Current rules for selecting who will be in the Democratic debates are nonsensical, unworkable, and easily gamed. They need to be changed.
1) Quality control is badly needed. Candidates with no political experience, like Yang and Williamson, should show much higher qualifications than candidates like Biden, Warren, and Harris, who have serious experience. This isn’t a race for dog catcher. Experience matters. Allowing candidates with no experience to compete because they are cult leaders with followers and / or gamed the system with contributions that probably weren’t from Democrats cheapens the entire thing and makes it like a reality show.
2) No multiple nights for Democratic debates. The first debate and all subsequent debates should have no more than the top ten candidates. That way it’ll just be one night. If a candidate isn’t in the top ten, they aren’t a serious contender anyway.
3) Basing the selection on x number of donors in multiple states can be gamed and manipulated, especially since the donations can be as little as a dollar. For the third debate, the criteria is at least 130,000 unique donors in twenty states, with at least 400 per state. It should be more like 30-40 states, with a minimum donation required, like $10. Someone like Andrew Yang with his army of 4chan followers can boost his donation numbers pretty easily, and they are almost certainly coming from the far right, and not from Democrats.
4) Moderators need to mostly shut up. It’s not about them. All candidates should get asked the same questions, with no interrupting allowed. Any candidate who interrupts loses their right to answer the next question.
5) Questions should include foreign policy and how they will beat the Republican.