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I answered the question Why don't Presidential debates disable the candidates' microphones while it's not their turn to speak? with this answer.

It was an answer and had an answer in it. But then it was deleted by three users because one user claimed that it didn't answer the question. For those who can't read the answer due to not having enough reputation, my answer was that the media and the major political parties like the confusion so they don't want an orderly format.

Some of the other reasons listed include

  1. It was just an opinion with no evidence. All of the answers to this question are just opinions. The highest voted answer starts with "Just a theory:", offers no evidence and then takes a jab at one candidate. Only one answer actually points to anything outside the answer as evidence. Why would evidence only be required for one opinion and not all of the others?
  2. It was a solution to the problem, but not an answer to the question. 3 other answers also suggest solutions. Does my more complete solution disqualify my answer?

Shouldn't Politics SE be a place where we can ask questions, give and get answers without a few super users shouting down every opinion they don't agree with?

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    The bulk of your answer appears to be a proposal about how turning off the mics in the debate could work. That's interesting, but not really an answer to the question. There are a couple of paragraphs there that seem to attempt to address the actual question, but you really need to look hard to find them. – yannis Oct 2 '20 at 13:49
  • @yannis The paragraph literally starts with "But you asked why." It is obvious to anyone who reads the answer. Being too lazy to read a post is not an excuse for erroneously voting to close it. The intro is there to prove my point, which it does. As I asked before this post was neutered, can users with high rep just close answers that they don't agree with? – DSway Oct 2 '20 at 13:53
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    Yes, this site relies on volunteers to curate its content, and indeed high reputation users can vote to delete negatively scored answers. See Why and how are some answers deleted? for more details. – yannis Oct 2 '20 at 13:57
  • @yannis, I understand the rules of SE. My point is that claiming a reason disingenuously should not be allowed. I am asking if moderators can and will do something about this or just wash their hands and hide behind deceitful group think. There should be consequences and recourse for purposeful misrepresentation. – DSway Oct 2 '20 at 14:06
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    Perhaps this other meta-question might help you to get a better idea about how we treat opinions we don't agree with on this website: Help! I am being oppressed! Why do people keep downvoting my opinions? – Philipp Oct 2 '20 at 14:40
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    Personally, I am not convinced I should overturn the community and restore your answer. The very little that looks like an actual answer in it is unsupported (even by the 6+ paragraph intro), and doesn't - in my opinion - add anything of substance over earlier answers. There might be something of interest in the "politicians and journalists feed on confusion" argument, but I don't feel your answer does a great job at bringing it forward. – yannis Oct 2 '20 at 14:40
  • The part of your answer that does attempt to answer the question relies on assigning hypothetical and unproven motivations of a rather negative nature to journalists If they can convince you that the world is too complicated, then you have an unhealthy dependence on them.. You'd have to back up that assertion with some sources for it to be useful. – Italian Philosophers 4 Monica Oct 2 '20 at 15:40
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    @Philipp, all of the answers on that question are just opinions. If opinions are not welcome, then all of the other answers should have been closed as well. "Just a theory", "People want" "I don't think" are clearly opinions. The answer on that post obviously isn't correct in this case. – DSway Oct 2 '20 at 16:09
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    @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica, by your logic, wouldn't all of the other answers need similar sources? Why aren't the other answers closed? All of these comments really just prove my point that this isn't about objective standards. Votes are used to support some opinions and silence others. – DSway Oct 2 '20 at 16:13
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    @DSway I consider your assertion to be quite far from "accepted wisdom". If you told me the sun will rise in the east tomorrow, I wouldn't ask for a source. If you told me that politics have been unusually contentious in the last 20 years, I wouldn't ask you for a source. If you tell me that journalists are intentionally not doing their job work to make us more dependent, then that does seem like an unusual claim that needs proof. The most specific answer has references (tried before). The others seem common sense observations (candidates ought to collaborate, civility). – Italian Philosophers 4 Monica Oct 2 '20 at 16:26
  • @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica, I did not say "Journalists are intentionally not doing their job..." I said they feed on confusion. Everyone know that. That is definitely accepted wisdom. Yes, ONE answer actually has references. The others do not, including the top voted answer, which in the poster's own words is "Just a theory" or in other words, a completely unsubstantiated opinion. The standards are not applied objectively. Period. – DSway Oct 2 '20 at 16:31
  • Note that deleted answers are only visible to users with more than 10K of reputation. – user285 Oct 5 '20 at 16:17
  • 2K @RobertHarvey - We're still in beta. – yannis Oct 6 '20 at 1:33
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I voted to delete your answer as a high reputation user.

In a comment under this question, you point to a paragraph in your answer, the one starting with "But you asked why.".

While it seems like you're turning to the actual question at that point, I don't think you do. That paragraph tries to convince us why (direct quote):

Politicians and journalists feed on confusion.

The two final paragraphs come across as a review of the debate earlier this week. You simply don't address the point of disabling the microphones. And some statements come across as conspiratorial, for example:

Last night's debate is proof positive that politicians and journalists do NOT solve problems. From that debacle, it would seem that they are more intent on creating them.

That's quite a statement. If you wanted to use that as an argument why they don't mute the microphones, you should at least explain how it relates to the microphones. More importantly, such statements require some evidence. Why would a media organization work with politicians to present what you called a 'debacle'?


Shouldn't Politics SE be a place where we can ask questions, give and get answers without a few super users shouting down every opinion they don't agree with?

No, this isn't the place to give your opinion of this week's debate or politicians and the media in general. While a conspiratorial answer isn't bad per se, you really have to come up with evidence to support the claims you make in your argument.

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  • Politicians and journalists feed on confusion. That is an answer. You don't like it, but it is an answer. The question is about a solution to a very obvious problem that everyone can see. My solution at the beginning of my answer is the proof that my answer is correct. You don't like it, but my answer is an answer. You can vote to close it because you don't like it, but lying about it not being an answer doesn't make it so. Using your rep to bully less rep users should not be allowed. – DSway Oct 2 '20 at 15:03
  • Last night's debate is proof positive that politicians and journalists do NOT solve problems. From that debacle, it would seem that they are more intent on creating them. Once again, the question was specifically about why those involved in debates do not solve this problem in the most obvious and simple way available to them. This statement is an indication of why. You don't like the answer, but it directly speaks to the question. You are free to disagree, but should not be free to misrepresent my answer because you don't. – DSway Oct 2 '20 at 15:05
  • Shouldn't Politics SE be a place where we can ask questions, give and get answers without a few super users shouting down every opinion they don't agree with? Every answer is an opinion. By your rationale, we would close every answer. Pretending that all of the other answers are 'just the facts' is completely disingenuous. – DSway Oct 2 '20 at 15:10
  • This is not a conspiracy theory answer. That was clearly a confusing presidential debate. The format was unclear and the few rules that did exist were completely ignored. Any reasonable, objective observer could see that. Making those points supports the answer I gave. The debate itself was the only necessary evidence and the OP and other contributors would clearly have seen that. What other evidence would be necessary? – DSway Oct 2 '20 at 15:14
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    @DSway As I said, you have to convince people that it addresses and answers the question. I agree that the debate was confusing. But there is a difference between a confusing debate and a conspiracy between the politicians and the media to present a confusing debate just to further some joint cause. That is a conspiracy. Maybe you don't mean that, but that's how I understood it. Feel free to clarify. I will definitely consider further elaboration or edits to your answer. – JJJ Oct 2 '20 at 15:17
  • I said "Politicians and journalists feed on confusion" I did not suggest that they conspired for a common cause. The OP's question was basically expressing confusion about why a simple problem is not solved and I was pointing out that the 3 primary actors and their supporters may actually want confusion. Certainly, they could each have separate agendas, but confusion could benefit any one or all of them. – DSway Oct 2 '20 at 15:40
  • @JJJ, One could say that the two major opposed factions concur as to their respective interests and coincide in their mutual inaction, without ever actually colluding. It's like two unfriendly accountants at an ice cream parlor, who both order vanilla. – agc Oct 4 '20 at 22:08
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I've just reordered the text of the answer to lead with the actual answer, leaving the proposal as an addendum. Then voted to reopen.

(Meta spends too much time on pro/con justifications and not enough on improvements. Our resources are finite. It's like teaching a youngster how to tie his shoes. One could take hours to attentively lecture him on accident statistics of untied shoes, and the mathematics and physics of knots and elasticity... Or just show him, (several times if need be), how to tie his shoes; or failing that, settle for velcro. )

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    The OP asked "why", not "how can this be improved". I don't think having more justification than improvements is inappropriate here. That said, I appreciate that you're willing to try and improve the answer. – Bobson Oct 6 '20 at 15:22

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