In fact, they suck out loud. How useful are they in their present format? Well, shit, we might as well all be sitting around eating pork rinds and watching Honey Boo Boo. And anyone who knows me will tell you I absolutely hate reality television. Because there’s nothing remotely akin to reality in any of those shows. And there’s nothing remotely akin to reality in any of these debates. So, what’s wrong with them?

First and foremost, they are funded by corporations. That’s the first problem. We have corporate America buying and selling the elections, thanks to the illustrious Supreme Judicial Court of the United States. Why wouldn’t corporate America also own the debates? Right after we amend the U.S. Constitution to nullify Citizens United, we need to get the corporations the hell out of the debates. They don’t belong anywhere near government and legislation. They don’t get to be part of the conversation leading up to the elections, and they do not get to buy our electoral process. Period. Contrary to what Mitt Romney tells you, corporations are not people. The debates should be funded by the taxpayers. Shit, we waste taxpayer money on everything else, like endless wars, defending unconstitutional laws (read: DOMA), and paying for our elected officials’ health care. Why not put it to good use?

It, therefore, follows that the topics and questions should come from the taxpayers and only the taxpayers. Now, the topics will differ from debate year to debate year. I understand that. I agree that the economy and foreign policy are critical in this cycle. Those will probably be critical in every election year. But, at this point, we’ve done it to death. We’ve had both topics front and center. Next debate will focus on foreign policy. Yet again. There are other critical issues out there. Women, African-Americans, Native Americans and Latinos have concerns. The LGBT community has concerns. Veterans have concerns. Climate change and the environment? That sounds like a reasonable topic, unless you’re a climate change denying member of the GOP. And I know that there are people out there concerned about that issue because I talk to people all day long. These clowns aren’t even coming close to addressing these issues.

While I understand that Mitt Romney probably doesn’t want to talk about his position on women’s issues, that’s tough shit. He should be made to articulate his positions on women’s rights, immigration, climate change and other things that make him uncomfortable or worried. He owns those positions and he needs to state them publicly for everyone to hear. So should Barack Obama. For better or worse. If these issues aren’t raised and then discussed, we are not an informed public. Oh, I forgot. The last thing our politicians want is an informed public. They simply want us to drink the Kool Aid, and then go check off the box next to their name on November 6.

If you say it, prove it

Here’s the other rub. Candidates should not simply be able to say they are going to cut taxes 20% across the board and lower the deficit at the same time. (You know who I’m talking about.) Prove it. I believe these candidates need to come with paperwork in hand that proves to the American people that the math works. No more promises without proof. We need to hold our elected officials and the pretenders to the throne accountable for what they say. Don’t say it can’t be done. The only way it can’t be done is if there isn’t a plan and the numbers don’t add up. Both Romney and Ryan say there are six people who have confirmed the math. Who are they? Release their names, and show us the figures. Hell, my son doesn’t just get to write the final answer on his math homework. He has to work out the problem. Why shouldn’t our politicians be held to the same standard? Nine say the math doesn’t work, including the Tax Policy Center. So, if Mitt Romney has proof that it does, release the proof to the general public and the media. And, oh yeah, sniveling little Paul Ryan doesn’t get to say he hasn’t got time to go through all the math. Make time, asshat. If Lyin’ Ryan’s got time to pose for Time Magazine while he lifts weights and time to stage a fake visit to a shelter to wash dishes so he can pretend to care about the poor, he can make time to go through the math.

Mitt Romney doesn’t get to say he’s going to create 12 million jobs without telling us how he plans to do that. (By the way,good luck with that, Mitt.) If he’s going to make a statement like that without details, then he might as well stay in the comfort of one of his big-ass houses and Tweet his empty promises and outright lies all night. That’s what it amounts to. Don’t waste air time and money. Shit, I could have been watching Investigation Discovery instead.

Here’s another example: We’ve been having this back and forth argument throughout the debates about the $716 billion Medicare cut. Romney and Ryan insist that the Obama administration is simply cutting Medicare. Obama insists that’s not the case. According to President Obama, it’s a savings that does not affect benefits brought about by eliminating waste and cutting costs. Show us the plan, Barack. Put it out there for everyone to see. That’ll shut Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee up. And then Obama can show everyone the Ryan plan that includes the exact same $716 billion cut to Medicare by turning it into a voucher program (which, by the way, will affect benefits) and using the money to pay down the deficit.

Moderators, other visions and fact checkers

It seems to me that the American people need to hear from many different voices. Enough of this keeping the Green Party and other contenders out of the debates. Forget this whole stupid rule that they must have a certain minimum percentage of the electoral vote. It’s not only an insult to Democracy, it’s just plain un-American. You know, getting these people into the debate just might help keep the two parties honest. It may even force them to really deliver what the American people need. We need to open this up. If we truly care about this country, we need ideas from everyone.

Let’s talk a little bit about moderators. Forget the men. I’m convinced they can’t handle it. Let’s hope Jim Lehrer has moderated his last debate. And I attended the Scott Brown-Elizabeth Warren debate. Let me be candid. David Gregory sucked. He talked too damned much and over-moderated. I think only women should moderate. Somehow, they seem to handle little boys better. And let’s face it, every male politician has a bit of egotistical little boy in them. Seriously, though, let’s stay the hell away from the LAMESTREAM media types.

And those online fact checkers? They should be right there in the hall with the candidates and the moderator. I say call them out the second they take liberties with the truth. (Like Mitt Romney did when he talked about women last night.) Let’s stop treating these people like they can’t be crossed, or called out or otherwise told prove their point to the American people.