Debating the Question: When is a Debate an Argument?

As G.K. Chesterton observed, “People generally quarrel because they cannot argue.” In this age of political correctness and emotivism, engaging in honest debate is often frowned upon as something rude. We have lost the art of argument, stultifying public discourse.

At the time when separate playgrounds for boys and girls were abolished in New South Wales primary schools in pursuance of feminist notions of achieving “equality” of the sexes, my sister was a primary school teacher.

She observed that, as a consequence, the boys’ rough-and-tumble play, as it now impinged on and disrupted the girls’ more decorous play, became “bad” and was suppressed. Even so, the girls’ traditional, more formalised and imaginative games became more difficult to pursue because of boys’ unintentional incursions, and were less indulged in.

It seems that something similar may have happened in our parliaments and other workplaces as they have become integrated. Men’s greater vigour in adversarial verbal dispute over matters of opinion, and disagreement in argument, which they find stimulating and rewarding in itself, is being denounced by women participants as bullying and verbal abuse.

Reason vs Emotion

Women as a sex seem to be uneasy with argument (as disruptive of harmony?), even of acknowledging the word itself. We have probably all been admonished at some time to use the word “discussion”, instead.

I remember, as an adolescent on a family visit, my father engaged in a long, loud, and, it seemed to me, angry argument with his friend from university days, a some-time editor of The Sydney Morning Herald. When, afterwards, I remonstrated with him, “No, no,” he said, “we were enjoying a good argument.”

Yet he demurred at my sister’s and my manner of argument at the dinner table, saying: “You put so much emotion into it.” This alerted me to the method and value of dispassionate argument.

There is surely a place in many areas of life for good, hard, dispassionate argument as a means of truth-seeking, if not for the sheer pleasure of pitting mind against mind.

Real Debate

Should men desist from argument with women over matters of dispute in the workplace? Should they treat women, as frailer-natured, to be protected from the rigour of hearing disliked views; as innately gentler beings, as in the Victorian age? (Perhaps we all subliminally expect this.)

Is society to be denied the benefits of vigorous, but deferential debate, on issues of political and social importance? Is argument to be considered “bad”?

This is not to make a case for character assassination such as we witnessed in the lead-up to the federal election in May, which was anything but decent argument. But surely in public life, women who seek it should be prepared to accept, and if they like, deliver some degree of abrasiveness as a necessary element of public discourse, rather than just agreeing to differ.

My general attitude is that no one has to win an argument, but if you both change your position a little as a result, it will have been worthwhile.


By Lucy Sullivan
Originally published in News Weekly.

Thank the Source

Are We In Danger of Losing the Art of Conversation?

The heart of democracy is the ability to conduct civil discourse, teasing out the benefits and pitfalls of various ideas and courses of action. When we lose the ability to make genuine conversation and shy away from robust debate, our society becomes enslaved to soundbites and individuals are easily led astray by propaganda.

A conversation is the encounter of two polished minds: tactful enough to listen, confident enough to express their true beliefs; subtle enough to search out the reasons behind the thoughts. A conversation is a work of art with more than one creator.
John Armstrong, philosopher, The University of Melbourne

Recently I have been pondering the question — are we in danger of losing the art of conversation? If we are, I think it’s more than a great shame — it will be extremely bad for our future, both personally and corporately, on so many levels. This piece examines fifteen possible causes for this clear and present danger, discussed in no particular order of importance:

1. Our Desire for Entertainment

How do we relax? Whatever our age, we all crave entertainment for relaxation. And it is so accessible and so abundant! At the click of a digital button, we can have what we want anywhere, anytime. Remember the days when we made our own entertainment? Many folks could play an instrument or if not, they could sing along to someone who could, on the piano or the guitar.

How do we ‘relax’? Yes, there are still raucous conversations down the pub over a beer, but I find that the most common and regular form of relaxation these days is watching Netflix and binging on the latest series.

2. We Are Too Busy

It’s a badge of honour to be busy! We brag about how many hours we are working in a week. Then someone says, aren’t you getting paid overtime for that? Is this good for us? Are we not simply feeding our stress levels? Meanwhile, what’s happening to our families? Before we know it, our children have grown and flown. When all is done, what do we have to show for our busyness?

When our time has come, all we have left is our relationships. What builds relationships? It’s our conversations, not our busyness. I believe that our conversations are not just the lubrication in our relationships, but the very fuel that we burn to create warmth, movement, and momentum. Starve our relationships of conversations, and we run the risk of shipwrecking our relationships.

3. Fear of Conflict

I think we all know that discussion is good, but we fear that our discussions might lead to conflict, so we play it safe and keep our discussions superficial, and steer clear of any potential avenues that might lead to conflict. We subconsciously avoid the no-go areas or taboo subjects, such as politics and religion.

The result is that important areas and issues that really are central to our core beliefs and values don’t get discussed at all. They stay disembodied and inanimate, as if they are not really that important, and we act as if we are afraid to own them.

I am not suggesting conflict is good — far from it. I am very much against a conversation where one seeks to brow-beat, intimidate, or bully the other into following their view, as if all other perspectives are inferior, infantile, and illogical. That’s not a conversation at all. For me, the hallmark of good conversation is mutual respect and humility. If these are there, we can have healthy, robust discussions and we do not need to fear conflict.

4. Our Media No Longer Present Debate

I am not sure why this is the case, though I have some ideas. The fact is that the mainstream media habitually present ‘facts’, ‘events’, and ‘sound-bites’. The items are invariably short and ‘sensational’ in tone, seeking to attract ‘attention’ as best they can.

We have become accustomed to this diet, and when we have been fed our daily meal of news, we feel well-fed. But I propose that the chef has left out a key ingredient — ‘debate’. I am old enough to remember when the newscaster would quietly, calmly present an opposing ‘perspective’ or ‘theory’ as well as their main ‘headline’. In those days, we became accustomed to allowing our own minds to ‘think through’ the situation, and for the incident or situation to ignite interesting conversations at work or around the dinner table.

5. Alternative Views are ‘Conspiracy Theories’

Late last year I wrote in the Daily Declaration about conspiracy theories. These days, we hear about conspiracy theories all the time, and as I said in my piece, they are not reported as worthy of serious consideration, but rather to be ridiculed and dismissed.

If alternative views are always dismissed as the crazy view of a minority, the average man in the street will get used to no longer thinking of alternatives themselves. The art of conversation is vital for maintaining our cognitive agility. As they say, if we don’t use it, we lose it.

In the video discussion “COVID-19 Censorship: Dr Jay Bhattacharya & Dr Gigi Foster“, Dr Jay reported that he wrote the first draft of the Great Barrington Declaration in opposition to the way governments from around the world were responding to the Covid-19 situation. Within days, he had tens of thousands of doctors from all over the world sign on, putting their names and careers behind him and his courageous stand.

However, the establishment medical practitioners and institutions dismissed all this as the crazy rantings of a lunatic fringe. What a way to respond to the genuine concerns of fellow medical practitioners! This was simply censorship at its worst, with the resultant stifling of debate.

6. Lack of Curiosity

Sir Ken Robinson (1950 – 2020), was a great educator and thinker from Liverpool, England. He has been a great inspiration for my students and me for many years. In his talk ‘Why Schools Need to Embrace Kids’ Creativity’, he describes the God-given creativity and curiosity in every one of us and claims that our education systems are driving creativity out of our children.

My own experience with children agrees with Sir Ken’s. Just think of the most ‘irritating’ question from any child, ‘Why?’ That’s the expression of their curiosity, and surely, we should encourage it as best we can, stimulating their curiosity and feeding it with as much variety of ideas and diverse experiences as possible. Then, from this foundation, I believe will come great conversationalists as they grow into adults expecting to explore and navigate the wonders of the world around and about them.

7. The Pervasiveness of Propaganda

Propaganda: dissemination of information — facts, arguments, rumours, half-truths, or lies — to influence public opinion. (Encyclopedia Britannica)

I think that most of us could point to Hitler and the Nazi Party in Germany in World War II as a classic example of the use of propaganda. From our standpoint in history today, it is quite simple to recognise the existence of propaganda in that situation. We probably feel sorry for the Germans who were subject to this propaganda, as we recognise that they could not see it at the time. But could they? Did they really not know what was going on? Did they not see the broken windows of ‘Kristallnacht’ and not have a second thought for the fate of their Jewish friends?

Here today in the ‘West’, can we not see some of the evidence of propaganda in our societies? It is not easy to see — that’s why it is propaganda. But perhaps one of the key tools of propaganda is the stifling and suppression of debate with the aim of influencing public opinion.

A few days ago, I was hearing of the huge crowds coming out to hear Dr Anthony Fauci in massive arenas across the United States as he embarked on his new career as a motivational public speaker, following his resignation from medical public office late last year. This, at the time of the mounting legal challenges to his leadership of the Covid-19 situation. What chance will the legal fraternity have of bringing any successful criminal prosecution in light of the overwhelming support he has from public opinion? Propaganda has clearly been successful!

8. The Lack of a Teachable Spirit

When someone is exceedingly confident in their perspective, it is extremely difficult to teach them an alternative approach. They don’t have eyes to see and ears to hear ideas or perspectives that might open doors for new and better possibilities.

I do believe people should be confident in themselves, self-assured, courageous and strong, so that from their strength, they can reach out and help others less fortunate than themselves. But this does not preclude them from being ‘teachable’, being able to stop and rationally consider alternatives.

This is precisely what, in the early 1900s, Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky described as his ‘Zone of Proximal Development’. His model is brilliant in describing the learning and teaching process, the only necessary ingredient for success being a ‘teachable spirit’ so that the learner will want to learn, and the teacher must be able to teach.

Sadly, I find that our society is producing more and more with stunted or minimal teachable spirits. I have ideas as to why this might be the case, and some of my later points in this piece touch on them. But for now, let’s consider our own lives. Let’s do a self-audit: how much of a teachable spirit do we have?

  1. What books are we reading and how have we selected them?
  2. What is our level of interest in others that we meet — do we really want to know about them?
  3. What is the level of trust we have in the voice of our institutions and politicians?

I think these questions can give us a fair measure of our teachable spirit and perhaps might inspire some areas for growth.

9. Lack of Critical Thinking Skills

Again, late last year, I wrote a piece on “Critical Theory or Critical Thinking“. It seems to me that we have become accustomed to discount critical thinking because we are too busy, and we are no longer curious as any alternative we might propose will only be shot down as a conspiracy theory.

The result is that we simply ‘don’t go there’. There are now new taboo subjects and ideas that are simply not worth questioning. One that comes to mind as a great example, is the theory that the sea levels around the world will rise and flood all coastal cities and islands as a result of ‘climate change’. There is no evidence for this, as reported by Peter Westmore a few days ago in the Daily Declaration.

I think that we don’t naturally reach for our critical thinking tools as much as we did in the past, as the rate of change in society has accelerated so much in recent times. There is a new situation or new crisis almost every day. We have just begun to form a view of the first one when the next crisis hits, and our thoughts are dashed in the wake of trying to come to terms with the new.

I also find that mainstream media does not cover topics that might attract debate. In this way, if our diet is solely mainstream, we are fed a distorted, censored view of the present situation. This stunts our ability to engage in the art of conversation from the outset.

10. Our Desire for Acceptance

It is quite normal for all of us to want to fit in. None of us really say they enjoy being in the minority. Rather, it’s a badge of honour to be on the team.

However, it seems to me that this desire to be normal cuts across the art of conversation, which at its heart, pivots on the asking of, and answering of, questions — the antithesis of acceptance and conformity. To raise a question of another can imply we don’t agree with the other’s stance.

But let’s see it rather as showing an interest in the other, showing our desire to understand the other at a deeper level. Just because we are asking questions should never imply that we are not going to respect and give place to the other’s views.

It seems to me that this desire to be one of the crowd is a reflection of our fear of being left outside, of being excluded. This is sad. I think that the ‘herd’ has become so dominant in our day and age. What has happened to the entrepreneurial spirit, the pioneer, the explorer, that we have all become followers? Surely there are leaders and potential leaders amongst us — we don’t all need to be followers.

Returning to my picture of the Nazi propaganda in World War II Germany. Surely one of the reasons for the success of Hitler  and the Nazi Party was the absence of effective opposition:

Of the Germans who opposed Hitler’s dictatorship, very few groups openly protested the Nazi genocide against Jews. The “White Rose” movement was founded in June 1942 by Hans Scholl, a 24-year-old medical student at the University of Munich, his 22-year-old sister Sophie, and 24-year-old Christoph Probst.

Although the exact origin of the name “White Rose” is unknown, it clearly stands for purity and innocence in the face of evil. Hans, Sophie, and Christoph were outraged that educated Germans went along with Nazi policies. (Holocaust Encyclopedia)

It seems that there is a terrible battle that rages inside of us between the desire to conform and be accepted on the one hand and to take a stand against evil on the other. I am sure that the art of conversation can be a valuable training ground where we can build our confidence in non-conformity amongst friends and family before taking on the world at large.

11. Trust in Our Leaders and Our Institutions

Here in the West, nearly all of us have had the great privilege of being raised in relative peace, prosperity and security. Ever since the end of World War II, we have known the near absence of wars on our shores. Yes, there have been countless conflicts elsewhere, notably in Vietnam, and the Middle East since then, but they have largely not brought the fight to our soil, though thousands of our servicemen and women have been engaged in these missions.

I think this has engendered a subconscious trust in authority. After all, the media arguably brought an end to the Vietnam War, and the legal system brought Watergate to the courts. What’s not to trust?

But I contend that there is a deep-seated questioning of trust in our leaders and our institutions that is now crying out for debate, research, critical thinking and the rise of a new generation of leadership. Not a new leadership intent on a violent overthrow of the status quo, but a leadership that can cut through the propaganda and the overwhelming desire for consensus at all costs.

I am not suggesting we need to become pessimistic, negative, and destructive. Not at all. But rather the direct opposite: positive, optimistic and constructive. I don’t think we can get there without the adoption and practice of the art of conversation.

12. The Anaesthetic of the Internet

The internet is all-pervasive. We can ‘ask’ Google to spell a word; we can listen to someone direct us to our destination in the car while listening to any music of our choice. We can find the ‘answer’ to any question and all without any education at all.

But here is the lie: there are some treacherous reefs below the surface designed to rip the bottom out of the lives of the unsuspecting, the young and the ill-educated.

To survive and thrive in the past demanded that we engage in conversation. We would need to ask directions from real people. We would smile and interact with the checkout chick in the supermarket while purchasing our groceries, and we would have our names checked off on a paper list when we travelled cross-country on an inter-city train.

Not now. We can do all this and much more with the swipe or a click of our digital device. The art of conversation with the perfect stranger is all but history, except for those of us with the time to queue for the one remaining real person checking out our shopping, or the stubborn refusal to use the satnav!

I think the word ‘anaesthetic’ is most appropriate here, as it signifies the removal of pain — the potential for embarrassment or rejection when engaging with a stranger. Also, the word describes being ‘put to sleep’: we no longer have to wrestle and struggle to find answers — they are there on a plate wherever and whenever we want.

However, we don’t always see the knife coming for us while we are asleep. There is no critical thinking here, simply blind submission to someone else’s definitions and content selection to create the narrative they want us to hear. So that, when we wake up, we can only parrot the one line, the one we have been fed — never both sides of the argument!

13. Values Used to be Universal; Now, They are Personal

Let me recount one of my memories from my high school days. It was 1960s England. Girls and boys were becoming ‘liberated’ in their practice of sex. I recall, at the dinner table at school, my classmates jibing me about my values when it came to no sex before marriage. I was personalising the universal values of the Bible, but my classmates were rejecting those universal values entirely in the light of the new ‘liberation theology’ on offer.

Today, it seems that everyone can enjoy their own personal values if they so desire. There is no longer any sense that there are universal values to be appropriated, such as the Judeo-Christian values, as they have been declared ‘obsolete’ by society at large.

With values no longer universal, one of the key measurements for debate has gone. So, when we engage in the art of conversion, it is now a greater challenge, as the measurement of values can be calibrated in any direction the individual might desire. Thus, a debate about the application of universal values can no longer happen, unless the two parties agree upfront.

I would imagine that my grandchildren would now find it very hard to hold the same debate on no-sex-before-marriage with their classmates.

14. Feelings Rather Than Facts

In those days there was no king in Israel. People did whatever they felt like doing.
Judges 17:6 (MSG)

This is a recipe for chaos. Witness the Black Lives Matter riots in Portland, Oregon (May 2020) and the latest migrant riots in Paris, France (December 2022). With the backdrop of ‘we can all do what is right in our own eyes’, law enforcement authorities are hamstrung in being seen to take sides, so all they can do is stand by and allow the carnage. The result: chaos.

It seems to me that this also plays out in the art of conversation. If everyone’s views are valid, then there is no longer any value or point in debating others’ views. Rather, let ‘everyone say and do what is right in their own eyes’.

In this climate, it is clear that ‘facts no longer matter’, as what are facts for one are fables for another. What is important is that our ‘feelings’ are preserved and upheld. All because there is no longer any king in Israel. Or, if you will, as there is no longer any honouring of God in our lives or in our culture. His ‘statue’ has been toppled and cast into the sea!

15. Leadership is No Longer Inspiring — It is Merely Subjugating

When was the last time you were inspired by the speech of one of our leaders? For me, I have to go back to John Howard here in Australia and to Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom. Just think back to those days — how we debated ‘turning back the boats’ and ‘smashing for the union’s power’. The people were ‘engaged’. Everyone had an opinion! Those were the days!

Nowadays, it seems that leadership has lost its way. In my view, the last attempt at leadership I can recall in Australia was when Scott Morrison went to Glasgow, Scotland (November 2021) for the COP26 Conference. He came back with the ‘Net Zero’ policy, and suddenly Australia ceased to debate climate change. Scott certainly did not inspire debate; he and the Australian Labour began singing the same song, and no one counted the cost or debated the pros and cons.

I call on us all to take a lead ourselves. In the absence of national leadership with vision, let us rise up and lead. First, let us lead our own lives with courage, passion, and clarity. Then, let us regain the art of conversation and inspire those around us to take up the challenge to lead also.

How to Have a Good Conversation

Let me conclude this piece with a dive into this wonderful little video from the School of Life, “How to Have a Good Conversation“:

Having a decent conversation is something most of us imagine we can do without any problem – and certainly without much thought. These things just happen naturally. Don’t they?

But in truth, truly good conversations come along very rarely; largely because our societies fall for the Romantic myth that knowing how to talk to other people is something we are born knowing how to do, rather than an art dependent on a little planning and a few skills.

We rightly accept that total improvisation in preparing a meal is unlikely to yield good outcomes; but we show no such caution or modesty when it comes to how we might talk over the food once it has been made.

Finding oneself in a good conversation can feel as haphazard and random as stumbling on a beautiful square in a foreign city at night ­– and realising one won’t reliably know how to get back there in daytime.

They suggest that the art of conversation does not normally just happen. I have itemised fifteen reasons why it doesn’t. So, my challenge for us all is to plan to ‘make good conversations happen’. I strongly believe that the art of conversation is essential for our personal health and well-being, and for the health and well-being of society at large.

For me, the starting point has two foundations, but they may well be different for each of us. My starting point is trying to listen well. I don’t simply mean listening to other people’s expressed words, but also reading each other’s body language. My second foundation is to engineer appropriate places and times for conversations. As the School for Life rightly says, good conversations don’t just happen.

I believe that when we are engaged in a vibrant debate with someone, that’s when we are most awake and alert to the world around us. The converse is also true. When we are not thus engaged, we are in fact most asleep!


Photo by Ivan Samkov.

Thank the Source

Democrat Warnock Continues to Claim Election Integrity Bill ‘Makes Voting Harder’ After Record Primary Turnout

Democrat Warnock Continues to Claim Election Integrity Bill ‘Makes Voting Harder’ After Record Primary Turnout

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) insisted during the U.S. Senate debate in Georgia on Friday that the state’s sweeping election integrity bill passed last year “makes voting harder” despite Georgia’s primary elections in May shattering turnout records.

The claim came in response to the debate moderator asking Warnock, who has been opposed to the state’s Election Integrity Act since its inception, how the bill makes voting harder for racial minorities given “there was record turnout in the primary this May” and given “the African American vote grew approximately 50 percent from 2018 to 2022’s primaries.”

Warnock first touted his advocacy for easing voting restrictions before replying, “There is no question that SB 202 [the Election Integrity Act] makes voting harder, and that is the intent.”


The bill, the first voting overhaul legislation to pass following the 2020 election, was met with a barrage of fallacious attacks from Democrats upon its passage. Warnock, along with President Joe Biden and Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, were among the most vocal opponents of the bill, broadly claiming it was restrictive to the point of being suppressive for racial minorities in particular.

The bill, among its many provisions, tightened voter ID laws for absentee ballots and called for the redistribution of ballot boxes based on voter registration data. Ballot boxes had not been used in Georgia at all prior to 2020 and were installed to accommodate increased mail-in voting as coronavirus was peaking. The bill aimed to increase security around the boxes while still allowing them.

Warnock reasoned that turnout was due to voters “overcoming” a “hardship” created by the bill and that voting had, in fact, become more difficult after the bill’s passage:

The fact that many of our voters are overcoming this hardship doesn’t undermine that reality. They’ve made it harder for folks to use the drop boxes. They’ve shortened the registration times. Folks are saying, you know, “You shouldn’t have to— you should be able to get food or water in a line.” I think the question is more fundamental than that. Why are the lines so long in certain communities, and not others?

Warnock’s mention of “food or water” is a reference to the bill’s restriction on solicitation at polling places. Warnock and other Democrats have decried that provision, peddling the false notion that the bill deprived voters, who could be waiting in long polling lines, of water. In reality, unattended water coolers are permitted at polling places and people are also allowed to bring their own water if they want.

Republican Senate canididate Herschel Walker speaks to supporters during a campaign stop, Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Ellijay, Ga. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, Pool)

Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaks to supporters during a campaign stop, Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Ellijay, GA. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, Pool)

Republican Herschel Walker, a former football star who is vying to unseat Warnock, faced Warnock in the debate Friday as a political newcomer.

Walker replied of the bill, “Really, it made it easier to vote and harder to cheat.”

Walker then noted the moderator’s initial question about how the bill made voting more difficult for racial minorities.

Walker observed to Warnock, “So you’ve gotten good in Washington at not answering the question because that was the question she asked you.”

Write to Ashley Oliver at Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.


Republican Tudor Dixon Shines in Debate Against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Republican Tudor Dixon Shines in Debate Against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Tudor Dixon, the Trump-endorsed Republican gubernatorial candidate in Michigan, made a strong showing in her debate Thursday evening against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) that focused on abortion, the second amendment, education, and the economy.

In the constant theme of this cycle’s midterm debates, the first topic the moderators brought up was abortion.

Dixon proudly declared she is pro-life “with exceptions for life of the mother,” but noted that Michigan’s governor must abide by the decision Michigan voters will ultimately make and not undermine the will of the people.

Joe Biden and Gretchen Whitmer

Joe Biden and Gretchen Whitmer (Adam Schultz / Biden for President)

“As the governor has already stated, a judge has already ruled in this case. Please understand that the governor doesn’t have the choice to go around a judge or a constitutional amendment,” Dixon said. “She will lie to you tonight and tell you that the governor can do something about a constitutional amendment.”

Dixon also slammed Whitmer for supporting abortion “up to the moment of birth” and voting against a ban on partial-birth abortion.

When the moderator asked Whitmer if she supports any limitations on abortion, she dodged the question and highlighted the current legal battle on abortion in the state’s judiciary.

Dixon then accused Whitmer of thinking she was above the state’s constitution and cited the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision to strip the governor of her emergency powers as an example.

Dixon said:

She’s clearly stated she has no limitations. She doesn’t even want parental consent. That’s what the proposal that she’s out there talking about every single day says. She’s lying about my position, and I can see why she’s a little confused about a constitutional amendment because this is a governor who, time and time again, thought she was above the constitution of Michigan. In fact, the people had to go to the Supreme Court to try to rip her powers away even though she held on to them like grim death. This is how she’s going to treat the people of Michigan. It is not how I will.

On education, Dixon called out the governor over her Department of Education admitting that they may hide instances of self-harm from children’s parents.

Dixon said:

Yeah, in 2018, our state police released a Safe Schools report. That Safe Schools report covered everything from hardening our schools to making sure that the mental health of our students was taken care of, making sure we’re seeing those flags when we see a child that’s in danger. The governor hasn’t even come out and talked about the fact that her own The Michigan Department of Ed has now come out and said there are times when we can hide a dangerous situation from parents. If a student wants to harm themselves or someone else. We should hide it from the parents. We’ve never seen something like this before.

Dixon also called out Whitmer for the state’s promotion of sex and gender theory to young children, which, coupled with the pandemic-era school closures, resulted in Michigan children having “incredibly low reading scores.”

Dixon said:

We need to get our kids back to reading and back to the basics. Right now, in Michigan schools, as you’re seeing on the news, parents are really concerned about what their kids are being taught with the sex and gender theory and not teaching them to read, write and do math. We’ve made it very clear. We want parents involved in the child’s education. And we want to go back to the basics, making sure our kids know how to read, write, and do math. From kindergarten to third grade, they’re learning to read, from third grade on, they’re reading to learn. If they’re missing that crucial step, we’re robbing them.

In response, Whitmer emphasized Dixon’s ties to former President Donald Trump’s former Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, and accused them of wanting “to take half a billion dollars out of our public schools.”

While discussing school safety, Dixon claimed that Whitmer “wants to make sure your kids are in a sitting duck zone where there can be no guns and there’s no protection against them.”

“Gretchen Whitmer has made it pretty clear she wants to make sure she takes away any protection you can have,” Dixon said. “She wouldn’t allow protection even inside of the school where we know that’s the best case scenario if we have someone that can shoot down a shooter, shoot down a threat, but she doesn’t want anything like that.”

When the debate switched gears to Whitmer’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, the moderators asked Whitmer if there was anything she would have done differently. Whitmer did not provide any specifics but admitted that she “would have made some different decisions.”

Dixon harped on the issue and pressed Whitmer for ignoring the Nursing Home Association and sending coronavirus-positive patients into nursing homes. Dixon also accused Whitmer of hiding alarming facts about her coronavirus response and noted that she paid off her former Health and Human Services director.

Dixon said:

Well, the governor wants you to believe that she did listen to the experts, but we have the letter from the nursing home association that said whatever you do, don’t send COVID positive patients into nursing homes, and yet the governor did. When Andrew Cuomo even backed off of this, Gov. Whitmer doubled down. She even tried to hide the final report on the numbers of how many deaths we had. In fact, she’s trying to hide a lot from this pandemic. She tried to hide, or she did hide effectively, why her Department of Health and Human Services Director left. In fact, she even paid them off with a secrecy agreement.

Dixon also pressed Whitmer for not fulfilling her 2018 campaign promise to fix Michigan’s roads. Dixon noted that Whitmer pledged she would not raise gas taxes but immediately tried to raise the gas tax by 45 cents when she took office.

Dixon said:

You’ll notice that as soon as another election was coming up, she started to put people out on the roads. The governor didn’t fulfill her promise. In fact, when she asked just a few months ago, didn’t you promise to fix the roads? She said, no, I didn’t promise, at least not in the first turn. Now she’s saying it’ll take a second term, and maybe even several more terms, just to do what she promised in the first place, which she knew she couldn’t do. But she wanted to earn your vote then, and now she’s trying to get your vote again.

When the debate moderator noted that some violent crimes are increasing in Michigan, Dixon called out Whitmer for supporting “the spirit of ‘defund the police,’” and touted her endorsement from The Police Officers Association of Michigan.

Dixon pledged to put an additional $1 billion into policing to address the state’s crime issue.

“We’re going to make sure that not only are they supported, but they have the tools they need. They have the technology they need, and they have the mental health help, and they will always know that a Dixon administration has their back,” Dixon said. “We will never defund the police.”

“It must be so embarrassing for the governor that it’s actually on tape that she said she supports the spirit of ‘defund the police,’” Dixon added. “That’s the truth. I’m not short on facts. In fact, when she didn’t get her gas tax increase, she decided to then veto funding for our road patrols.”

Whitmer, on the other hand, focused on gun violence and attacked Dixon for wanting to eliminate gun-free zones. Whitmer also claimed, “there is more work to do” when asked about racial bias within law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

Dixon also brought attention to Whitmer’s veto of a bill that would have decreased the state’s income tax.

“In fact, the other question was, ‘would you try to get the income tax down to 3.9?’ The governor was actually offered two different reductions in the personal income tax to get money back in your pockets. But she vetoed both of those,” Dixon said. “It’s not surprising. This governor has vetoed more bills than any governor for the past 70 years.”

Dixon and Whitmer will face off in a second debate on October 25.

Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter. 


Tudor Dixon: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Will ‘Take Guns Away from Law Abiding Citizens’

Tudor Dixon: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Will ‘Take Guns Away from Law Abiding Citizens’

Tudor Dixon, the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Michigan, warned voters that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is soft on the Second Amendment and would “take guns away from law abiding citizens” during a debate between the two candidates on Thursday evening.

While speaking about school safety, Whitner emphasized her support for additional gun control measures such as background checks and red flag laws.

“As governor, we need to act. I support secure storage. I support background checks, I support red flag laws. My opponent, on the other hand, does not. She’s proposed more guns, less oversight, and eliminating gun-free zones,” Whitmer said.

In response, Dixon hit Whitmer for not standing up to support the Second Amendment and opposing having armed security guards in schools. Dixon said:

Gretchen Whitmer has made it pretty clear she wants to make sure she takes away any protection you can have. She wouldn’t allow protection even inside of the school where we know that’s the best case scenario if we have someone that can shoot down a shooter, shoot down a threat, but she doesn’t want anything like that.

She wants to make sure your kids are in a sitting duck zone where there can be no guns and there’s no protection against them. The idea that she thinks that having any type of weapon is too dangerous for the state of Michigan. She’ll take all of your guns away.

Later in the debate, the moderators asked a direct question about gun rights and asked each candidate how they would change Michigan’s existing gun laws to combat crime.

Dixon emphasized the need to be tough on criminals rather than law-abiding citizens:

One of the biggest problems that we have in the state of Michigan is that we’re letting people out too easily. People can make gun crimes and then they’re back out on the street. This is a problem for our police officers, too. They’re afraid to even arrest these guys for fear they’re just going to come back out and target them.

We need to make sure we are tough on crime in the state. This idea that you’re going to take guns away from law abiding citizens, and somehow that’s going to keep them out of the hands of criminals. That’s never going to work. We have to make sure we are tough on crime.

Whitmer again emphasized her support for gun control and attacked Dixon for supporting constitutional carry.

Whitmer said:

As a governor, I know we can and must act. I support secure storage. I support background checks. I support red flag laws. This is how we keep our communities safer. This is how we keep our kids safer for when they’re in school. My opponent supports constitutional carry, which means more guns, less oversight, less training. She wants to eliminate gun-free zones like at our schools.

“I don’t think it can be any clearer. The governor’s made her statement. She wants to take guns away from law abiding citizens. She does not trust our law abiding citizens with their guns. We know this,” Dixon said in response.

Dixon and Whitmer will participate in a second debate two weeks before election day on October 25.

Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter. 


Republican Kari Lake’s Q&A Postponed After Arizona PBS Grants Democrat Katie Hobbs Undeserved Interview

Republican Kari Lake’s Q&A Postponed After Arizona PBS Grants Democrat Katie Hobbs Undeserved Interview

PHOENIX, AZ – The Arizona Clean Elections Commission (CEC) and Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake blasted Arizona PBS Wednesday for granting Secretary of State Katie Hobbs an undeserved one-on-one interview.

The CEC set up a one-on-one interview for Lake with Arizona PBS that was supposed to take place Wednesday instead of a debate because Hobbs refused to share the stage with her. When CEC officials learned that Arizona PBS circumvented their decision not to give Hobbs an interview in an identical format, the CEC postponed Lake’s event, noting it will find a partner other than PBS for her interview. In a release, the entity stated:

This decision is disappointing, especially following the multiple attempts on behalf of all the partners involved in producing this year’s General Election debates, to organize a traditional gubernatorial debate between the two candidates. 

As a matter of state law and under the direction of its commissioners, Clean Elections proceeded with its obligation to arrange a Q & A interview for candidates who agreed to debate but whose opponent elected not to participate, which is how the Q & A with candidate Kari Lake scheduled for tonight on Arizona PBS came to fruition. 

Given today’s events, and the need to obtain additional information regarding the last-minute developments, the Commission will postpone tonight’s Q & A on Arizona PBS and will identify a new venue, partner, and date when the interview will be broadcast. 

The CEC added that PBS “broke from [their] shared practice.” 

After the news came out, Lake held a last-minute press conference outside of Arizona PBS at Arizona State University’s (ASU) Walter Kronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications, where she ripped Hobbs, the university, and PBS. 

“Unfortunately, I’m running against a coward who’s afraid to stand on the debate stage and talk about what she wants to do for Arizona,” said Lake. “And unfortunately, PBS and ASU have done a backroom deal with that coward to give her airtime that she does not deserve.”

“I need to remind people that it is we, the taxpayers, who own PBS and who own ASU. This is not the DNC that owns this, and what’s going on here is absolutely wrong,” she added.

As the CEC voted not to give Hobbs a one-on-one interview, Breitbart News asked Lake if she thought the Democrat’s deal against the CEC’s vote made her an election denier.

“I never thought of it that way. I never thought of it that way,” said Lake with a smile. “I do know that she’s a coward and she’s afraid that her racist past is going to come out and she doesn’t have a response to it.


Democrat Tim Ryan Doubles Down on Call to ‘Kill and Confront’ MAGA Republicans, Specifically Targets J.D. Vance in Violent Rhetoric

Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan doubled down on his comments from earlier in the year calling to “kill and confront” MAGA while specifically targeting J.D. Vance in his rhetoric during the debate on Monday night.

In the heated debate between his Republican candidate, Ryan was confronted and asked to explain his comments earlier in the year when he told MSNBC’s Morning Joe that the “exhausted majority” needed to “kill and confront” the extremist Republican movement.

Now, Ryan, during the debate — doubling down on his comments — included Vance in the group of people he labels as “extremists.”

“Kill and Confront the extremist movement of which J.D. Vance, unfortunately, is a part of,” Ryan claimed. ”

Ryan, trying to frame Vance for his past comments, added, “Who says that the president of the United States is intentionally trying to kill people with fentanyl? Who says that the election was stolen?”

“Who runs around with Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida who wants to ban books? He runs around with Lindsey Graham, who wants a national abortion ban. You’re running around Marjorie Taylor Greene, who’s the absolute looniest politician in America,” Ryan said, looking to list off lawmakers Vance has come in contact with or commented on, on the campaign trail.

“This is a dangerous group, and we do need to confront it, and that’s why I’m running to represent the ‘exhausted majority’: Democrats, Republicans, and independents, against the extreme,” Ryan finished.

Vance, during the question before, also confronted Ryan for his past comments, saying, “Tim Ryan, who runs all these tv commercials saying that he wants to appeal to Trump voters, wants to appeal to Republicans also says that he wants to ‘kill and confront’ … the MAGA movement.”

“That’s not exactly the rhetoric of a unifier,” Vance added.

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.


Debate — J.D. Vance Slams Democrat Spending Fueling Inflation: ‘Tim Ryan Has Supported All of These Policies’

Debate — J.D. Vance Slams Democrat Spending Fueling Inflation: ‘Tim Ryan Has Supported All of These Policies’

Republican J.D. Vance, running against Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) for Ohio’s open United States Senate seat, slammed the Democrats for fueling inflation, saying his opponent has “supported all these policies.”

Vance, when asked during the debate if the so-called infrastructure bill was money well spent, the Republican said Democrats “have borrowed and spent billions of dollars that we just don’t have” while going “to war against America’s energy sector.” He also noted, “Tim Ryan has supported all of these policies.”

Vance said:

Well, of course some of the money is well spent but when we’re talking about six trillion dollars, there’s a lot of money that isn’t well spent, and that’s fundamentally the problem with what we’ve seen out of the Biden administration

It’s simultaneously, [Democrats] borrowed and spent trillions of dollars that we just don’t have and that’s thrown fuel on the fire of the inflation problem. And at the same time, they’ve completely gone to war against America’s energy sector and you can’t do both of those things at the same time. They’re each bad ideas. But when you do both of them at the same time, you’re going to get record inflation, which is exactly what you expect to get.

Now, of course, Tim Ryan has supported all of these 100 percent of the time. and this really is the contrast on these economic issues between Tim Ryan and myself. I believe we’ve gone in a fundamentally bad direction of the last couple of years. I think people deserve to go to the grocery store without completely breaking the bank, Tim Ryan has voted with these 100 percent of the time. Every single time he gets an opportunity to stand up for Ohioans, he chooses to bend the knee to his own party.

As Vance noted, during his time in the House, Ryan has voted 100 percent of the time with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and President Joe Biden.

Additionally, Breitbart News reported that Ryan has voted for at least $6.74 trillion in higher taxes throughout his 20-year career in Congress. Ryan has cast 113 votes in the House of Representatives for tax and fee increases or against tax cuts altogether.

The most significant votes he has cast were for the Inflation Reduction Act, the Build Back Better Act, against permanently extending the 2017 Tax Cuts, against the 2017 Tax Reform Bill, against opposing a carbon tax, for ObamaCare, repeatedly against repealing ObamaCare, and against the 2003 Bush Tax Cuts.

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.



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