by pissed off patricia
When a debate becomes personal, is it a sign of ignorance, arrogance, stupidity, anger or just plain old desperation? Recently there have been some comments left at this site that amuse and amaze me. If you have been reading the comments you probably know the ones I'm writing about.
Disagreements about the way our government is being run today are to be expected and I think debate is healthy. When we don't agree we should talk about it and hash out our differences. There's a real good chance that we will all learn something from one another. There are so many points of view and we should entertain as many as we can. If you see a particular situation differently that I do, that's great. Give me your reasoning and let's share our thoughts. You show me your facts and I'll show you mine. Sounds American as apple pie to me.
However, if you are only capable of attacking me personally in order to demonstrate your disagreement then please, save your time and your comments because personal attacks are not persuasive. Personal attacks during a debate are a sign that the debater has run out of reasoning and facts. The last ditch effort of a desperate person is a personal attack. It never works and it usually backfires on the attacker making them appear angry rather than informed.
Same goes for Condi Rice. It's fine to disagree with her and many of us do. If you attack her race or sexuality then you will be seen as a racist and/or a sexist and all the rest of your words will be filed away as such. I don't see Ms. Rice as a woman or a African American, I see her as one more person in this administration whom I question. I question her words and her deeds. I question why anyone would tell the American people that Iraq had nuclear capabilities when it is so evident that they did not. It's not a problem of race or sex with Ms Rice, it’s a problem with honesty and integrity.
There are some now who want to say that Sen. Boxer's questions of Ms. Rice were racially motivated. What does that tell us? It tells us that they can't defend what Ms. Rice has done so they want to toss in a red herring racial card to throw the argument to a different dimension. When you toss in a personal attack rather than defend or substantiate your argument, beware that you are showing your desperation very clearly.
Listen closely to the words of the other side, watch for a change of subject. When their argument becomes personal, consider your argument made successfully and recognize their desperation arises from the realization that they’ve lost the debate.