Democratic vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine, left, and his counterpart on the Republican ticket, Mike Pence, square off Tuesday night in the first and only vice-presidential debate. (Chuck Burton/Associated Press, Mike Segar/Reuters)
Back in high school we had a debate project in which we had to argue our view on whether the earth was round or flat using only the knowledge available to us in the 1400s. The team I worked with successfully won the debate proving the earth was flat. Our opponents claimed that we only won because of the information available limited their argument. So we switched sides, and successfully won the debate proving it was round using the same information that had been available to them.
Last night Mike Pence demonstrated a little known truth that is one of the first things every high school debate team member learns.
You don’t have to be right to win a debate.
You just have to be more convincing, more compelling, and more unrelenting in your stance.
You don’t have to be the voice of reason, if you can manage to be the one that sounds like the voice of reason.
Pence spent the entire debate repeatedly claiming that Donald Trump never said the things we have audio and video proof of him saying at debates, interviews, and campaign appearances throughout this campaign cycle. But he did so calmly and confidently, and if you are one of the people who refuses to fact check for yourself, he came across as the more believable, despite the fact that he was speaking outright lies.
Or you can subscribe to the Trump theory that the one who speaks the most and the loudest wins.