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Jefferson’s Blog

Some election issues are timeless.
Thomas Jefferson writes on the issues of his day, and ours.

October 4, 2012

Do debates affect voters’ opinions?


“I never yet saw an instance of one of two disputants convincing the other by argument. I have seen many on their getting warm, becoming rude, and shooting one another.”

–Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Jefferson Randolph, 1808.


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  1. Isn’t it about time we remove confrontation and conflict and talk out our differences? Choosing a candidate who screams the loudest doesn’t help the public and the country.

  2. Voters don’t decide by debates. The candidate we like reaffirms our decision but rarely changes our course of action.

  3. Albert Einstein once said astutely, “Peace cannot be solved by force by only achieved by understanding.” I am not sure public debate is a time where real understanding can be achieved.