My wife is a great debater. She was on several debate teams in high school, and I have been told she was formidable then, and I can attest to the fact that she is formidable in debate today. She always seems to have the facts in hand. She never asserts more than she can prove. Most of all she always has a smile on her face and an engaging story or joke to tell to make her point—the smile drives me crazy sometimes. She learned early on and has forever since tried to teach me that being on the right side of the facts does not always mean winning the debate. By being too assertive one can be less persuasive. Conceding a point early on in a discussion can allow the discussion to move forward to a higher level. Always remember what the mission of the debate is. Does it persuade or is it to win on the facts?
The goal of a political debate may be very different than the debate that occurs in a court of law before a judge or a jury. I have been told by some highly respected trial attorneys that judges tend to lean more to the “facts of the case and the legal arguments” and juries can be influenced—sometimes inappropriately by the demeanor and body language of the attorneys. I saw this firsthand in a trial in Canyon County between the insurance companies of a father and a son regarding the liability of the father who was found to be intoxicated while driving causing the death of the son who was in the passenger’s seat without his seat belt— hanging out the window. I do not know to this day who won the trial, but I do know that one of the attorneys was a very attractive lady who wore a low-cut dress. As she questioned me, she passed in front of the jury several times. They were all middle-aged men who had all been told to take off their cowboy hats by the judge before they had been seated. They all smiled at the lady attorney questioning me. Right in the middle of her interrogation the other attorney, a bald paunchy middle-aged man threw up his hands and looked at the judge. The judge then told him to stop such gesturing, or he would hold him in contempt! The very smart lady attorney continued her questioning in the same fashion. Seems like she was persuading more than just the jury. At least three of the parties involved in that case were lacking “self-awareness”, but that is a topic for another day. There must be a very legal fine line between persuasion and captivation. As Justice Potter Stuart said in a pornography and obscenity case in a 1964 United States Supreme Court Case—”I know it when I see it”. Persuasion vs captivation—We all know the difference.
Ammon Bundy has done an incredible job in setting the predicate and establishing “the facts of his case” to be Governor. It is not enough. He must jump to the next stage and his campaign must become captivating, compelling, and personally engaging to voters. The facts of the case are easy. State government in Idaho is corrupt to the core. The symbiotic relationships between the private sector and non-profit world facilitated by lobbyists who act as conduits for campaign financing and billions of dollars of government transfer payments putting huge sums of money in companies and non-profits, while paying little regard to the people—think grocery, property and State income taxes and a CEO of a non-profit hospital making $18 million his last two years of employment and he now sits on the Governor’s Covid advisory Board, is what needs to be hammered away at “ad nauseum”
Mr. Bundy has been presented with a strong head wind. The liberal agenda of a progressive Idaho mainstream media will continue to characterize Mr. Bundy the way a national media tried to marginalize Sarah Palin. The same way they marginalize Janice McGeachin, Dorothy Moon, and Priscilla Giddings. All three of these very talented and capable women need to put principle above party and support Ammon right away. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of the North End and East Side of Boise, has no viable answer for Little Brad—Tommy Ahlquist, Jim Jones, Bob Kustra and Tom Luna aren’t running for Governor this year, therefore the media is going to latch onto the Little—Behdke campaign like a New York Times reporter would to a Perkins-Coie Hillary Clinton Campaign Lawyer FISA informant.
The odds against Mr. Bundy are incredibly long. His strategy needs to follow the Youngkin—Sears playbook that won the election last November in Virginia. It is all about families and liberty. Your children belong to you not to the schools and especially not to a State. Families decide what is best for them and their children—education, health care, when and where to go to church or shop or go out to eat or go on vacation and when to go, or what medicines to take or not take.
I have never met a person that has met Mr. Bundy who has not come away impressed. The comment “He is not what I had been led to believe…..” is common. The suburban mother- wife and her husband need to be won over. Young professional men and women who have not been politically engaged, need to be approached. The facts of the case for anybody but an establishment crony for Governor is indisputable. He needs to be seen as the compassionate Christian Conservative that he is. He needs to be captivating and compelling. The press will be relentless in trying to paint a different story.
Faith and families