Quote Of The Day
Perhaps we should have had “Founding Mothers” instead. -Me
Post#: 180-19 – Words: 926 – Audio: N/A
Maybe we should debate having debates.
I’ve watched decades of candidates debate and it seems with each passing election cycle debates mean less and less to a point where now it’s a complete absurdity. To begin with, debates like the last two “examples” with the Democratic candidates just honestly make no sense and have very little impact to fool anyone who has even a small level of common sense.
Some of you might recall back in elementary, high school, or college days when debating was actually taught as a style and format by which us students would learn the art of defending/promoting one’s opinion of issues by presenting facts in a convincing way. This was an example of democracy in action in either two candidates presenting their own criteria and qualifications for getting elected, or, it could take the form of two opposing sides representing alternative opinions on an issue. It was a bit of a “competition” in that following the debate the audience/class typically voted on who might have been more effective in presenting logical support evidence for their cause… or which person they might vote for in a hypothetical election.
If you were so tuned personally, one could also easily see how human behavior can be affected in responding to the outward persona and abilities of others. Generally speaking we all tend to enjoy people with the “gift of gab”.. who can express themselves spontaneously and form context and focus on the fly… with an above average command of the language. Some can teach, some can convince, some can train, some can inspire. Others might be less verbal and be more demonstrative or even display emotion on queue. If a person’s trait is writing very well, they might have a tough time in an open debate format. The word for the idea of picking other humans who tend to stand out from the crowd to gain our respect is “charisma”. You likely already knew all that, but my point is to draw attention to debating as being a kind of duality.. it serves to inform, and it serves to gauge the informer. From there the viewer presumably can make a better decision.
Before mass communication of any kind the idea of debating between persons in front of an audience of those desiring to be convinced one way or the other also became the criteria for selecting our leaders… when being the best head-basher in the tribe became less important. The early Greek philosophers and Roman prophets were early debaters when they questioned the world around them and challenged conventional wisdom of the day. A politician of old standing on his/her soapbox on a street corner arguing an issue is a simple form, not totally dissimilar to town halls. When the subject of debates pops up we naturally think of the Lincoln-Douglas debates before Abe became president. It was between two election candidates trying to sell themselves to get elected… in an age of very slow communication and marginal general literacy. The Founding Fathers engaged in debates, first to separate from England.. then later to ratify the Articles and the Constitution. Congress debates all the time, although in a more “group” format.
Fast forward to the 20th century and we have the Kennedy-Nixon debate.. the first to be televised. Even that was a structured format. Opening remarks of a certain time frame, then questions from a facilitator/moderator. Each person responds in kind, taking turns, then rebuts according to a time constraint. Now, let’s compare that to the last two Dem debates… it was a damn nonsense free for all, with predicted results (of mass arguing), little or no structure…. and WAY too many debaters to make any sense. It was an appalling display to even think the public might gain anything from this and total disrespect for each of the candidates to even express a serious opinion.
To top it all off, pundits then went on, along with the pollsters, to suggest that there was a “winner” of each debate night?? Who won what.. and what exactly would have been the criteria for “winning” such an uncoordinated “debate”? The loudest interrupter? The most argumentative? Who had the more creative “gotcha” retorts; the best “gotcha” moment? The best looker? The most mature? The most convincing? The one who got the most audience cheering? Certainly there was ZERO of any substance with any debate night event. Let’s continue.
The “questioners”.. three of them?? Why? Who was actually “moderating”? How can any one of them ask the same question to each candidate standing up there to assure fairness?
The only debate that makes any sense is the presidential debate because it’s limited to two candidates. I’ve made up my own mind… the entire Democratic slate I would not want to see as president in a normal election year. But I would readily accept any one of them to replace Trump.
I certainly cannot answer for who “won” those crazy debates.. but I can certainly tell you who lost… the American people who were watching… (except those who were gullible enough to form their opinion only on what they saw; yet even the most gullible, seemingly ignorant, politically misguided, ill-prepared, educationally challenged, out of touch… and those who pass judgement upon them… are still Americans all).
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