Watching debates on television is often funny– largely because I spent years being a spokesperson so I know what goes on behind the scenes and what’s happening on the set. All the “crosstalk” in the world isn’t going to make a person’s point any better unless it has truth and facts behind it. (“Crosstalk” is the polite term used in the news media to describe what happens when you have guests talking over each other trying to make their point. No one can understand what they are saying but news shows love it because it “shows” conflict.)
The art of arguing is quickly being lost in our day and age. “Arguing,” as commonly defined in everyday speech, means angrily disagreeing with or even yelling at someone. It can mean calling someone names or making extreme proclamations of dire results if things don’t go a certain way.
But to truly argue or debate a point is quite the opposite.
When you argue your point, you must have facts on your side and maybe an example. You must organize your argument and your facts must be support the point you are trying to make.
You cannot call someone names and then proclaim yourself the winner of an argument because the other person won’t attack you personally. You cannot use made up stories to make your point. You cannot make sweeping generalizations to make your point.
True argumentation is an art that has few masters and even fewer followers. Today, many will make an argument based on their feelings or they may attack someone’s character, morals or values to make their point. I’m sorry but these are not arguments. They are forms of various fallacies. The reason they can seem so powerful is because they are emotional and difficult to combat because they are not based in facts but opinion.
Unfortunately, everyone has opinions but most do not hold educated opinions.