Is there any way to make genuine debates — sustained back-and-forth exchanges, meeting high intellectual standards but still widely accessible — part of our political culture? (I leave to historians the question of whether there are historical precedents— like the Webster-Hayne or Lincoln-Douglas debates.) Can we put our politicians in a situation where they cannot ignore challenges, where they must genuinely engage with one another in responsible discussion and not just repeat talking points?

~ Gary Gutting from,