Friday, November 13, 2015

Watching the Debates? Here's How to Game the Presidential Election

It's like BINGO, but fundamentally better for the 21st century.

Now less than a year from the 2016 presidential election, the GOP candidates vying for the office still number more than a dozen, the Democrats have narrowed to three, and we've only scratched the surface on the calendar of debates—though there's been plenty of excitement so far.

Depending on your political bent, or even your level of tolerance for other candidates within your party of choice, sitting through a three-hour debate can be any combination of exasperating, inspiring, dispiriting, hilarious, at times educational.

Between all the competition to get a word in edgewise and the ding-dinging time limits on the candidates' statements and rebuttals, these performances too easily devolve into canned polemics, nifty soundbites, and the kind of political doublespeak that lets a politician say as much as possible without really saying a thing.

Authors David Mark and Chuck McCutcheon wrote the book on this very phenomenon. Dog Whistles, Walk-Backs, and Washington Handshakes collects dozens of examples of the jargon and blather of the players, both elected and those behind the news desk, who make a living out of  misguiding the electorate. (Check out our coverage last year on "How to Talk Like a Politician.")

So, there's no reason why you and your friends can't have a little fun at the expense of these smooth talkers.

In honor of the forthcoming release of the eBook, Doubletalk (on-sale February 2016), Mark and McCutcheon's election season supplement to their first book, we created BINGO cards (like the one you see at the top of this post)—six of them—which you should totally print out and put to good use, abiding by whatever house rules you invent (ahem), when the next debate is on.

(By the date of this post, the next one is the Democrats' turn: Sat., November 14, 9 pm EST, on CBS.)

Click on the following link to download PDFs of all 6 BINGO cards, and have fun. It's gonna be yuge:

Presidential LINGO Game (PDF)

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