re forming a multinational coalition of countries that really want to destroy each other and, by the way, have spent centuries persecuting and murdering minorities in their own nations. Nevertheless, these diverse nations are willing to overlook their own shortcomings to tell people in the Middle East how to live in peace.
Moderator: And what about your political parties working together for the good of this country?
Candidate 1: If my opponent is elected, our country as we know it will be destroyed. But my record shows that I’ve always been willing to work with immoral baby killers determined to eliminate the fundamental freedoms we all cherish. After an election, we put aside petty differences like that for the good of the country.
Candidate 2: This is about the rich against the middle-class and the poor. Every citizen has a clear choice in this election. Are you going to support the good guy or the evil one? It’s up to the voters and once they have spoken, I will honor their decision and do my best to find cardboard boxes for the elderly to sleep in after they’ve been made homeless.
Moderator: Why do people spend $50,000 to attend your campaign fundraisers?
Candidate 1: Because they care about this country and are deeply concerned about its future.
Candidate 2: For once, my opponent and I agree. These people just want good government.
Moderator: How can each of you appear in public and make such ridiculous statements on a regular basis?
Candidate 1: Because at least 47 percent of the people will always side with me.
Candidate 2: I have 47 percent as well and they’re the smart ones.
Candidate 1: They’re illegals.
Candidate 2: I wondered why they were trimming the trees on your property last week.
Moderator: You are both intelligent people capable of earning a great living in the private sector. Why put your families into a fishbowl and have every aspect of their lives scrutinized?
Candidate 1: Because my wife and children love this country and know I’m the only person capable of leading this nation at this critical time.
Candidate 2: Well, the only thing more important to me than my family is personal glory. Just joking. Actually, we’re just a typical American family that understands this country was built on self-sacrifice, and if I have to sacrifice my family for the good of the nation, I’m willing to do it.
Moderator: Any last words for voters?
Candidate 1: Harry Truman once said “The buck stops here.” I say, that buck should be in your pocket, not in some politician’s.
Candidate 2: Bill Clinton said he never inhaled. Then he said he never had sex with that woman. Who would believe we would think of that time as the good old days?