(((Holzman-Tweed))) Profile picture
Sep 4, 2018 23 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
#OKSoLetsTalkAbout debate, the #MarketplaceOfIdeas, why offering a platform to #Nazis is #NeverTheMove, why someone at The @NewYorker should be fired and all that. (1/)
Let’s start by talking about what debate – real, honest-to-Gods-debate – even is. (2/)
In debate, one starts with a debatable topic: a proposition that can be resolved for or against. Something on which reasonable people disagree. (3/)
In some settings, debating a topic is a method of seeking truth, or deciding which of two possible truths is the better one. (4/)
In other settings, debate is a sport in which two people compete to see who can craft the better argument. (5/)
People confusing the two is part of why so many of you hate debate, by the way. Not unreasonable. (6/)
But it starts with a debatable topic. For example, “Resolved: These united Colonies are, and of Right out to be Free and Independent States.” (7/)
Or “Resolved: New York Pizza is better than Chicago Pizza.” (8/)
Or “Resolved: Whatever nincompoop at the @NewYorker thought it’d be a good idea to give Steve Bannon a platform should be fired with prejudice post haste.” (9/)
Once the topic of debate is chosen, the “pro” (for) side argues in favor of the resolution and the “con” (against) side argues in opposition. (10/)
Each side researches the topic, prepares relevant arguments, presents them, and rebuts the arguments made by the opposing side. (11/)
But without a debatable topic, there is no debate. And the very term “debatable topic” suggests that there are topics that aren’t debatable. (12/)
“Gravity is an attractive force between all particles that possess mass” is not a debatable topic. The evidence is so overwhelming that anyone suggesting otherwise without new data isn’t to be taken seriously. (13/)
“Tobacco smoke is a carcinogen” is not a debatable topic. The evidence is so overwhelming that suspecting anyone who disputes it of being a cigarette industry shill is the only reasonable stance. (14/)
“New York Cheesecake is better than Chicago Cheesecake” is not a debatable topic. It just is. #JustKidding #NotKidding (15/)
“Jews are subhuman and should be exterminated” is not a debatable topic. The very proposition is incitement to violence that places the speaker outside the bounds of civilized discourse. (16/)
That goes for Black folk, Latinx, LGBT folk, any demographic you can name that people in power have historically oppressed by structurally treating them as lesser. (17/)
Placing Nazism outside the bounds of civilized discourse isn’t a quantitative product of science, but it is a qualitative product of experience. (18/)
It’s sort of like “We should resume human sacrifice as a religious practice” or “We should eat babies” is outside the bounds of civilized discourse. (19/)
The only reason to even suggest Nazis should be brought back within the bounds of civilized discourse is as part of an effort to uphold white supremacy. That’s what the @NewYorker did. (20/)
This bears repeating clearly: Someone at the @NewYorker is a white supremacist. They may have better table manners that Bannon, but they thought he’s closer to “New York Pizza is better than Chicago Pizza” than to “Eat babies.” (21/)
And that person has no business having a job in any position of responsibility. (22/)
“BuT ThE MaRkEtPlAcE oF iDeAs!” I hear you bleat. Shut up. Markets are regulated. You can’t zip down to the corner store and buy plutonium. (23/end)

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