Intellectual debate

This week the Harvard Republican Club wrote a letter about failing to endorse Donald Trump. It started as follows:

Dear Members and Alumni,

In every presidential election since 1888, the members and Executive Board of the Harvard Republican Club have gathered to discuss, debate, and eventually endorse the standard-bearer of our party. But for the first time in 128 years, we, the oldest College Republicans chapter in the nation, will not be endorsing the Republican nominee.

Dear Harvard Republican Club,

Sorry to break it to you, but if for 128 years your meetings have always come to the same pre-ordained conclusion, then you haven’t been taking part in intellectual debate. If you literally always ended up endorsing the nominee the party had already chosen, then you weren’t really discussing anything that mattered. If I were you, I’d be a bit embarrassed to admit that.

Still, congratulations on demonstrating that you won’t endorse someone who you say is “eschewing basic human decency”. Onward and upward!

3 thoughts on “Intellectual debate

  1. That reasoning seems bogus to me. What it seems you’re actually saying is that the Harvard Republican Club ought to be happy with less than 97% of Republican presidential nominees. But why? I mean, I’m happy with less than 97% of them, but I’m not a Republican…

    As a comparison, has an airport security screener who goes their entire career without finding a bomb not been doing their job properly?

    1. That depends if he’s an airport screener working in (say) Tehran or not.

      But we’re not talking about screening, we’re talking about what they claim to be a debate. If the same side wins 97% of debates, there’s something fishy going on in the debating society.

      1. Women can do airport security screening, too! (Probably even in Tehran.)

        One side winning 97% of debates might mean issues are being debated badly, but it might alternatively mean they’re choosing topics poorly. “Does the Republican party support the Republican Presidential candidate” seems, to me, to fall squarely in the latter category.

        Though even then, the debate itself could be interesting even if the conclusion is foregone. I mean, UK budget Parliamentary debates contain plenty of newsworthy moments even though so far as I can tell no budget has been rejected in over a century.

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