Saturday, April 5, 2014

Lessons for Dr. Bosworth in Regards to Debate

I have tried extremely hard to stay out of the whole Dr. Bosworth situation to keep my family out of the fray.  I can't let this one go.  Cory Heidelberger over at Madville Times recently filed a challenge to Bosworth's nomination for the Republican primary.  He did so after many people began to study her petitions and noticed discrepancies that would be enough to disqualify her.  The biggest issue that seems to have come out of the petitions is the possibility that Bosworth and her husband may have falsified some of the petitions.  If this did happen it would be considered a felony.  

Dr. Bosworth decides to take the low road and go after Cory with personal attacks.  First, she claims that he is an outsider because he is living in Washington at this time.  Second, she brings up an incident from Cory's past while teaching at Madison High School.  Finally, she makes this wild accusation about Cory using one of her children by registering him through Google to drive web traffic?  The announcement was posted on South Dakota War College.  I know Cory well enough that I will allow him to respond to each of these charges.

I really hope Dr. Bosworth reads this, because I would like to offer some basic Debate 101 advice.  There is a quotation that I put up in my room from time to time from Addison Whitcomb:

“When you resort to attacking the messenger and not the message, you have lost the debate.”
I tell my students every year to make the arguments about points raised and never let it get personal.  The moment it becomes personal, is the moment that you lose the debate round.  You disagree with the ideas and not the person.

Another excellent quotation about debate that relates to this brouhaha  is from Nelson Mandela:

A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don't have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed.
Your press release fails to deal with the initial claims brought up by Heidelberger and goes for the grade school, playground tactics of a tactless child.  You come off looking immature and in no way Senate worthy material.

You still have not explained why thousands of signatures were not counted.  You still have not clarified  about the issue with the dates on the petitions brought up by Heidelberger and the time you were supposed to be out of the country.  These are serious concerns that many Republican voters have right now.  Your actions make it look like you are hiding.

I have to admit that I have encouraged students to try and needle other debaters if you knew that they would explode and lose all focus in the debate because it would ensure the other team will loss the debate.  You have now lost the debate Dr. Bosworth.  I leave you with a wonderful quotation from Mos Def:

I'm not shy about heated debate or passionate discourse, but when people get crazy or rude, that's a buzz kill. There's got to be a better code of conduct, some basic etiquette.
I hope everyone can find some basic etiquette.  

1 comment:

  1. It's tough do be out of a mainstream that reaches from Mandela to Mos Def. Bosworth is truly unique in her ability to go where no one has wanted to go before.