Debate Rules

I’m not sure when it happened, and perhaps it was in the 90’s, that debate about issues descended into name calling of the worst sort.  When debating one’s political opponent, it became a fine art to thoroughly insult the person, attributing the most vile motives to the person and setting up straw men that weren’t anywhere in the other person’s argument.  How can we have civil debate in this country unless we learn the first rule–etiquette.  We can debate when we stick to ideas and defend ideas.  We can attack our opponent’s ideas, but the twin tricks of sophisticated, nasty name calling and falsifying what one’s opponent actually said, would so quickly get one thrown off a high school debate team, I can’t help but wonder what has happened.  And why is no one calling out politicians about this?  We have become a coarse culture in our communication

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