MY IDEAL DEBATE—NO MODERATOR. I posted here in May, 2007 —long before the 2008 debates—about what I now realize is my Ideal Debate. I had actually seen it on television in 1981, a debate between Mitterand and Giscard d’Estaing. My French wasn’t good enough to follow the debate, but I could tell that the two men had enough time to express their thoughts in complete paragraphs and were able to respond directly to each other’s arguments. There was no intermediary. The United States could do the same with its debates. Time limits could be enforced by cutting the sound off on a microphone (each debater could have a few extra cumulative minutes before a cutoff). Interruptions could be avoided by cutting the sound when it is not a debater’s turn to speak. The result: Each debater would have more time to develop an argument and to give priority to what the debater considers important.

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