I learned a lot from college debate. Answer the question. Stay on topic. Don't worry about what you don't know; tell them what you do. Don't make faces at your opponent. Smile. Use small gestures. Keep your hair out of your eyes. Dress nicely. Talk to the audience. Appeal to the judges. And that my team would benefit because the expectations of me, as a woman in a male "sport," would be low.
I had to cringe as I listened to some of the debate commentary last night. There was some consensus that at least Sarah Palin hadn't done anything terrible and that Joe Biden had treated her with appropriate respect. Is it really 2008 not 1975?
I'll let you decide who won. Sexual rights surely did not. The bottom line agreement on laws protecting same-sex couples but opposition to marriage equality was not unexpected, but still made me sad. Allowing that marriage should be a decision made by the faith community was better than saying that we should "tolerate" all people, but STILL, I would have liked to have heard more affirmation for LGBT persons from both sides. Senator Biden said something about his violence against women act twice and Roe v. Wade once; Governor Palin mentioned international women's rights once. I would have really liked to have heard questions and answers on AIDS, the Supreme Court, abortion, sexuality education, pay equity, parenting support, and so on.
So who won? Let me know what you think. Surely the differences could not be more stark. Make sure you are registered to vote. Make sure you have gotten an absentee ballot and vote now if you are going to be unable to on November 4th. The post play of the debate really isn't that important -- the future of the country is.