The Republican Party has recently announced that they will be allowing their presidential candidates to organize their own debates as part of the nomination process for the 2020 presidential election. This policy change gives candidates more autonomy and control over how they wish to present themselves to the public and marks a significant shift away from traditional debates held by third-party organizations like networks or media outlets.
The decision has been met with enthusiasm from Republican candidates, many of whom have long sought to shake up the standard debate format. Under the new rule, candidates are free to devise their own questions and arrange debates after the caucuses in February. The debates could be live broadcasts on networks, livestreams on online platforms, or private events held at hotels, churches, or other potential venues.
The Republican Party’s decision is unprecedented for a presidential election, and it has been praised by some for ushering in a new level of originality and creativity into the debate process. This change will allow candidates to challenge each other on soil that they are more comfortable navigating and could open the door for new debates that focus on matters that are important to the Republican base but have traditionally been overlooked by the mainstream media in the past.
At the same time, the policy change has also raised some eyebrows from analysts who are concerned about the potential for abuse of power by candidates. Traditional debates have traditionally limited the candidates to the same set of questions and moderated by third-party entities, allowing viewers to quantify the merits of each candidate’s performance. Without such checks in place, some fear that debates could devolve into “gotcha” opportunities for the candidates to simply spread their preferred message without objectively debating the issues.
No matter the outcome, the Republican Party’s policy change has opened the door for an entirely new kind of presidential debate for the 2020 election. While the effects of such a transformation remain to be seen, it is sure to leave an indelible mark on the future of American politics.