Debate Isn’t as Bad as You Think

I’m a debater. This repulses some people. But it’s what I love, and I love coaching kids on how to be champion debaters.

See, some think debate – rhetorical thinking, argumentation, cross-examination and rebuttal – is a bad virtue, and I think that’s a shame. Debate is an extremely effective way to contemplate important issues of our day.

And it’s debate season! The first presidential debate is coming up on Wednesday, and frankly I believe we are in one of the most important elections of our lifetime. Getting into debates is a good thing. We should be engaging in the national discussion of who our next president should be.

If you would rather avoid any debate, I implore you: follow the conversation I will post over the next few days. It’s really good. If anything, you’ll learn something about the activity of debate, about me and my liberal friend below, and the election. You may learn a bit about yourself and find debate a bit enjoyable.

My Debate Challenge to Margie

I had an exchange with a friend, Margie, on Facebook. She was fuming about an article I wrote about how deceptive the media has been this election, so she started commentating about how everyone should vote against Mitt Romney. Here’s what she wrote, word-for-word:

Not a fan of Mic Money
If Mic Money is the best the republicans can come up with, after a very entertaining pass with Sarah Palin than why not enjoy the show. Truth of the matter is the last bit of disclosure was so entertaining, no need to turn to another channel- Telling his fundraising attendee’s about the 47 or so percent of the people who do not pay federal income tax, t are all suckling off the teet of the government, when in all good probability he pays no personal income tax, and yes it is all legal. Any family with just a few children benefits from the Earned Income Credit, those with many children and even much income would be hard pressed to pay Personal Income Tax- actually the gov’t be paying them a hefty refund, just for having the kiddies- courtesy of George W, so really who is Mr. Mic Money really talking about, the uneducated folks in the south who yearn to move up the ladder- the stats are clear, the majority of the people who pay the no taxes are not the blue states, but the red states who lack the insight to see that Mic Money would not even put them on the roof of his car. This candidate is so out of touch with the right or the left, he should take his wife’s horse and ride up and down on his car elevator a few times, then head off to the Cayman Islands to check on his cash- out of touch Mic Money, made Ryan show him 10 years of taxes to be vetted for his would be position, above his own policy’s.
So many people are against Obama simply for the color of his skin, honestly we have a very bright man in office, who has the interests of the people, not the interests of a few, perhaps when he wins this terms the republicans will actually work with him since they will be endanger of loosing their positions and the country can actually benefit.

I seldom block comments on my site, never because I merely disagree with them (vulgarity or trolling will get you booted, but respectful contradiction is never deleted). Margie threw out a lot for me to answer. I wanted to narrow the debate down a bit, so I gave her a challenge. Simple:

You’re giving me way too much to respond to. How about you throw ONE of the arguments you made above – the best one – and I’ll respond. I may just write an entire post on it. So, which of the above comment is the best reason to vote against “Mic Money”?

She took me up on it! I have an exciting couple of posts to lay out this week. Tomorrow I’ll reveal what Margie threw at me, and the next day I’ll respond.

But here’s what’s going to be fun about this: I want you to get involved. Two ways:

  1. Reply to the questions I pose at the end of each day.
  2. Join my Oklahoma debaters and me when we watch the Presidential Debates on Wednesday.

Yes, I’ll be in Oklahoma with about 20 debaters and coaches for a Training Minds Debate Camp. Perfect timing! Mitt and Barack duking it out, a few dozen academic debaters “training the mind for action,” and YOU watching along with us. This will be fun.

I’m meeting with my social media manager this morning and will post tomorrow what exactly I’ll have set up for Wednesday evening’s debate. For now…

Question: What do you think is the BEST reason to vote for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney? 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I think the best reason to vote for either Obama or Romney is just deciding in what direction you want the country to go. Romney wants a return to entrepreneurship and free market enterprise with low taxes, while Obama wants more government control, redistribution of wealth, and a sort of nanny state mentality. The election will decide whether we have a return to the past, or a new, progressive type attitude.

    • Good point. I find that the 2012 election, the discussion is more about this specific choice between two political worldviews. I don’t remember the 2008 discussion highlighting this very well.

  • I’m rather surprised you even dignified the glorified-soundbite-sessions with the term “debate,” ahah. But seriously; while it has some similarities with a real debate (two people standing up with limited time giving opposing comments), I’d be hard pressed to call it a debate. *shrug*

    • I had that conversation with Coach Vance and Andrew Pudewa this morning over breakfast. We’re thinking of trying to “flow” the Presidential Debates, but we all agreed that that will be tough. I bet there would be TONS of dropped arguments. We’ll see.