Debate, as it was conducted “then” and as it is conducted now, is a stark reminder of our degraded civility. “Then” is any time before heresy became a national religion and conformed to a set of rules designed to add clarity to confrontational questions. To use a musical analogy, “Then” debate was like a waltz with structure and beauty and delivered with respect, while “now” debate is like rap and comes with a snarl.
Today, there are two major debate topics: immigration and man’s effect on the climate. They have two things in common; facts are not at issue and are strenuously avoided, and there is no middle ground awaiting compromise.
The Wall and Immigration
Democrats strenuously and vehemently insist that a wall costs too much money and, besides, it doesn’t work. A Republican president wants five billion dollars to build part of a wall. Out of a trillion-dollar federal budget, that’s chump change, so why don’t they make a counter-offer of, say, two-and-a-half billion which might get negotiations going that would open the government.
Because it’s for a reason they can never say out loud; they depend on votes of illegal immigrants to stay in power. 2018 elections saw a solidly Republican section in Southern California go Democrat. How much of that was due to illegal voting is a matter of conjecture but, given the proximity to the border, it was possibly significant. When Republicans counter with security concerns, they are called racists.
And that’s “now” debate.
An Ill Wind
It’s an ill wind that blows no good, so the saying goes. The subject of climate change is such a wind, and the purveyors of this monstrous lie either do not have the background to talk about it intelligently or they do have the background and use beguiling speech (BS for short) to spread the delusion for personal gain.
They never debate the physics of this “phenomena” because they either lack competence or they do have competence and know that this “fairy tale” is unsupportable by any law of physics. Instead, they claim it is “settled science” and, as any scientist knows, science is never settled but evolves forever. Talk about “flat earthers.”
Or they have applied the term “denier” to anyone who has the temerity to disagree with them, lumping them into the same unsympathetic group of people who say the holocaust never happened.
And then there are those who stick their fingers in their ears and shout na-na-na for as long as the disagreeable noise persists. A good example of that is NBC’s Chuck Todd who recently declared people who do not subscribe to man-made climate change can not appear on his show. These types are closely akin to folks who advocate that such heresy should be illegal, which bumps right up against the U.S. Constitution. If they ever get political power, look for reincarnation of Salem witches.
To What Political Effect?
Which came first: Phony issues or phony politicians, or was this just a “miraculous” coincidence? We have a situation that the framers of our constitution could not have imagined in their worst nightmare. Sincerity was the first casualty of politically correct speech. Although party affiliation ties them to strong, enforceable borders, Republicans want lax immigration enforcement to keep campaign contributions coming from their business buddies who prosper from cheap labor and Democrats see it as a power issue, yet neither can afford to articulate the real reasons for their positions.
None of our politicians have the intellectual heft to understand climate change and so their positions are dictated by (R) and (D).
Lincoln and Douglas gave us examples of how debates should be conducted. The subjects were slavery and states rights, neither of which lent themselves to compromise positions. History teaches us that issues without compromise do not end well.