Quick to Hear

Presidential debate hype is in full swing. I’m hearing and reading that potentially 100 million people will view the debate tonight. If true, it will be the most viewed presidential debate in history, dating back to the Carter/Reagan debate.

As always, there will be more said about the debate than any candidate will actually say. My duty in a debate like this is to listen. Not just to listen, but to hear. And better to hear what the candidates say than what others say about the candidates.

I’m not leaning on the outcome of the debate to decide who to vote for, I settled that up after the Republican primary and my officially joining the Constitution Party. Like before, as an unaffiliated voter, I read the platform documents of all the parties in the race and vote my conscience. I am satisfied to vote for Darrel Castle and able to take all of the verbal abuse my Republican friends can throw at me knowing that I am at peace with my conscience.

What I’ll be doing tonight is to attempt to fine tune my hearing skills. Here is how I will attempt to listen tonight.

  • I will watch the debate with a notebook and pen.
  • I will award up to 3 points for personal presentation (kind of like a fashion critic).
  • I will score opening statements up to 5 points.
  • I will score closing statements up to 6 points.
  • I will attempt to write down the moderators questions then listen for an answer.
  • If I hear an answer to the question I will give the candidate 5 points. (Even if I don’t like or agree with the answer, I want to hear answers.)
  • I will take away points (at half point increments) accordingly to how I determine the candidate avoided the question. (a net loss of no more than 4 points per question.)
  • I will take away points (at one quarter point increments) according to negative body language and tone.
  • I will give 1 point to any candidate who answers their question before the time limit is up
  • I will take 2 points away from any candidate who has to be interrupted by the moderator for exceeding the time limit.
  • I will give 1 point to any candidate who speaks about the other candidate (positively or negatively) within reason to answer a question.
  • I will take 2 points away from any candidate who says random nonsense about the other candidate to deflect from an answer.
  • I will take away 1 point from any candidate who returns an insult for an insult.
  • I will offer 1 bonus point to any candidate who apologizes for being out of order without being asked to do so.

That is my debate rubric. I’ll offer my conclusion with score card later with personal analysis. Feel free to use my score card and we’ll compare conclusions, or offer your own analysis.

This debate weighs nothing for me to determine who I will vote for. But it will help me in my assessment of the day. Happy debate day hearing.

1 Comment

  • Scott LaPierre

    September 26, 2016 at 2:16 PM Reply

    Wow Paul, this is a great rubric. Seriously. I’m looking forward to seeing your results.

    You planning on doing this for each debate?

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