'You have nothing to offer': the GOP's Orwellian debate pledge whips up a frenzy on social media

'You have nothing to offer': the GOP's Orwellian debate pledge whips up a frenzy on social media
Gage Skidmore

The Republican National Committee announced on Thursday that it is withdrawing from the Commission on Presidential Debates and that presidential candidates must pledge to only participate in debates that are sanctioned by the party.

“Debates are an important part of the democratic process, and the RNC is committed to free and fair debates. The Commission on Presidential Debates is biased and has refused to enact simple and common-sense reforms to help ensure fair debates, including hosting debates before voting begins and selecting moderators who have never worked for candidates on the debate stage," RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said in a press release.

"Today, the RNC voted to withdraw from the biased CPD, and we are going to find newer, better debate platforms to ensure that future nominees are not forced to go through the biased CPD in order to make their case to the American people," McDaniel added.

"The GOP is not walking away from debates. We are walking away from the Commission on Presidential Debates," the party tweeted later in the day. "It is biased and does not serve the interest of the American people."

According to The Wall Street Journal, "the RNC plans to form a working group to sanction debates based on input from presidential campaigns and criteria that may include timing, frequency, format, media outlet, candidate qualifications and the 'best interest of the Republican Party.'"

At face value, the RNC's move is a capitulation to former President Donald Trump's complaints that the debates he participated in with other GOP primary contenders in 2016 – as well as those with Democratic presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden – were unfair and rigged against him.

The bulk of Trump's ire was rooted in the moderators calling him out for outrageously false and provocative statements, such as when he directed the white nationalist Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by" during his one-on-one with now-President Biden in 2020.

The RNC's decision thusly adds credence to the possibility of Trump running for president again in 2024. If he does, the GOP is clearly attempting to manipulate its primary processes to favor Trump.

It also puts out an undeniable Orwellian vibe, which the Twitterverse noted in response to the Republican Party's edict

Users pointed out as well that if the GOP had a winning message it would not have to seal itself off from outside thoughts and ideas.


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