What do Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin have in common? All three conservative icons may be the next debate moderators for the 2016 GOP primaries. Traditionally, moderators were chosen based on their neutrality to rule out any bias or favoritism during the debates. By having conservative Republicans serve as moderators, it is assumed that the Republican primary voters will carry more weight in the discussions.
The RNC felt there was a liberal media slant during the previous presidential debates as the Washington Times reports, resulting in their new proposal.
This proposed idea, however, creates a biased platform for the 2016 GOP primaries. By rendering exclusively conservative moderators during RNC political debates, the risk for political bias is high. Hannity, Limbaugh, and Levin are considered charismatic conservative entities which may very well sensationalize the program; these men are known for their strong opinions. Their personal politics will steer the debate towardstactics that belong on a polarizing talk show, not a debate floor.
According to Washington Examiner, Levin recently told Neil Cavuto that "I will do everything I can, in my little way, to make sure he is not the nominee," speaking of Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. This is unacceptable and creates a prejudicial platform for different nominees on the GOP's biggest stage.
Levin's "little ways" are precisely what these debates need to avoid. How fair can a political debate be when the moderator has voiced severe displeasure of one or more candidates while endorsing others?
The RNC advocate for this method as catering to their large audience, who are primarily "grassroots conservative and highly-engaged voters." This primary target market would supposedly complement the charisma of Hannity, Limbaugh, and Levin and infuse more productive, centered discussions. But would these be more productive discussions or a particular clan sticking together to create an inclusive political regime?
Ed Morrissey, a conservative blogger at Hot Air, suggests an alternative plan at the GOP debates:
"… Eliminate moderators altogether and allow small groups of candidates — no more than four at a time, and preferably only two or three — discuss issues amongst themselves so as to get the most substantial look at their principles and approaches."
Once again this wouldn't be the most optimal plan — think back to schoolroom discussions when you had to break into smaller groups to discuss controversial issues. The instructors were always there to moderate the discussions to make sure they didn't get out of hand.
For the Republican Party to win the next election, they need to capture the voters that are considered swing voters. These voters aren't the conservative Republicans the debate is currently catered towards.
The party is trying to make a spectacle of these debates; the goal is no longer to provide a fair and equitable environment for each candidate to express themselves. Rather, the GOP is simply hoping for a media blitz, high coverage and a head-start on the opposition with name recognition. Hurray! Politicians forged from a media circus!