On Debate

Thers is right:

The most ridiculous thing anyone seriously interested in politics will ever try to do is to “debate” an opponent. You’re much better off trying to win. Try to fight for things like, say, a responsible environmental policy, or equal rights for homosexuals, or no more stupid wars that get a lot of people killed. Win one of these points, and I’ll cheer you on, even if you had to stomp your opponent to do it. Go figure!

I dislike the notion of “debate.” It is naive and counterproductive.

Ye take the high road, and I’ll take the low road, and I’ll get to gay marriage before ye.

Just getting things done is a much better plan than building consensus and finding points of agreement through debate of conflicting sides of an issue. What Thers doesn’t highlight in these three paragraphs, but points out earlier when discussing what it takes to be a member in good standing of the conservative coalition, is that some things are true and some things are false. Some are right, some are wrong. And on most issues, Republicans are wrong. Thus any debate that seeks a compromise solution necessarily involves mixing what is the right thing to do with what is the wrong thing to do. That just doesn’t work. It’s senseless. And it’s why we’re very likely to end up with a crappy health care plan and not health care for all. What we need is forceful advocacy for progressive policies that manifests itself, first and foremost, through the uncompromising.

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