View Full Version : Debate Strategy: Don't criticize by name, say "The other 3..." or "I'm the only one..."

01-23-2012, 01:54 AM
To support his "three of a kind" ad, and especially in light of the way the race is shaping up (3 winners in first 3 states, with all 3 ahead of him in SC), in the debates Dr. Paul shouldn't criticize a particular candidate (unless absolutely necessary). Instead, he should say something like "The other three candidates all..." (or even something positive like "I'm the only candidate who (hasn't/didn't/won't/has/does/will)..." This way, he shows that the other 3 are all the same, and he is the only candidate who is different than the status quo.

For example, "The other three candidates all...":

"have supported individual mandates for healthcare."

"have supported bailouts."

"have supported deficit spending and increasing the national debt."

"do not have a specific plan to actually balance the budget."

"will continue foreign aid."

"will continue the status quo of big government and non-defensive foreign intervention, and thus cannot offer a clear contrast with Barack Obama."


Also, this way the others cannot even respond to the criticism (although the moderators may eventually let someone respond).

01-23-2012, 01:57 AM
I'm one who thinks he needs to call out a particular candidate from time to time. Those who do so are more likely to get rebuttal or follow-up time. If he does this, I'd like to see him ignore Santorum (like he is ignoring us right now).

01-23-2012, 02:18 AM
The problem with this strategy is that it reinforces an us verse them mentality, rather than differentiating between each candidate based on their strengths and weaknesses. This is a real problem, for instance, when it comes to neoconservatism. For the most part, the grass roots only has a generalized idea of what a neoconservative is, and then lumps all the opposition into one category, the neocons. When in fact neoconservatism is something quite specific in comparison to say a conservative nationalist. Irving Kristol is a neoconservative, Dick Cheney was a conservative nationalist (Source Neoconservatism and the New American Century). Knowing the difference allows the careful observer to understand the history of separate philosophies, that is impossible when all opponents are lumped into one category. Plus, when we lump all the other candidates into one category, it is easier to defend against us. They can say, "well that may be true of my fellow rivals, but not about me", etc. Better to attack on an individual basis because then the individual has to defend their position, rather than writing the argument off as generalist.

01-23-2012, 04:06 AM
DON'T say the other 3, the moderators will let each of them respond and Ron will never get ANY significant time to talk.