The last time I took a formal lesson in debating was in high school. I remember Mrs. Houston trying to explain how the rules worked. There was an element of something called “Logic” involved in the topic, and since it all smacked of mental effort, I ducked and let it pass safely over my head. We debated the apparent conflict in allowing young “men” to be drafted, but not vote. It seemed terribly unfair at the time (the Vietnam era). I wasn’t a hippie, but it seemed inherently unfair that an eighteen year old kid couldn’t yet vote for or against the politician who might send him of to war. I had only been associated with people from a small Indiana farming community. Where I grew up was identical to the small Indiana town depicted in the movie “Hoosiers.” That small town exactly pictures where I grew up and the sort of basic values I soaked up as a kid. The town in “Hoosiers” was literally a stone’s throw away from my house. That house was never locked…since the front door lock was broken for as long as I could remember, which tells you about the kind of people who populated my town. (Dad could fix our car or his John Deere tractor, but he must have been all thumbs with stuff like door locks. But maybe he could prioritize, unlike our Congress and Administration, and chose to focus on the more important things…since he had six kids to feed and no known crooks in the neighborhood.) Interestingly, the town in “Hoosiers” was not named Hickory as depicted, but “Ninevah.” Why someone would name it after the ancient Assyrians’ capital city I couldn’t guess, but they had. It was a couple miles from Camp Atterbury where Dad took his basic training in the Army. One of the most famous artists of the early Twentieth Century, William Merrit Chase, was born there, but I never that until two years ago.
Anyway, that’s where I grew up. On matriculating into Indiana University in Indianapolis I had my first introduction to hippies in the Art Department. It was there where I also bumped into Socialist thinking for the first time. Funny, but it took me a few years to figure out that wherever hippies were to be encountered, so was socialism. Real funny. It may have been in art school where I first heard about how debates work. I had missed the “rules” of debating under Mrs. Houston because I was more interested in basketball, art class and my classmates’ antics. But those socialist/hippy/pukes quickly taught me what Mrs. Houston couldn’t. The first thing I learned from those creeps was that no one but they could speak. An unfair, but efficient rule intended to streamline every debate. Over the next four years I noticed a corollary of said rule; he who sets the terms of the debate always has a huge advantage. Another corollary was that finding truth has nothing to do with the process.
A silly, but cogent illustration of this rule was seen a couple days ago when some shill for Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton told us all that certain new rules have been added to the liberal/commie/socialist lexicon of politically incorrect words. Then new verboten words indicate that the speaker of those words is “sexist.” (Probably, “racist” too, since the terms are now co-equal and consonant. Who knew?) I am uncertain who actually made the announcement, but does it matter. It may have been the “girl” who is a new face in the Administration’s Shill Department, who looks like Clark Kent’s dumb younger sister. But probably not, since there seems to be no love lost between Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton and Obama. Whoever it was, the new announcement shows how helpful it can be in any debate when only one side gets to revise the rule book anytime it deigns to do so. If a debater can automatically be denounced as a “sexist” when he/she says the wrong magic word, why even show up? The same applies to not being allowed to bring ammo to a gunfight. Why bother. This attempt by Mrs. Clinton to emasculate any possible political opponent is painfully obvious, devious and dumb. But it is intended to defeat the cowardly folks on the Republican side of Congress and, due to their prevalence on that side of the aisle, should prove very effective.
Another debating rule to be aware of is … having the moderator in your pocket can be very beneficial in getting the desired result, victory. A recent and painful example of this was seen when Romney debated a curiously deflated Obama, whose petulance matched the worst sniveling third grade girl who has just learned her popularity may be slipping among her peers. When Candy (aka; Jabba The Hut’s Unpleasant Little Sister) showed her bias and made some incorrect pronouncement, Romney should have denounced the whole process (preferably in a deep bass profundo) and exited stage left. That may have forfeited the debate, but his stock would have risen sharply among the electorate. The election was close (notwithstanding Obama’s self-serving assurances to the contrary) and a manly denunciation of the whole Obama/Candy beauty pageant may have turned the election. And there would be no Obamacare by now and Israel wouldn’t be on the verge of losing her only real ally.
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