Why Idaho Politicians Are Afraid To Debate One Another?
You wouldn't know it in Idaho, but it is debate season as America approaches the midterms. If you're a political junkie, you're likely to be glued to C-Span or YouTube, watching several debates from across the country. In Idaho, you'll be seeing very few discussions. We've documented how most of our politicians have given the debate the Heisman.
Are We Losing Out Without Political Debates?
Political cynics say that debates only matter in a competitive political race. Why would a candidate allow an opponent an opportunity to make them look bad or possibly lose the election? Folks who love the process say politicians have to debate their arch-rivals. However, why bother if the other candidate is not putting forth a serious effort?
We are entering a new world in Idaho politics. I'd like to call it the no-free samples approach politics. Unlike other times in our state's history, the process doesn't matter. If you cannot muster a serious threat to an establishment or incumbent, they will not allow themselves the opportunity to make themselves look bad by debating the opposition.
What will that mean for opponents who challenge the establishment?
If you're looking to run for office in Idaho, the new equation means that you'll have to start earlier, raise a lot of money, and build a large political following between cycles. Only if one follows those previous principles will Idahoans get a chance to hear both sides of the political argument.
Our state is a victim of its political success. The Idaho Republican Party is one of if not the most dominant state political parties in the country. The state GOP is so strong that the general election is a mere formality except for a few races.
Are we rooting for more political opposition? I think we'll pass on that one. We only hope politicians allow the public to be informed by participating in debates. It only strengthens our political system.
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