Alfred Snider, a professor at the University of Vermont, created this chart for the students he took to compete in 45 countries over the last three decades. He passed away recently.
One wonders if he would have been able to help moderators at our current “presidential” spectacles. Perhaps he could have used it as a teaching tool for impressionable viewers. Snider’s The Code of the Debater is actually a 127-page handbook with a table of contents which includes the subtitle, “Magic Words.” He explains the vocabulary debaters must understand to be successful.
This world can be nasty. There is still an awful lot of good out there. We need leaders that will bring us above the quagmire, not swirl around in it themselves.
We hold on to the hope that words of common sense and respect will magically or unmagically appear in a future debate between two people who posses those qualities. If it’s not too late.