Debating-Cuss- Recuss Discuss or Simply Arguing

Civility and the Silver Tongue

As I was thinking about the final Presidential debate which will be aired live this evening, much has been already been said in the media about this debate which supposedly will be about Foreign Policy according to those who are reporting; however most did say the subject matter could veer off course. I am hoping the moderator Bob Schieffer can maintain control and not allow either to venture too far off course. Since I have already made my decision and cast my vote taking advantage of early voting in my state, the debate holds little interest and value.

Our political system and society as a whole is one we may often take for granted. As I was thinking about this subject, several things came to my mind. We as human beings have a propensity to debate. We may call it a discussion. Those of us who are married have discussions all the time. Sometimes they can even become heated conversations given the fact husbands and wives are two unique individuals who have agreed to become one.

Thankfully, most our discussions are civil but given the subject matter, can become heated and an argument ensues. I heard the story a friend of mine told me one day at work when we were talking about his parents 50th anniversary. He said they get along pretty good but sometimes you can hear them "splaining" things a mile away. He quickly added that their arguments were resolved quickly, they never went to bed angry with one another and they always made up. It was then I told him I always get the last word in the fusses me and my wife have,"Yes,Ma'am!"

While debating and even healthy discussions help to communicate in words our intellectual position from our perspective; sometimes it is difficult to separate the emotions we take on government or domestic issues including important life situations. We all have learned from our history that sometimes decisions were made where some felt more was at stake and were willing to defend opinions and honor in more radical ways. I am referring to those whose arguments led to a duel. There have been several in our American history who agreed to have a duel because they felt their honor was at stake. . Abraham Lincoln when a legislator in Illinois and James Shields, state auditor were scheduled to have a duel but were persuaded differently by their seconds.

The most famous duel in our history was between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton where Hamilton died from the shot of Burr's pistol. Andrew Jackson had several duels. These men held fast to their beliefs and honor and were willingly to die for their beliefs, right or wrong.

Someone commented referring to the earlier debates, "I think they came to the point at times where there could have been blows exchanged." I don't think we will see a duel with pistols this evening but if words and stares counted as pistol shots, neither man would be left standing. It has been said ,"if it's worth fighting for , it's worth dying for." This refers to our American ideals and way of life many for which many have fought and died.

Finally my thoughts ran back to my youth and the cowboys I watched on television. Isn't it great, back then the good guys always won. I saw so many gun fights on Saturday mornings with Roy, Gene, and Hop a Long Cassidy. Who could ever forget Marshall Matt Dillon, Doc Holiday and others whose noble efforts always won out over evil. From history we do know gun fights were common in the old west. It is interesting to know that most of the gunfighters rarely died from an actual gun fight but rather died in an ambush killed by those who feared them. Some of the more notable were Wild Bill Hickok, Billy the Kid and John Wesley Hardin.

Maybe I have rambled on long enough but my thoughts are these, we live in a wonderful country and no where in the world can our opinions be expressed so freely. Without a doubt the anger buttons will be hit and debaters and listeners might want to open up a good old fashioned "can of whup ass" but this is America and if we don't like answers or opinions we do have options in the form of an election ballot and instead of pulling the trigger on a Colt we can use our index finger to push the buttons.

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