Below is a demonstration of how we debate issues in America. In the opening paragraphs of the first editorial, the author sets up a concise summary of the issue to be supported. In the opening paragraph in support of an opposing view: a zinger. Lets be very frank, shall we?
We will never get anything done in this country when this is the manner of our public discourse. This example is subtle in comparison to some. It only gets less civilized from here. (Think Bill Maher, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Moore…the list goes on ad nauseum.)
Here are the opening paragraphs from two New York Times articles.
Paragraph 1 & 2 Opinion by Lance T. Izumi titled: Campaign Stops: On the Republican Convention: McCain Is Right About School Vouchers
A key difference between John McCain and Barack Obama has to do with their views on the role and rights of parents in deciding how their children will be educated.
To his credit, Mr. Obama supports parental involvement programs and charter schools. But such programs, as innovative as they might be, are subject to the policies and approval of federal, state or local lawmakers. Governments, not parents, remain the ultimate decision-maker.
Paragraph 1 Opinion in response, by Bruce Fuller titled: On the Republican Convention: McCain Is Wrong About School Vouchers
John McCain’s fusion to President Bush’s ideological hip couldn’t be tighter when it comes to education. He is eager to expand taxpayer financed vouchers to aid parents who send their children to parochial schools, to “shake up schools with competition,” as he said Thursday night in his acceptance speech. And he aims to further centralize elements of President Bush’s No Child Left Behind initiative, rather than rethinking how Congress can narrow achievement gaps without micromanaging the daily work of teachers.
Lance T. Izumi, a senior fellow in California studies and the senior director of education studies at the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, is the co-author of the book “Not as Good as You Think: Why the Middle Class Needs School Choice.”
Bruce Fuller is a professor of education and public policy at the University of California at Berkeley.