California Governor/Sam the Eagle impersonator Jerry Brown appeared the other day on conservative talker Larry Elder’s radio show, but wasn’t granted the easy treatment one would expect from a member of the liberal-loving media like…Larry Elder?
As NewsBusters readers know all too well, Democratic elected officials across the fruited plain are used to softball interviews from their adoring media.
That’s not what California Governor Jerry Brown got Wednesday when conservative talk radio host Larry Elder told him, “You’re unhappy because I’m not kissing your butt. I’m not going to do it”
Wonkette readers too are familiar with the media’s tendency to fawn before Democratic elected officials by way of the smooching of the buttocks, so it’s always refreshing to see an interviewer explicitly state their intention to avoid butt kissing and all related activities. Aside from the lesson that one should not expect kisses to any area not specifically outlined in pre-interview agreements, their exchange (and Newsbusters’ Noel Sheppard’s analysis) teaches us basically all the things we never learned about debating since Universities adopted Maoist curriculum, killing things like “ideas” and “discussion.”
So, for education purposes, here are NOEL SHEPPARD’S TIPS FOR CONSTRUCTIVE POLITICAL DEBATE:
Tip 1: Keep in mind that Elder and Brown had been discussing a range of topics concerning California, from California’s proposed bullet train to overcrowding in the state’s prison system. As is common with debates, the exchange begins to heat up, with both sides interrupting and raising their voices. Once a suitable debate temperature is reached, one side should speak up and suggest both parties calm things down. Ideally the debater presenting a position reflecting a liberal world-view should make this suggestion, so his/her peer can point out that CALM DISCUSSIONS ARE BUTT KISSING MADNESS, which brings us to our next tip.
Tip 2: Once the conservative debater has indignantly shown his/her counterpart their place, it’s time for the liberal to make nice by claiming to LOVE the conversation and atmosphere, despite the conversation being circular and the atmosphere being hostile. At no point should the liberal debater point out any rude implications on the part of the opponent, nor should any effort be made to encourage either side to aggressively substantiate their claims with hard data. This sort of actual information confuses many listeners, and those who understand are angered by information’s inherent liberal slant. Remember, neutered niceness is key. Notice how Jerry Brown deftly handles the situation after being accused of grifting for butt kisses:
“I’m very happy,” Brown replied. “I think this is great because you’re getting a different point of view to your listening audience. That’s good. I like that. And you don’t have to agree with me, and I don’t have to agree with you.”
Mastering this skill of humility in the face of insult can even earn you the praise of Noel Sheppard! Who cares about winning the debate when you’ve been commended by an internet publication with a massive following of
people who like making fun of news people who value objective journalism.
How refreshing to hear a politician – particularly on the left – get challenged by a host and rather than get angered by it, respond courteously while continuing the interview.
Tip #3: It is crucial that the liberal debater politely thank his counterpart and ask they they do the whole thing again reaaaaal soon. Debate isn’t merely about one side providing a list of things wrong with the other side without counterattack. It isn’t simply a matter of butts left unkissed. Debate is about civility, people. To engage in constructive, “vigorous” debate, both sides must agree to end with public displays of respect to negate the appropriately one-sided, disrespectful nature of the prior discussion.
Alternative styles of debate, such as those displayed on liberal news outlets like NPR that stress a healthy and respectful discussion throughout its duration, are generally to be avoided. While they allow a debater to effectively measure and create solid arguments, they will NOT earn you some sweet Noel Sheppard love – and you KNOW that’s all you really want.
Now that’s how left and right should engage in this country: a vigorous debate with both sides shaking hands at the end and asking to do it again in the future.
Just imagine how much more informed the public would be.
Bravo, gentlemen! Bravo!