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Today’s televised political debates are an unrealistic way to pick a president. For instance, how often is the president limited to making his statements within a set number of seconds, as candidates are in debates?

I’d like to see the candidates sit around a table and talk with each other about what to do regarding various issues. No moderator, no questions from journalists: Just give them a general topic like the economy or foreign affairs, and let ’em go for an hour or two.

We’ll soon see which candidates know their facts, which ones react nimbly and sensibly to a barrage of viewpoints, which ones ask the others incisive questions, which ones retain command of themselves under verbal assault, and which ones stand up to bullying (if you can’t handle Donald Trump, how can you handle Vladimir Putin?). And as a part-time politician of my acquaintance says, “I suspect the first thing we’d see is which one wouldn’t shut up and give anyone else a chance to speak.

I’d love to see that kind of debate, even among people whose political views annoy me.

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