The Spectator’s Cockburn has some very focused suggestions.
Given the current crop of candidates, an age-focused debate seems only apt. We can judge them on correctly remembering the names of those around them, the best use of nostalgia and staying continent for the full two hours.
2. Free stuff
Who doesnâ€™t love free stuff? Rather than a dull night focused on the economy, letâ€™s hear about deals, deals, deals! Free healthcare? You bet! Free college? Sure! Free childcare? Heck, why not?! This one should be hosted by Oprah, who will inform the studio audience to check under their seats for the first installment of their $1,000-a-month and the keys to their free Tesla.
It would be much simpler for all of us if we had a single evening dedicated to screwing up, rather than spreading it ad hoc throughout the entire process. Here the contenders can deliver long apologies for unfashionable policies they supported in the Eighties, claim the heritage of another race before furiously backpedaling, flog interns, smell hair and, if AOC herself is competing next time round, talk about towns in southern England instead of leading economists. Letâ€™s face it, this one is the debate that would run over.
4. Trans issues
From the coal-miners of western Pennsylvania to the trawlermen of Michigan, the farmhands of Texas to the church-going grandmothers of South Carolina, only one issue has the potential to energize and unite the entire working-class Democratic base: the right of 0.6 percent of Americans to pee where they want. Yes, nothing will turn out voters like talking trans, so a vigorous televised discussion where every sentence is punctuated by the phrase â€˜trans women of colorâ€™ is a no-brainer for the DNC.
5. The apocalypse
Chaired by Gov. Inslee and Greta Thunberg in knee-deep water on a Louisiana flood-plane, we need to hear the candidates debate at length exactly how long it is until we all die. Wouldnâ€™t Bernie look rather fetching in a pair of waders?