I wonder whose tunnel vision delivered the myth that debate is the way to select presidential candidates. Debates show stumping and debating skill, but exhibit little about candidates’ knowledge and governing capacities nationally and internationally.

Wouldn’t we be better served if candidates would first be required to read a dozen books on world realities, past and present? After completing the readings, they would be examined by a nonpartisan panel of academics, lawyers, psychologists and a foreign ally, on topics such as economics and budgeting, governing and diplomatic negotiating, capitalism and socialism, war and peace, ethnic legacies of the Americas and international relations.

Perhaps we would be better served if Democrats running for president now would select one as the candidate; others would take Cabinet and administration positions.

Together, they would present a compelling platform instead of wasting energy competitively debating policy nuances. They are all persons of goodwill; they could do it.

Public officials of all parties would do well to consider this compelling message from Tom Friedman in the Nov. 13 New York Times: “There is no question that capitalism is not working for enough people in America today. We cannot sustain a middle class, and the democracy that it upholds, without finding better ways to redistribute the pie. Massive inequality stifles growth.”

Urbane Peachey

Manheim Township