« A little late to the party | Main | Trolls Gone Wild, Part One: Operation Change The Subject »

The Lost Art of Constructive Debate

It is a sad fact that Logic and Critical Thinking are no longer taught in many universities, much less high schools. This goes some of the way, I believe, in explaining what passes for debate and considered evaluation in the modern media; Katie Couric and her like are mistaken for people with working brains. And even though blogs offer the forum for reasoned discourse, all too often they also devolve into emotional rants, especially where the readers demonstrate a mob mentality which denies even the theoretical existence of a valid alternative to their opinion. The measured mind and balanced soul find themselves outcasts. It is my hope to revive that spirit of courteous debate and reasoned examination of the issues, through the discouragement of negative tactics and the encouragement of positive methods. To that end, I am proposing a simple yet difficult task.

Tomorrow, if there is interest in the endeavor, I will open a thread for debate on the subject of what, since 1967, the Republicans and Democrats (or Greens, Libertarians, Trekkers, Anarchists, whatever) have each added to America's store of worth and ideals. That is, I invite the commentors to note, in specific, what their party has done which is good and right. This is not the place to attack the other side; if the claim cannot stand on its own logic and reason and evidence, this will be apparent to any considered thought. This thread is also not the place to make any sort of personal attack or insult. Accordingly, I will be editing any negative comments, and applying a "strike" against the side which tries such tricks. I will warn folks now, that because I can check IP addresses, anyone attempting to fake a negative comment against the other side will be caught, and a double "strike" charged to their own side for such a trick, so don't even think about it. The objective, simple yet difficult, is to make your case for your party using only positive statements and definitive evidence. I like to think that some here are still capable of that level of effort, and it would be a good thing to see the practice revived.

I agree that sometimes it is useful, even necessary, to break down what you see as a false claim or argument on the other side. However, that tactic has been used overmuch, I think, and often leads to rants and insult-fests. Let's see who can make their case while staying squeaky clean.

So, who's got the guts to try? If there is interest, we can start this tomorrow morning. I am waiting until then, so that people interested can compile their information and prepare their brief but logical case.


UPDATE (11:50 AM) - Lee brought up that we should have clear rules and objectives established, so here they are:

First, Wednesday's debate is for positive claims and support for the party of your choice. Attacking the other side's claims, insults, and especially personal attacks will not be tolerated. I encourage the readers to contribute well-reasoned arguments with support for your claims. Because some claims may be unsupported with evidence or may be vague, it is fine for readers to ask the claimant for support or clarification, but challenges and denial should not be pursued on this occasion (it's not as if you won't have the chance somewhere else!). The objective is not to "win" in a scoreboard sense, but to prove you can make your case using classic Logic and the specific merits of your party.

The time-range is limited to the last 40 years, the common range of a generation of society. The idea is to address accomplishments with contemporary relevance.

STRIKES - As we have unfortunately seen even in this initial thread, some people are unwilling to comply with simple standards of courtesy. Therefore, even though this debate is not a competition, a record will be kept of untoward behavior. Whenever someone posts a comment which engages in negative behavior, such as attacking the other side's claim, making insults, or impersonating another person, the offending passage will be removed and a STRIKE assigned with the following values:

1 STRIKE - Attempting to derail the thread, challenging a claim made by another party, or insulting a leader from another party

2 STRIKES - Personal insults of any kind, any profanity

3 STRIKES - Impersonating another person (I can check IP addresses) for the purpose of trying to make them look like they are breaking the rules

This does not apply to any other thread, or to any other situation. I am using it here as a tool to show a group's ability or lack thereof to address the topic with decorum.

Any complaints about the rules in place for this debate will be deleted. You are not required to participate, but if you do the rules apply to everyone.

In conclusion, the objective here is to advance knowledge and try to demonstrate the virtue of the Blogosphere for constructive debate. It's up to you whether this test fails or succeeds.


TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Lost Art of Constructive Debate:

» J's Cafe Nette linked with Will Reason Prevail?

Comments (96)

I'm not sure if I'll be par... (Below threshold)

I'm not sure if I'll be participating, but it sounds like a great idea.

It is my hope to revive ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

It is my hope to revive that spirit of courteous debate and reasoned examination of the issues, through the discouragement of negative tactics and the encouragement of positive methods.

Well, given your recent propensity towards deleting comments contrary to your arguments, you aren't exactly in a position to expound upon the virtues of courteous debate.

Kinda like a Wikipedia for ... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

Kinda like a Wikipedia for political debate.

Fantastic endeavor!<p... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:

Fantastic endeavor!

Our country is in deep, deep trouble. We no longer debate--it's much like the talking heads are a microcosm of the USA. It's now mostly short spurts of people talking over or past each other.

The citizens of the USA suffer from it and the winner all-too-often is the group that can shout the loudest; not necessarily the group which is right.

OTOH, how does one rate a p... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:

OTOH, how does one rate a positive for his side when there are such drastically opposing (and arguably valid) points?

For example, abortion: One side says it's defending the rights of the Mother; the other side says it's defending the rights of the child.

Or is that not the point of this exercise? Is it merely to show the best of each party in the eyes of its constituents?

OK.. I'll byte.Dem... (Below threshold)
Semanticleo:

OK.. I'll byte.

Democrat accomplishments;

Bill of Rights

Louisiana Purchase

New Deal(WPA etc)

Social Security
a. Disability
b. Medical care for low income
c. retirement income.
d. Medicare

Peace Corps

Civil Rights Act of 1964

NATO

Camp David

Along with others under those auspices.

You know mantis, you might ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

You know mantis, you might want to read the article again, this time without thinking to yourself, "how can I make some snide remark which will do nothing to advance the debate".

I'm making an effort to raise the level of debate, which seem to be beyond your scope.

Is sneering the best you can manage?

A few problems wit hyour su... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

A few problems wit hyour submission there, Semanticleo:

First, this thread is finding out if there is interest in the debate. The actual submissions would be tomorrow.

Next, you need to support your claims, not just state them.

And I noted that the historical range is 1967 to present. Few people could make an effective argument, I think, that the Democrats and Republicans of today are all that much like those of a century ago.


Oh The Day....Than... (Below threshold)

Oh The Day....

Thank you, DJD, for the opportunity -- if not simply for the respite.

Mantis, you disappointed me.

Great idea, DJ - are you go... (Below threshold)

Great idea, DJ - are you going to delete the comments you don't like, as you did last weekend on another thread? Last weekend you deleted comments by bryanD, mantis, barney and myself, and possibly others.

Accordingly, I will be editing any negative comments, and applying a "strike" against the side which tries such tricks.

Ahh, you're going to edit their comments, changing the content, instead of just deleting them. I see -- much better.

Well then, why don't you use the "strike" html tag go strike out the text you you think is inappropriate, instead of deleting it all together, and that way everyone can see if you are being fair or just trying to eliminate strong opposing viewpoints as you did last weekend.

Your not afraid of that are you?

And here is where the whole... (Below threshold)
Paul:

And here is where the whole thing comes to a crashing end. (sorry DJ)

Semanticleo didn't read well enough to know that you said the last 40 years.

Further he credits the "Democratic Party" with giving us the Bill of Rights and the Louisiana purchase... Both claims are -to be blut- pulled out of his rear end.

For starters the party wasn't started until 20 years after the Bill of Rights was already ratified AND at the time the party was called the "Democratic-Republican Party."

But facts and reason be damned, it was a good talking point so he made it. Where does this leave reasoned debate?

I wish you luck but (and I've only slept 2 hours in 2 days so I'm a bit cranky) unless I'm proven wrong (and I hope I am) I don't give this idea much hope in today's world.

Sorry.

Well I don't know what it i... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Well I don't know what it is, but it's certainly not debate. It's more like a laundry list of claims, which if someone doesn't agree with they'll be seen as being negative. For example, Republicans could claim they have stopped all terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. What democrat could let that go by even though on it's face it's a true claim? Similarly, Democrats might claim a robust economy under Clinton in spite of tax hikes.

Sorry, but this is really a contest to see who can spin the facts best.

Constructive debate requires people who are honestly seeking the truth and willing to admit when they are wrong. Only rarely have I seen such debate on any web forum.

From what I have seen the best use of web forums is to stimulate thinking and extract good ideas from a large and diverse population. Smart policy makers have their staffs mine such debate looking for good ideas that might be among rhetorical trash.

WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT<p... (Below threshold)
Paul:

WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT

I missed the other thread but everybody take a chill pill. This post was spurred by a series of events many of which you readers where not privy too....

Whatever did or did not happen last week, who cares....

Give DJ a break... He is attempt a voluntary raising of the discourse on Wizbang....

If you would like to avail yourself of the opportunity DJ is offering, jump on it...

If you want to piss, moan and whine please do it elsewhere.

KnowwhatImean?

Lee Ward: "you're going ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Lee Ward: "you're going to edit their comments, changing the content, instead of just deleting them."

Not exactly, Lee. You should know that when someone starts off with insults and off-topic claims, someone else often feels compelled to fire back. That is NOT what I will allow here. I'm not going after dissenting opinion, but I WILL exercise discretion when someone shows they cannot follow the rules.

I have no intention of explaining or negotiating. Like it or not, I will not allow comments which I see as deliberately insulting or attempts to derail the thread.

as usual, Mac Lorry gets it... (Below threshold)
Paul:

as usual, Mac Lorry gets it.

You know mantis, you mig... (Below threshold)
mantis:

You know mantis, you might want to read the article again, this time without thinking to yourself, "how can I make some snide remark which will do nothing to advance the debate".

I read it all the way through, and chuckled at the irony. Btw, what were you saying about snide remarks?

I'm making an effort to raise the level of debate, which seem to be beyond your scope.

That's rich. Or maybe I don't trust someone who will simply delete the points his opponent makes to "raise the level of debate."

Is sneering the best you can manage?

No, but it's the most effort I'm willing to put forth for something that will likely be deleted.

OK, this is getting downrig... (Below threshold)

OK, this is getting downright disturbing. This is the THIRD TIME in a WEEK DJ and I have written overlapping/complementary pieces.

I think I better check my computer for some spyware...

J.

[ } Sorry Jay, I thought this was different from what we all discussed last night. Guess we shoulda known better than to go to a Vulcan Mind Meld party, huh? -- DJD]

OK OK OK MantisYou... (Below threshold)
Paul:

OK OK OK Mantis

You got your pound of flesh, now are you in or out. (but I'd pretty sure I know the answer)

BTW Mantis see also quotes ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

BTW Mantis see also quotes about sinner, stones and whatnot.

The guy's trying to accomplish something. It should be obvious from my comments and Jay's post above, it's about more than this one post.

"And I noted that the histo... (Below threshold)
Semanticleo:

"And I noted that the historical range is 1967 to present"

Which you ARBITRARILY chose for the sake of discussion, and which I chose to ignore.

Supporting argument? My list is self-evident.
Just in case you need a demonstration of gravity,
watch your rebuttal fall to the floor. Theorems and equations are for theories.

You got your pound of fl... (Below threshold)
mantis:

You got your pound of flesh, now are you in or out. (but I'd pretty sure I know the answer)

Ok, yeah I'm done. I would gladly participate (though I can't restrict myself to one party), but I do believe I have a legitimate concern here.

The guy's trying to accomplish something. It should be obvious from my comments and Jay's post above, it's about more than this one post.

I'm all for it, but in order to wipe the slate clean, don't you need to acknowledge what was on it first?

BTW Mantis see also quotes about sinner, stones and whatnot.

Sure, sure. I make snide, smartass remarks all the time. They want to raise it up? I'll play ball.

BTW;Simply stating... (Below threshold)
Semanticleo:

BTW;

Simply stating 'Mr Gorbachov, tear down that wall", does not equate to RJR ending the Cold War. But that did occur during a Republican term of office. Does that mean Clinton gets credit for the economy of the '90s?

>Which you ARBITRARILY chos... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>Which you ARBITRARILY chose for the sake of discussion, and which I chose to ignore.

Excuse me... When did you start paying the hosting bill?

You're welcome to flout his guidelines, and I'll delete you before DJ can even get to his keyboard.

If you'd like to see this as an opportunity to prove you're an asshole, you will be banned.

And your claims aren't self evident I proved you wrong above.

Ok mantis we get it.<... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Ok mantis we get it.

Are you going to join the grownups or not?

I said I'll play ball. A w... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I said I'll play ball. A welcome change if it works.

DJ, I think the post you're... (Below threshold)

DJ, I think the post you're considering looks interesting, but I am wondering how, in the case that you have a Republican President and a Democratic Congress, or a Democratic President and a Republican Congress, who actually gets to take credit for what? There are also a lot of things that were bipartisan, which is a good indication that the subject is/was a fantastic idea to start with. So, I guess what I'm saying is, that I'm not so sure that judging this will be so clear cut.

Thomas Jefferson and James ... (Below threshold)
Semanticleo:

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison founded the Democratic party, Paul. (I think one of those two guys wrote the Bill of Rights)

Does DJ approve of your taking cranky dumps all over his post? Your tiff with Mantis aside, I mean.

I'm interested to watch thi... (Below threshold)
Farmer Joe:

I'm interested to watch this, but I have a feeling it's not going to go well.

"You should know that wh... (Below threshold)

"You should know that when someone starts off with insults and off-topic claims, someone else often feels compelled to fire back. That is NOT what I will allow here. I'm not going after dissenting opinion, but I WILL exercise discretion when someone shows they cannot follow the rules."

Swell, then please make sure the rules are clearly defined at the start [BOLD by editor, good idea I will add an update with that. -- DJD ]

- and as I said above using the strike tag will let us verify what's "out of bounds" be keeping the content visible, it just "doesn't count" for the sake of the argument.

And please choose a topic that is debatable - and not cherry pick the argument for its "winnability" by the right. Posting the question "Is running John Kerry in 2004 the worst idea the DNC ever had" is not a question that is debateable, for example. :)

[ winnability is not really the goal here. I will be the first to admit I am biased, and as such a consensus will not be reached. What I want to try to do here, is allow effective argument by each side for its case, with observation of who cannot behave. I'm going to keep track of "strikes", but not assign points for claims or evidence. That would not be workable. -- DJD]


[YET ANOTHER WARNING - complaints about deletions of comments is not allowed here. I have made it clear that it is not going to be discussed. Whining about comments that got deleted will get those whines removed as well. - DJD ]

Well I don't know ... (Below threshold)
Well I don't know what it is, but it's certainly not debate. It's more like a laundry list of claims, which if someone doesn't agree with they'll be seen as being negative.
I'll partially agree that the framework doesn't fit the definition of "debate"; however, since it seems DJ is serious about "logic and critical thinking" what he is asking for is a series of argumentative essays.

Cleo above did do a "laundry" list -- one that he would have to blue line out several items if he actually serious about preparing an argumentative essay with citations (I do have to give Cleo credit for giving me a good laugh to start the day... claiming such items as Bill of Rights, LA purchase and 1964 Civil Rights act as contemporary Dem accomplishments ... seems he's taking May Day nationalization cues from Chavez).

Maybe a substansive post filled with taut, well written argumentative essays can be followed with a post with answering essays.

I'm not sure I'll have alot... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

I'm not sure I'll have alot to offer here...but I will be reading the thread. I'll probably learn alot.

Semanticleo: Thomas Jeff... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Semanticleo: Thomas Jefferson and James Madison founded the Democratic party, Paul.


Sigh:

Thomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 N.S.-4 July 1826) was the third President of the United States (1801-09), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals Republicanism in the United States. Major events during his presidency include the Louisiana Purchase (1803) and the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806).

As a political philosopher, Jefferson was a man of the Enlightenment and knew many intellectual leaders in Britain and France. He idealized the independent yeoman farmer as exemplar of the republican virtue, distrusted cities and financiers, and favored states' rights and a strictly limited federal government. Jefferson supported the separation of church and state and was the author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1779, 1786). He was the eponym of Jeffersonian democracy and the founder and leader of the Jeffersonian Republican party (eventually to become known as the Democratic-Republican Party), which dominated American politics for a quarter-century.

You have no idea what Republicanism is nor any grasp on high school history.

See also the book on the subject... Jefferson's Second Revolution: The Election Crisis of 1800 and the Triumph of Republicanism

And that's my point DJ. Rea... (Below threshold)
Paul:

And that's my point DJ. Reasoned debate has been replaced by who can scream the loudest, or worse, longest.

Some people will look squarely at the facts and lie. How do you have a reasoned discussion?

I'm still in your corner on this one but if I where placing bets....

I hold the opinion Paul, th... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

I hold the opinion Paul, that with the nasty bits removed, the remaining claims and statements will stand or fall on their own strength. I had to read some of Marx's crap when I was in college. His assumptions were so broad and ill-considered, that his conclusions were predictable and laughable. With a full day to prepare the argument, anyone unable to make their case, will have a hard time claiming they were merely the victim of prejudice.

And for the record Semantic... (Below threshold)
Paul:

And for the record Semanticleo... DJ (and most other civilized people) believe that not hurling invective is a prerequisite for constructive debate...

I don't really care. You can call me any name in the book. I don't look at that NEAR as much as I do accuracy. Everyone has their peeves.

DJ said that if he does this thread, personal insults will be off limits. Done. It's his thread and short of a Kevin veto, he makes the rules. (and Kevin will back him on that obviously)

If I where to make the thread I might make the rules that you HAVE to insult the other guy BUT if you can't produce a credible link to back your arguement it gets deleted.

Man- THAT would be a fun thread.

Simply stating 'Mr... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:
Simply stating 'Mr Gorbachov, tear down that wall", does not equate to RJR ending the Cold War. But that did occur during a Republican term of office. Does that mean Clinton gets credit for the economy of the '90s?

You declared the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as a Democratic win, even though as Diane Alde points out: Republicans supported it in higher proportions than Democrats and that it would have failed without GOP help.

DJOh waaaaaaaaa!!!... (Below threshold)
Rory:

DJ

Oh waaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!

You had to read Marx-I had to read Foccault-now that my friend is -as Murtha would say-pure "craaaaaaaaaaaaaap."

[Ya,ya delete this comment-pffffffftttt!]

Ah hell I misspelled ^Focca... (Below threshold)
Rory:

Ah hell I misspelled ^Foccault^.

Lee Ward you're overshootin... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Lee Ward you're overshooting the point by a mile...

He's not looking to have a debate to declare a winner... at this point the goal is just reasoned debate.

Seems like he's not getting many takers... Are you in or out?

DJ,I think that yo... (Below threshold)
ryan the filthy centrist:

DJ,

I think that you have a good idea going here, and personally I would like to see this kind of thing encouraged around here. I get really tired of the usual left/right slamfests that dominate most of the comment sections here and elsewhere.

A couple of ideas for the debates though. I do not think that people need to stick to only positive statements. Constrcutive disagreement should definitely, in my opinion, be allowed and encouraged, especially since that is one skill that MANY people lack. We should be able to disagree, and disagree without making personal attacks.

Just an opinion, of course.

I can't say that I'm all that excited about this particular topic--the contributions of the main parties since 1967--since I'm not a hardlined supporter of any single political party per se. But I do hope that you might do this again, with other topics.

A couple of suggestions for "constructive debate" topics:

1. Did the United States make the right decision by invading Iraq?
2. Is there a "clash of civilizations," as some would put it, between the west and Islam?
3. Terrorism: Define it, then explain the best way of dealing with it.
4. What role should the United States play in international politics?
5. Revisionist History: Poltical pandering, or relevant analysis of our past?
6. What is a conservative? A liberal? Are these two political positions completely irreconcilable?

I would love to see people around here discuss some of these topics without losing their minds and resorting to the usual nonsense.

/2 cents

He's not looking to have... (Below threshold)

He's not looking to have a debate to declare a winner... at this point the goal is just reasoned debate."

It seems I missed the point as well. Carry on.

Lee Ward is OUT. He... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Lee Ward is OUT. He has repeatedly demonstrated that he has no intention of even trying to be courteous and follow the rules.

Lee, you have lots of other places you can go to, taking your bile along as your faithful sidekick. You're out of order here, and have proven you cannot behave.

I always considered the fol... (Below threshold)
Conservachef:

I always considered the following to be an interesting prospect...

Pick your idealogical bend- be it conservative, or liberal, (I'd keep it to those two, for the sake of simplicity.) and then look at your opposing idealogy. For example, a conservative should look only at the liberal standpoint. Then look at their standpoint, and see the good points to it. To find the positives, so to speak.

In this ideal debate, there would be no disparaging remarks. No finger-pointing, no blame-game, or anything else. Simply "They are good because...."

It's a challenge in this polarized world, because so many people see themselves & their "side" as the only good guys out there. We have the eeeevilll Republicans or the eeeeeviillll Democrats. "Neocons" vs. "loony liberal left." This exercise forces you to see the good side of your political opponent.

It might never work, but it's an interesting idea, anyway.

Uh p'p' (WARD?) on old blue... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Uh p'p' (WARD?) on old blue Wiz why are you deleting my post? Hmmmmmm -can you say HYPOCRITE?

Jesus Christ Lee just try i... (Below threshold)
ryan the filthy centrist:

Jesus Christ Lee just try it.

conservachef:actua... (Below threshold)
ryan the filthy centrist:

conservachef:

actually, i think that's a pretty interesting idea.

Mac:Constructive ... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Mac:
Constructive debate requires people who are honestly seeking the truth and willing to admit when they are wrong. Only rarely have I seen such debate on any web forum.

That's precisely the problem and why I seriously doubt such a debate could now occur here. The tone of the debate here has changed for the worse over the past year. The only 'Liberal' commenter that I recall seeing engage in thoughtful debate is Paul H. There's a certain 'Liberal' commenter above who almost never post anything other than personal attacks and regurgitated rhetoric. I think everyone can determine to whom I'm referring.

On a private forum, which this is, some degree of moderation is required to maintain the level of the debate. Perhaps, the extreme laissez faire approach that's been taken in the past has set the bar too low ?

Shoot - aren't Conservative... (Below threshold)
Rory:

Shoot - aren't Conservatives already at a disadvantage?

Essentially the philosophy is laissez-faire towards the economy and smaller government-therefore you would have to point out things that Republicans have not created...

And what would be evidence of that?

Liberals asking for links...to what exactly?

It's could be too abstract and difficult to " reward " points.

Um ... Rory, I have said se... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Um ... Rory, I have said several times now that there's no "scoreboard" for this debate. The only count will be on "Strikes" for attacks, insults, and such. This is a debate, yet not meant to be a competition.

You follow me?

Mike,That's pre... (Below threshold)
ryan the filthy centrist:

Mike,

That's precisely the problem and why I seriously doubt such a debate could now occur here. The tone of the debate here has changed for the worse over the past year. The only 'Liberal' commenter that I recall seeing engage in thoughtful debate is Paul H. There's a certain 'Liberal' commenter above who almost never post anything other than personal attacks and regurgitated rhetoric. I think everyone can determine to whom I'm referring.

Of course serious and respectful debate can occur here, as long as we find ways of discouraging the bullshit that is spewed FROM BOTH SIDES. This isn't just a problem that stems from liberal rhetoric, and anyone who is paying attention to public debate here in the USA knows it.

This occurs on more than one side of the political spectrum. But that doesn't mean that we can't figure a way to encourage reasoned debate and discussion and get around all of the Red State vs Blue State nonsense.

(hence the reason why Heralder called me a "filthy centrist," eh?)

DJ-Oy-"Strikes"... (Below threshold)
Rory:

DJ-

Oy-"Strikes" for attacks, insults, and such.

Now I get it-seriously italics I think affect my reading comrehension-that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Um would this work-

Republicans created Milton Freidman and Liberals created Noam Chomsky-would that be an insult-cuz it is in my book....heh!

I would like nothing more t... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I would like nothing more then for reasoned civil debate to return. In pursuasive writing, you have your main thesis, then you bring up the opposing points and then in your body you support your thesis. Summarize, then done.

If you would like to witness civil debate, watch Parliment on C-Span. Very interesting. Our politicians have dumbed the debate word down. What our presidential candidates do is not debate. They answer questions in a time frame.

Having lived more then half my life, I remember a time when civility was much more common amongst our political rivals. I would love to see it come back, but I am not hopeful. Thanks for the attempt. I hope you are successful. ww

Rory, what you'd want to do... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Rory, what you'd want to do is claim the good for your side, and not say anything about the other side. So, in that case you'd want to mention Friedman and let the Democrats decide if they wanted to mention Chomsky.

The whole idea is for each group to explain why they believe their party has it right. Not by saying 'because the other guys are worse' or any auch negative tactic, but by focusing on the good in their ranks.

Why do Republicans get excited by Fred Thompson? Why do Democrats get excited by Barack Obama? Why do Greens think so well of Ralph Nader?

Defend your ideals, that's the concept.

Except for Lee. He's been sent to the showers.

[ whiny comment about some... (Below threshold)
jp2:

[ whiny comment about something already warned was deleted ]

jp, go look up "Censorship". This ain't it.

Along the way, you might have a look at "Courtesy" and "Manners". - DJD

By the way, Ryan. I'd appr... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

By the way, Ryan. I'd appreciate it if you can lose the profanity. No, it's not really an attack, but it doesn't add to the discussion, and you're smart enough to find appropriate words to express your sentiments without trying to sound like you took a break from your bike gang to post a comment on a blog.

Ryan:(hen... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Ryan:

(hence the reason why Heralder called me a "filthy centrist," eh?)

I believe that was right after I threatened to shoot you in the face for your filthy, filthy centricity ;)

DJ,

I'll give this a shot if I have the time to post in earnest tomorrow. I may not though.

By the way, Ryan. I'd ap... (Below threshold)
ryan a (the filthy centrist):

By the way, Ryan. I'd appreciate it if you can lose the profanity. No, it's not really an attack, but it doesn't add to the discussion, and you're smart enough to find appropriate words to express your sentiments without trying to sound like you took a break from your bike gang to post a comment on a blog.

??????

Uh....you talking to me? Although I do hurl colorful words at times, they're not a regular part of my arsenal. I think you might be thinking of someone else, DJ.

Fact: In 1975, the year I was born, "Ryan" was one of the most popular names.

Ryan,He was referr... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Ryan,

He was referring to 'bullshit'.

1975. Good year. Same year I was born as well.

This is going to be very di... (Below threshold)
Tim:

This is going to be very difficult. My problem is going to be reading opinions offered as fact and not being allowed to call anyone out over it. Also, as a libertarian, most of the accomplishments I see are negative. We didn't sign Kyoto, we got a few state legislatures to stick to the original intent of eminent domain, we reduced the individual tax bill by a tiny little bit, etc.

Looking at the world since 67, very few things have gone my way. Guess I must be in the wrong group!

Heralder:I beli... (Below threshold)
ryan the filthy, filthy centrist:

Heralder:

I believe that was right after I threatened to shoot you in the face for your filthy, filthy centricity ;)

OH MAN! Did you people read that? I am like totally being oppressed by Heralder right now.

Where are the comment censors when you need them? You're totally going to lose your radio show for that remark, dude.

hehe.

He was referring to 'bul... (Below threshold)
ryan the filthy centrist:

He was referring to 'bullshit'.

Really? That was a pretty stern admonishment, considering. I was trying to remember some past comment where I flew off the handle or something.

Wizbang is a benevolent oli... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:

Wizbang is a benevolent oligarchy. We're here and able to post at their pleasure.

Or calling it a coffee house may be more appropriate-- the business owner and crew are able to kick people out and ban them for any sorts of reasons (that don't cross civil rights laws).

Eric: "the business owne... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Eric: "the business owner and crew are able to kick people out and ban them for any sorts of reasons"

Ehhhh, I'm more like a cranky waiter than anyone important. You may note that I don't ban anyone, I just don't leave messes unattended.

Excellent idea, DJD, despit... (Below threshold)
CayuteKitt:

Excellent idea, DJD, despite the attempts by some to disqualify the effort by reinterpreting and/or casting cynicism over the format and intentions.

One of the reasons I have not participated in the discussions here for a few months now is the fact that certain disrupters seem to have an agenda which calls for the complete deflection of the focus of the discussion away from valid issues and towards near/actual flame wars.

This is just one of many tactics radicals use to squelch rational discussion. Obviously, it can be an effective tactic since many people like myself simply do not have the time nor patience to read all of the garbage comments to get to the pertinent topic-oriented comments.

It has long been my contention that it is possible for people of hugely divergent philosopies to be able to engage in meaningful, rational discourse amicably, without engaging in character assassination. It will be most interesting to see how the thread's comments unfold during the day tomorrow!

DJ, Why not take a... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

DJ,

Why not take a survey of what the commenters DON'T LIKE about their party's positions. It would be very enlightening and would leave NO room for partisan poo chucking (intra-party sparks, on the other hand , could be velly intellesting!)

Another good post idea is to require the commenters to take the VoteMatch quiz. That could be comical. (I get called a "lib" all the time for disagreeing with the Liberal Republicanism of Geoge W Bush. Go figure. Louis XIV all over again.

Hey DJ,Considering... (Below threshold)
ryan the filthy centrist:

Hey DJ,

Considering all of what I wrote above, and the subjects I was discussing, what made you decide to haul off and offer me your paternalistic little admonishment? Were you trying to assert your authority or something? What gives?

It's not like I'm on here flinging insults. Ever heard the expression "choose your battles"?

DJ,You might want to... (Below threshold)
engineer:

DJ,
You might want to scale back the scope just a bit at the beginning. I think I have an idea of where you are heading with this. If each person (conservative or liberal) only expounds on the positives of a certain subject, then we have a pool of what each side feels is 'good' about a topic. Then we can get into debating if there are things that we all agree on, things that none of of like about the topic, and the area in between. We already know what we like or dislike about something, but hopefully we'll get a better understanding of why we like or dislike it, and possible solutions for improving it, that is agreable to most.

For example:
Liberal - Welfare helps poor people by providing them assistance.
Conservative - Welfare reform helped to remove many from welfare that were abusing the system.
Compromise - To keep people from staying on welfare, restructure it so that it is better to get off welfare then to stay on it. Don't make it a dollar per dollar tradeoff. For every two dollars earned outside of welfare, cut welfare benefits by a dollar.

bryanD, you could always st... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

bryanD, you could always start that one on Wizbang Blue, you know.

Ryan, ever hear the express... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Ryan, ever hear the expression 'wash your mouth out with soap'?

I'm pretty sure your Mom would like you to show a little less crass, and a little more class.

This is not a discussion regarding male bovine fecal disbursement.

As usual for a DJ post, thi... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

As usual for a DJ post, this has been very thought provoking for me. I'd like to try to put something together for tomorrow, but as usual for a DJ "experiment" like this it will be very difficult (at least for me).

I am much more of an anti-Democrat than a Republican. I most often vote for Republicans because I am pragmatic enough to know that it will one of the others and therefore I must choose the lesser of the two possible evils.

But at least on a few topics I can think of things that I do like about the Republicans and can defend my position so I'll pick one and stick with it.

DJ:Nice. Once aga... (Below threshold)
ryan the filthy centrist:

DJ:

Nice. Once again, instead of focusing on one particular lexical item which you have a personal aversion to, why not engage in the ideas that I was talking about?

Or are you really that offended that I used that word to describe the partisan rhetoric in our country? I think the term is pretty appropriate, personally.

I really don't see the point in getting on my case for using that word and acting as if I am on here being crass. Did you read everything else I wrote? I was, if you read anything I wrote, supporting your idea here.

1. Good riddance lee.... (Below threshold)

1. Good riddance lee.

2. I hereby defend the use of the word "Bull***t" in comments. Any word that is the title subject of a book by a Princeton University philosophy professor.

3. I think conservachef's idea is excellent.

4. I think offensive comments should be out-and-out deleted. If you strike them, you're just going to start a juvenile whinefest about "that shouldn't have been stricken."

Newspaper and magazine editors delete/edit text of articles ALL THE TIME. They get paid quite well to do so. All this silly stuff about deleting comments is --again-- juvenile.

Thank you DJ.

...and try dropping the con... (Below threshold)
ryan the filthy centrist:

...and try dropping the condescending tone, if you can.

Moi, Ryan?Surely y... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Moi, Ryan?

Surely you jest.

Well, that would explain the hat and pointy shoes ...

2. I hereby defend the u... (Below threshold)
ryan the filthy centrist:

2. I hereby defend the use of the word "Bull***t" in comments. Any word that is the title subject of a book by a Princeton University philosophy professor.

Thank you wavemaker.

It's not up for a vote, Rya... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

It's not up for a vote, Ryan.

And saying I should let profanity go because you took my side, while I appreciate it, is like telling the cop who pulled you over how much you like the TV show "Cops".

Are you really saying that such words are the best you can do in expressing yourself?

I knew a friend once, who became a D.I. He told me that profanity was a sign of a poor vocabulary and insufficient ability to express oneself.

Not to open an entirely new... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Not to open an entirely new can of worms here, but it all depends on the usage.

I'm no stranger to the occasional use of profanity, and my vocabulary isn't lacking. I do try and use the most effective words to illustrate my point, and sometimes, the most effective word comes in 4 (or more) letters.

Now, for those that can't seem to complete a sentence without useing one, or using one for seemingly no reason, well your point stands.

I realize this won't change the thread rules, it's not meant to. Just putting in my thoughts on the issue.

It's not up for a vote, ... (Below threshold)
ryan the filthy centrist:

It's not up for a vote, Ryan.

Go tell that to Paul.

Are you really saying that such words are the best you can do in expressing yourself?

Ya, DJ, you got me. Guess my cover is blown.

I knew a friend once, who became a D.I. He told me that profanity was a sign of a poor vocabulary and insufficient ability to express oneself.

That's a neat story. But your friend was wrong to suggest that there is some kind of correlation between the use of profanity and the ability to use a wide range of vocabulary items. Do you really believe that nonsense DJ?

You're hilarious.

"profanity was a sign of... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"profanity was a sign of a poor vocabulary and insufficient ability to express oneself"

That's one opinion. Others might say they are very versitile & fun!

Now, for those that can'... (Below threshold)
ryan the filthy centrist:

Now, for those that can't seem to complete a sentence without using one, or using one for seemingly no reason, well your point stands.

...which is clearly the category that I fall into, degenerate centrist that I am.

Ryan, I've stated the rules... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Ryan, I've stated the rules and was nice enough to explain them.

I'm done being delicate.

Follow the rule or take the consequences.

(254 PM) Comments here are ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

(254 PM) Comments here are closed for a while. Seems some folks can't help but cause problems.

Not much more to say at this time, anyway.


(332 PM) Comments are reopened. Let's watch and see ,,,

>>It's not up for a vote, R... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>>It's not up for a vote, Ryan.

>Go tell that to Paul.

huh?

You ask what the parties ha... (Below threshold)
mantis:

You ask what the parties have contributed to "America's store of worth and ideals." That's kind of vague. Are you talking about what the parties have contributed to the nation's ideological discussion, or more concrete contributions in terms of legislation and executive orders, etc., or both? For instance, are we talking about Reaganomics as an idea, or more specifically the tax cuts and deregulation enacted under Reagan, or both?

Those may not actually be distinguishable, so here's another example. The Clinton health care reform plan failed, but it still brought national health care (or something like it) into the public debate. So while the Democrats may not have brought concrete results, they may have contributed to "worth and ideals," depending on your definition of such.

Mantis, have you already fo... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Mantis, have you already forgotten that the debate is tomorrow?

And maybe you'd like to look up some support for your claims?

I'm just sayin' ...

I haven't made any claims; ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I haven't made any claims; I'm trying to understand the parameters of the debate. I did ask a sincere question:

"Are you talking about what the parties have contributed to the nation's ideological discussion, or more concrete contributions in terms of legislation and executive orders, etc., or both?"

I thank P. Bunyan for the l... (Below threshold)

I thank P. Bunyan for the link to a fine piece of etymological analysis.

DJ Drummond, ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

DJ Drummond,

The update at 11:50 AM demonstrates that challenging the rules today is both acceptable and effective. Given that precedence I'm challenging the idea that it has to be a political party. Most of the major changes in law have been brought about by movements to which political parities merely respond. Examples include the labor movement, the environmental movement, the civil rights movement, and the women's movement. What these movements have contributed goes well beyond what any political party has contribute, and thus, accomplishments of major movements should also be allowed. To do other wise is to ignore reality.

[ Uhhhh Mac, this is a private blog, not a government entity. - DJD ]

Paul; "You have no idea wha... (Below threshold)
Semanticleo:

Paul; "You have no idea what Republicanism is nor any grasp on high school history."

Please see last sentence from 1st graf

We could probably debate this all day long, but I will let you have the last word, just for the sake of comity.

Wikipedia

"The Democratic-Republican Party, founded by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison as the Republican party (not related to the present-day Republican Party)"

Uhhhh Mac, this is... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Uhhhh Mac, this is a private blog, not a government entity. - DJD

You can do what you want, but you can't claim a reasoned debate if the rules are not subject to reason. Have fun in your sandbox.

I see this degenerating pre... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

I see this degenerating pretty quickly (if it were possible to degenerate further) into a "who gets credit" argument.

Example: Clinton era welfare reform.

Republicans will claim credit for forcing Clinton's hand as part of the Contract with America or Gingrich revolution.

Democrats will claim credit because Clinton was president and signed the bill.

I suppose they could both be given credit, though reducing welfare roles is hardly a convincing liberal issue.

Conversely, liberals could also claim credit for Bush's Medicare reform bill. I would have to agree with them in that case. This was a capitulation by Bush to the left - and a big mistake in my view. Nevertheless, he also gets "credit."

There are many more issues like these.

Ugh...somebody quoting Wiki... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:

Ugh...somebody quoting Wikipedia.

Quoting wikipedia is as stu... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

Quoting wikipedia is as stupid as believing Gore understands 'climatic science'.

Hey Paul,That was ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Hey Paul,

That was a reference to the fact that you were the only other person to fling a colorful invective in this particular comments section.

Drummond decided it was time for a little linguistic regulation; I thought he was overreacting a bit. No big deal really.

Sorry for the confusion.

DJ,That was, by th... (Below threshold)
ryan the filthy centrist:

DJ,

That was, by the way, a pretty weak move you pulled by closing the comments section. I particularly enjoyed how you decided that nobody had anything else to say.

If you read what I write around these parts, you might notice that I am not one to engage in personal attacks. I am often on here trying to get people to calm down and speak to one another respectfully.

Way to overreact.

I still can't understand why, after all that I wrote, you decided to focus on that one word, INSTEAD of engaging in some of the ideas that I was suggesting.

But I guess you felt it was more important to exert your authority, no matter how misguided it was.

Nice job.

Mantis, have you already... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Mantis, have you already forgotten that the debate is tomorrow?

And maybe you'd like to look up some support for your claims?

I was making an effort to understand your proposed debate, but responding sincerely seems to be beyond your scope.

Is sneering the best you can manage?

I guess so, since you can't even answer simple questions about your vaguely defined debate. Enjoy refereeing your match, Robert Hoyzer.




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy