Sorry, but I most strongly disagree. Top four on the basis of polls that are heavily influenced by the biased coverage on network TV? You’ve got to be kidding me! I actually wanted to watch the debate tonight, but had something very important come up that could not be done later. But my wife watched it, and told me that her perception was the Rand Paul got some of the loudest applause for some of his remarks, particularly his opening comments. Rand Paul, like him, not like him, or entirely neutral on him, has points of view NOT shared by any other candidate, and if nothing else, he will challenge them on things that need to be challenged. Why in the world should alternate voices NOT be heard, for just that reason?
Why should anyone want to allow the news media and questionable polling organizations, using even more questionable methods, PRE-select who the candidates will be in November? By cutting “certain” people out of debates, the debates narrow in focus, depth, and in many other ways, and do NOT represent what the American public needs to be hearing in order to make more informed votes. Why should we NOT hear all of the viewpoints, proposals, etc.? By the “top four” criteria, Ron Paul should never have been allowed in ANY of the debates in 2012, I suspect. Is that what we really want to say here? Again, agree with him or not, Ron Paul had some outstanding positions that would never have been heard had he not been there. I want to hear ALL angles of arguments, before making up my own mind. Hopefully I’m open minded enough to reconsider some previously held beliefs, based on new information, and even change my position when hopefully more fully enlightened on a subject. And thank goodness I’ve done that on multiple things in my lifetime.
What is popular now is clearly NOT what’s good for this country, and it is those very ideas that dictate the population’s selections as “top” candidates. So we can EXPECT the “top four” to reflect the beliefs of a relatively screwed up nation. Therefore, no – I do NOT want my choices artificially limited to what a few hundred people in a few polls have chosen for me.
[Note: I took an entire full semester course in survey research – “polling” basically – in college. Few people have any idea how easy it is to construct a biased poll and not even mean to do so. How much easier it is to intentionally create a biased poll, and pass it off as “accurate.” And that is done all the time. I want none of that as part of my decision-making process. I should not CARE who’s “top ranked” as I make my decisions, or else I’ve let others make them for me. Let me hear all voices up until the day I make MY choice.]