Since I enjoy arguing and discussions about politics, you just gotta know I am totally fired up for the 2012 presidential debates which commence Wednesday night in Denver. I encourage everyone to watch the debates or listen in.
Arguing political, social and cultural issues. What fun!
As for politics, they say you shouldn’t talk about politics in what are supposed to be friendly social settings – and definitely not at a bar.
Well, let me tell you, there are some bars in Easton in which political debate is spirited – yet respectful – and fun.
Really, it amazes me how people can’t manage to talk about politics without yelling and screaming and carrying on.
Believe me, I know, for I was once one who used to do some yelling about politics.
Actually, Wednesday night – for the first President Obama-Gov. Romney debate – I will be listening to a radio broadcast of the verbal throw-down, since I will be in a car en route to Montreal.
While up there, I will have to ask the locals what they think of our presidential election and the candidates.
Funny thing about presidential debates, and tuning in to them on TV versus radio, and having the visual and audio as opposed to just having the visual makes a difference.
Well, back in 1960, on the evening of Sept. 26, the two candidates for the U.S. presidency – John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, met for the first televised presidential debate.
There was an obvious physical contrast between the two candidates. JFK, of course, was known for his good looks – and when he showed up for the debate, he was fit and had tan, partially because of the time he had spent outdoors in California earlier that month campaigning. Nixon, though, had hurt his knee in August, and spent a couple weeks in the hospital, and had lost about 20 pounds. He had pallor to his complexion, and wouldn’t use makeup to cover his perpetual 5 o’clock shadow.
So, and this gets back to the funny thing about presidential debates, most of those who listened to the debate on radio, and didn’t watch the TV broadcast, said that Nixon won the debate. Yet as for those who took in the debate on TV, most thought Kennedy won.
A little Easton history and debates.
I went to Boston College, as did my sister Suzy. BC is a Jesuit university. and the Jesuits are the teaching order of the Catholic Church. Jesuits place big-time emphasis on being able to, in writing and verbally, explain a position and to argue and make a case.
Jesuits can play hardball, and sometimes aren't nice when debating. Indeed, the term “Jesuitical” is used to describe devious argumentation.
Boston College has an institution called the Fulton Debating Society, the origins of which go back to 1890. For more than 120 years, the society has developed some of the top young orators and debaters in the U.S. The society’s teams have achieved distinction on the national level.
Every year, the Fulton Debating Society holds a competition – the Fulton Debate Prize – in which the society’s best and most skilled members go head to head.
On an evening in the spring of 1995, I was at Boston College, at the Fulton Debate Room to watch the finals of the Fulton Debate Prize. In the finals that night was my friend, Rebecca Kamp, a 1991 graduate of Oliver Ames High School.
Rebecca was superb – focused, clear, eloquent, strategic, and totally on her game. She won the competition, for which she received the Fulton Medal. Rebecca’s name is inscribed, along with all the other Fulton Debate Prize winners, on the wall of the Fulton Debate Room.
After graduating from Boston College, Rebecca went on to graduate from Georgetown Law School. Today, Rebecca (Kamp) Salisbury, is an assistant attorney general with the state of Arizona.
Oh, yes, I enjoy a good debate – and a good argument. It is part what makes life fun.
Please watch and listen to President Obama and Gov. Romney get after it on Wednesday night. Pay close attention to what each man says.
You’ll be entertained. You should be enlightened. You may be inspired.
And you will be a good and responsible citizen as well.