The debate stage is corporate driven, and as such lends itself to money, since that's what corporations value. Sadly, it is not what most Americans value, so the media sponsored debates only poison the well when it comes to fringe opinions which are not corporate backed. The two party system has become polarized to the point where there is a large percentage of voters who do not identify with either party and instead fall more toward the center, yet they are barely represented. We should be allowed to hear all candidates in the General Election debates, regardless of their financial prowess or corporate media backed thoughts. News flash to the media outlets....Americans are not corporations, and despite the distorted outcome of Citizens United, corporations are not people.
Here is who the NY Times said was officially running in the 2016 Election. For those who are actualy savvy about the 2016 elections, you'll notice that there are some candidates missing.
Here is who was actually on the ballots.
Two candidates are missing from the NY Times list. They were considered "not viable" by polling processes, and completely excluded from the entire election process, until you got to the poll station. One of those candidates was on all 50 state ballots, while Jill Stein was on 44 state ballots and available as a write-in on an additional 3 states for a total of 47 states. Neither were invited to any of the "Debates". The media does not get to choose candidates or valid parties. If they are on a ballot, they deserve to have the choice to appear, and the American public has a right to hear them against other candidates.
The nation is made to gather around their television sets and watched a highly staged performance which will be judged by people that have an interesting in maintaining the circus atmosphere. There is no sense to the questions often asked. For example, a candidate may have to talk about a recent scandal where he said a word that offended someone, but his record of voting for bills that have killed people goes unquestioned. It is a slur against the meaning of debate.
The debate process is flawed because it is completely based on money. The people allowed into the debate are candidates who are currently polling high, and this is always proportional to how much they spend. Until we can reform campaign finance the debate system will be broken as well. They are intertwined.
The current Presidential debates on the GOP side are nothing more than glorified Jerry Springer episodes, minus the thrown chairs and vulgarity. They have been no more than a miserable collection of ad hom attacks and mud slinging with no substance. Add in the number of debates and it becomes terribly obvious the stations broadcasting these abominations are more worried about revenue and ratings.
The American presidential debates are often hosted by cable news channels that run the risk of being biased and pushing their own agendas. Fox news and MSNBC have corporate sponsors to consider, many of whom also contribute to campaigns of individuals running for president. Debates should be held on neutral ground and hosted by a non-commercial collective.