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Debate 101: Five Tips to Equip Viewers to Watch, Analyze Presidential Contests

“[J]okes are usually pre-planned and are designed to provide good sound bites to the media. Humor is persuasive, but as voters, are we really interested in a candidate’s comedic timing or ability to tell a good joke? We shouldn’t be.

It’s easy for a candidate to point out problems with the status quo, or ‘the ways things are.’ It’s much more difficult to offer up a solution or alternative way of solving those problems. Many of the candidates will do just that – offer a blistering criticism of the current system without offering viable alternatives.”

Written ahead of the first presidential debate of the 2016 season, hosted by FOX News, Baylor University's award-winning debate coach, Matthew Gerber, gives timeless advice that rings true for all subsequent debates, regardless of party, year, or election.


"Debate 101: Expert Offers Five Tips to Equip Viewers to Watch, Analyze Presidential Contests"

by Matthew Gerber, Director, Glenn R. Capp Debate Forum (Baylor University)

Baylor University l August 5, 2015

j street musings

Much like the absence of J Street in Washington, DC, we provide what is too often lacking from today's politics--substantive research and thoughtful discourse.


J Street Musings is a collection of essays and articles on a variety of issues and genres.  Authored by our team and by scholars and thinkers across the world, each post highlights a few key quotes and fundamental questions to direct our minds toward a thoughtful engagement of the article.

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