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The Mother of All Debates

The Mother of All Debates

John Donvan
Monday, December 4, 2017

This Thursday, we’re cutting to the fundamentals when we debate the following resolution:

Liberals Hold the Moral High Ground

In a way, it’s going to be the Mother of All Debates, since the competition between liberal and conservative ideas has so often been the subtext of the huge array of topics we’ve taken on since 2006 – including immigration, taxation, presidential power, religion vs. science, and privacy vs. security.

This time, we’re setting the specifics of those sorts of issues aside, peeling things down to a pure clash between values – between the core concepts by which liberals and conservatives, separately and in opposition to one another, each lay claim to the worthier goals, the superior values, and the better societal outcomes.

Because of course all of us – you, I, and the four star debaters we’re bringing on – see ourselves as siding with the “good guys.” The ones who are not just right, but in the right.

Liberals are confident in the virtue of their priorities. Some of them are: protecting the vulnerable, celebrating diversity, being skeptical of concentrated wealth, and believing in activist government.

Conservatives have a different list, which includes: respect for individual liberty, equality of opportunity, an emphasis on the traditional family (and for some, on faith), security based on a strong defense, and suspicion of concentrated government power.

Of course, in the broadest since, everybody wants an America that is strong and successful. But I’m not sure our debaters would even agree on how to define those terms, given the wide differences in their views of what makes the “good guys” good.

That’s one of the things they’re going to sort on Thursday night, and why I am really looking forward to this one. We’re sold out for our live show, but you can join us for the livestream here. Bring a friend. Bring your mom!

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