Real Competition

Are you fed up with a system of political debates that does little more than demonstrate how dishonest, insulting, and irrational some presidential aspirants can be? I certainly am. That’s why I believe it’s long past time to jettison the current combative and mostly unproductive political discourse we are witnessing in favor of a reality game show format that is a combination of Jeopardy, Survivor, and American Idol.

Like Jeopardy, candidates would compete based on their knowledge of topics such as world affairs, economics, government, and American history. Like Survivor, candidates would compete in contests to test their ability to manage in a crisis, relationship skills, problem-solving abilities, persuasive powers, and team leadership under pressure. And, like American Idol, one candidate would be voted off by viewers each week until just one remained.

To sum up, quality of public speaking and where a candidate stands on issues are important to voters, but a reality show approach over several months would offer a much broader and in-depth understanding of who a candidate is, as a person and potential leader, and would engage a much wider audience.

Is this a ridiculous proposition? In my opinion, it is not any more ridiculous than the hoopla we are already watching every few weeks and the endless canned talking points we are being fed.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Pair of F-22s Buzz Santa Barbara City College

Turbulence rattles windows and nerves on Monday morning.

Mandatory Evacuation Called for Fire Zones in Santa Barbara County

Heavy rains expected Tuesday-Thursday; debris flows feared.

Cannabis Farmer Gets Over $1 Million Insurance Payout

Thomas Fire ash destroys crop; analysis finds asbestos, lead, arsenic, and magnesium.

Next Debris Flow Could Take Different, Unknown Path

"I've never seen this degree of hazard," says Cal Fire scientist.

Biggest Storm Since 1/9 Approaching Santa Barbara

The storm system brings increased threat of flash floods and debris flows.