Monday, October 24, 2011

Debate? What Debate?

de·bate   [dih-beyt]  noun, verb, -bat·ed, -bat·ing.
1.a discussion, as of a public question in an assembly, involving opposing viewpoints: a debate in the Senate on farm price supports.
2.a formal contest in which the affirmative and negative sides of a proposition are advocated by opposing speakers.
3.deliberation; consideration.
4.Archaic. strife; contention.

verb (used without object) engage in argument or discussion, as in a legislative or public assembly: When we left, the men were still debating. participate in a formal debate. deliberate; consider: I debated with myself whether to tell them the truth or not.
8.Obsolete. to fight; quarrel.

verb (used with object) argue or discuss (a question, issue, or the like), as in a legislative or public assembly: They debated the matter of free will. dispute or disagree about: The homeowners debated the value of a road on the island. engage in formal argumentation or disputation with (another person, group, etc.): Jones will debate Smith. Harvard will debate Princeton. deliberate upon; consider: He debated his decision in the matter.
13.Archaic. to contend for or over.

Origin: 1250–1300; (v.) Middle English debaten < Old French debatre, equivalent to de- de- + batre to beat < Latin battere, earlier battuere; (noun) Middle English debat < Old French, derivative of debatre
Related forms
de·bat·er, noun
de·bat·ing·ly, adverb
in·ter·de·bate, verb, -bat·ed, -bat·ing.
non·de·bat·er, noun
non·de·bat·ing, adjective

I am not at all sure what that was the other night, but certainly one cannot call it a debate!

Well, that's not quite true – what it is is free advertising time being given over by the broadcasters. Free ad time given to the Republican Party for them to spout random bloviations. They are using this time in the hopes of obscuring the fact that they (the party which is largely responsible for the financial mess we are in) want you, the general public, to take the power away from the Democrats. the other party largely responsible for the financial mess, and give it back to them.

At best it is disingenuous at worst it is downright dishonest. What we have is the candidates who are all bent on putting their own personal spin on the Republican talking points. Some of the time they are at least giving lip-service to the 'debate' format. At other times, as laid bare by the candidates at the recent debate – they lay-bare the hypocrisy all-together. Consider the exchange between candidate Rick Perry and the debate moderator Anderson Cooper from the Las Vegas debate.

Anderson Cooper: "Governor Perry, the 14th Amendment allows anybody -- a child of illegal immigrants who is born here is automatically an American citizen, should that change?"

Rick Perry: "Well, let me address Herman's issue that he just talked about..."

Cooper: "Actually, I'd rather you answer that question." 

Perry: "I understand that. You get to ask the questions, I get to answer like I want to, and Herman talked about..." (His answer was, thankfully, interrupted by both cooper and the boos of the crowd.)

Cooper: "That's actually a 'response.' That's not an 'answer;' but go ahead."

Do you remember the days when the debates used to actually be debates? Back when the League Of Women Voters ran them and the candidates had no idea what the questions would be and no control over the format or the content of the debate? When that was the case, the debates were less infomercial and more informative. I wish that there were a way to return some actual information content to the debates. It would make voters, if not exactly involved, at least have a feeling that they were better informed.

Wherever you are today, I hope you will look at the world through a critical eye!

Don Bergquist – October 24, 2011 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA


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