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Recently, with me focusing so much on the 1984 and its relation to politics,  I remembered another topic that I was going to bring up.

This one, was something curious that has happened in my life.  I have had two major debates  my high school experience.

One was at the beginning of it, during Freshman year, one was at the end, during senior year.

Both was on the Iraq war/ the war on terror.

One came up because of a project…and I forget why the first one came up.

One was awesome and brilliant, with high fives being exchanged at the ability of the class to hold a civil debate.

And one got out of control, screaming, yelling, cutting people off.  And I ended it by leaving the room, after someone asked snidely, “and where did you get your information from…Huckabee?”

Now before I go on, let me just say that both were excellent teachers, truly admirable examples of their profession (for what it is worth).  Though one of them did like to call me ‘his radical conservative’ back when I was younger, a name I took a lot of pride in.

But several things happened in both debates that could have made the difference.

One way controlled, in the Socratic method, and was handled generally one at a time.

One was uncontrolled, a basic free for all that emotions went high on, with people cutting off each other…and the teacher did have some direct and actual participation in the debate.

Now other than one side will tend to get louder when they have the authority figure on their side perceived or otherwise, the lesson here I think is a simple one.

Controlled situations are…well easier to control, than non controlled situations.  The better the debate is for everyone, the better the ability for everyone to talk calmly with one another.  If things get out of hand, emotions run high, and that will not help anyone at all, no one will be convinced, everyone looks like morons, and the points aren’t really made because everyone is dealing with their own template of what happened instead of what actually did.

Which I will be more than happy to articulate my points in future blogs…many many blogs…and tell you what the rest of the class should have let me say, and then I would have given you your fair shake.  This is what should have happened, but it did not.

This is yet another example, of something from school, that has helped shapen my Conservatism.

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2 Comments

  1. great blog, yes when emotions run out of control and the name calling starts…the purpose of a debate (to share intelligently) is totally lost.

  2. indeed


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