Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rules of Debate

The title of a movie “Mean Girls” has been tossed around to describe the leading political women of the GOP.

These women aren’t mean they are insecure.

Growing up I watched my parents and family debate over any number of topics. When it was my turn at the adult table I joined in the family arguments. They were for the most part in good fun, no one stayed angry….. for long anyway.

A few lessons I learned along the way:

1) Speak confidently. In a normal friendly tone.

2) Start with your weakest facts.

3) Allow the other party to speak uninterrupted.


5) Build your case.

6) Rebut if necessary.

7) After you win be gracious and offer to pay for Starbucks.

When a person has prepared for the debate and can move beyond talking points. It makes for an easy win. It shows the voters and the media that the candidates are capable of handling curveballs and the occasional dirt in the face. (Don’t fret it washes off)

Now comes the hard part, when you are insecure in the facts and uncertain of your position; like a ship at sea with a compass that spins.

1) Recognize where you are in the debate.

2) Stop advocating your position.

3) Start punching holes in your opponents’ theories.

4) LISTEN. You just might learn something for next time.

5) Resorting to insults and smears only weakens your position. (It may make for great TV, but it does little to make you a winner)

6) If all fails, restate your case, such as it is and hope for the best.

7) Be a good sport. Shake his or her hand.

8) Offer a ride to Starbucks, but make sure your opponent pays.

9) Be better prepared next time.

People, who are insecure typically, will try to get their opponent angry. Hoping it will distract their opponents, the voters and the media from the issues.

Entertaining, absolutely it makes for great TV and a boost in the polls.

Issues matter. Policy matters. Elections matter.



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