September 06, 2007

The highlight of the GOP presidential debate, held in New Hampshire, and broadcast on Faux Fox News, was this exchange between Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee (Hat tip:

PAUL: “Going into Iraq and Afghanistan and threatening Iran is the worst thing we can do for our national security. I am less safe, the American people are less safe for this. It’s the policy that is wrong,” Paul said, adding that he disagrees with war supporters who warn against leaving prematurely. The people who say there will be a bloodbath are the ones who said it will be a cakewalk or it will be a slam dunk, and that it will be paid for by oil. Why believe them?” he asked.

HUCKABEE: “Congressman, whether or not we should have gone to Iraq is a discussion the historians can have, but we’re there. We bought it because we broke it. We’ve got a responsibility to the honor of this country and to the honor of every man and woman who has served in Iraq and ever served in our military to not leave them with anything less than the honor that they deserve,” Huckabee said.

PAUL: “The American people didn’t go in. A few people advising this administration, a small number of people called the neoconservatives hijacked our foreign policy. They’re responsible, not the American people.”

HUCKABEE: “We can’t be divided. We have to be one nation, under God. That means if we make a mistake, we make it as a single country: the United States of America, not the divided states of America.”

PAUL: “No, when we make a mistake “€” when we make a mistake, it is the obligation of the people, through their representatives, to correct the mistake, not to continue the mistake.”

Notice how Huckabee speaks in prefabricated phrase—bromides—and doesn’t really say anything. He is appealing to the emotions. On the other hand, Paul speaks very specifically: he is fact-orientted, and his appeal is to the intellect. The former makes for a demagogue, the latter—a statesman.




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