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How I’d Shake Up the Presidential Debates

This Wednesday, when President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney square off in the first in a series of three debates, I’ll be watching for entertainment purposes only.

Despite all the hype, I have absolutely no expectation that anything either candidate says will sway my opinion. They will both be so scripted, so practiced and so focused on performing that their potential to impact my life will seem irrelevant. And even after they stop talking, the pundits will step in to add their spin.

The debates, like so many other events that used to be newsworthy, have become staged productions with limited genuine content.

What I need is honesty. I don’t need platitudes or great sound bites. I need heartfelt discussion and genuine opinions.

If only I were in charge of the debates.

If I were, both candidates would be injected with truth serum before they could answer even one question. I’d also be asking my own questions. I already have a list:

1. If your household income were $50,502 (the median household income in the United States in 2011), describe how you would budget your money to pay for housing and health care, ensure your children received an excellence education and save for emergencies.

2. Describe a situation when you “pulled yourself up by your bootstraps” when the odds were against you, if anyone helped you and what resources you used.

3. Who really influences your political decisions?

4. Do you think there are deserving and undeserving people? If you think there are undeserving people, who are they?

5. What is the biggest lie you or your party has told about the other candidate?

6. What do you think are the biggest differences between men and women? (The ability to give birth doesn’t count.)

7.  How would you ensure that every child in America actually received a comparable education?

8. Describe what’s wrong with Congress and how you would attempt to fix it.

9. Describe your understanding of a typical week for an average American.

10. Why do you really want to be President of the United States?

I realize that my questions aren’t particularly politically savvy or intellectually stimulating, but when answered truthfully, they would definitely shine light on which candidate could best lead America.