Dick emailed me a positive Christian Science Monitor piece on Ron Paul. The reply:
Scene: The National Forensic League national final in traditional debate. PBS teevee cameras are rolling:
Paul is the first-negative speaker who spends his first three minutes admitting "need" but criticizing the affirmative's analysis of the nature of the need. In his seven remaining minutes he presents an alternative solution, a counter-plan. Even if somewhat faulty, it boasts internal consistency, unheard of in either academic or political disputation.:)
Discombobulated, the second affirmative stumbles through disjointed short takes about the unfairness of trick cases. Second negative reestablishes the logic and real-world pertinence of its program. First affirmative has had time to recover a semblance of coherence as that term is understood by, say, Kingman Brewster and Teddy Kennedy.
This is enough for the judges who, by training and experience, have never in their lives faced a problem to which the solution was not government-inspired. The remaining rebuttals are largely ignored. Decision for the affirmative.
But the nature of debate is forever changed.