It is late and I am tired…but I need to weigh in on one final topic before turning in. I wonder how many FB readers, captured by these recent debates have ever actually seen a real collegiate debate…and how many have actually participated in a real debate?
My father, before leaving on sabbatical to Greece for his Fulbright in ’55, had for years been the debating coach at Howard University (an historic reality wonderfully depicted by Denzel’s film, THE GREAT DEBATORS.) What Dad’s teams did was truly historic, in the era of racial integration.
As a student approaching graduation at U of Md in 66, I was informed that my PE credits from Antioch College and two years of football AND basketball in Munich would not be accepted. I needed a further PE credit and one additional credit to graduate. So…I went to summer tryouts for the University of Maryland football team. I made the team, as a slotback receiver (quick, good hands, reliable punt returner) That scholarship paid for my final semester at U of Md.
For the remaining single credit needed, I chose the course in debate. (My football prowess is another colorful story, for a later time:) But my time at football practice meant that I missed classes in my debate course. So I ended up without an established debating partner…but I was allowed to argue both first And second position at our debate finals. I won the whole damn thing. I got my credit and graduated in winter of ’67 and accepted an offer as producer/director at WBAL-TV in Baltimore,their first director of color. I have debated in college. I understand the rigors, the discipline and the standards of debate. Most of you don’t.
Facts matter. Presentation, poise and exploitation of your opponents weakness matter more, especially in These debates. It’s a game, it’s a competition people. It has its own rules. Perception trumps facts, PERIOD. Our President was presidential last nite, he owned the ground he contested. THAT is why he won last nite. And if you disagree with me, knock yourself out. Just know that you probably don’t know how this particular game is played…and that I do:)