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‘America’s House Divided’

NEW YORK Feb. 16, 2011 Arianna Huffington New York Times David Brooks P.J. O’Rourke Zev Chafets

John Donvan

Key excerpts from the debate include:

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON

"Basically, the two-party system is like a stale marriage.  Democrats and Republicans need something to spice it up.  They need to go on Craigslist and find a third party."

DAVID BROOKS

"So they’re weird social creatures [politicians].  Nonetheless, I would say in general, they are better people than one would anticipate.  Most of them are in it for the right reason, but they’re stuck in a rotten system.  They’re stuck in our current two-party system  which forces them to behave in ways that are worse than they are.  It’s a mind suck."

P.J. O’ROURKE

"Now, I would argue in favor of America’s two-party system not because of America’s two political parties but because America doesn’t really have political parties at all  … Republicans and Democrats don’t have ideologies.  They just have these vague platform planks made of rotten wood of political expediency. If American party platforms were backyard tree forts, you would not let your children climb in them.  Anyone can join an American political party, even a witch!"

ZEV CHAFETS

Israel

For this specific debate, the audience not only voted on the resolution, but also identified their political party affiliation – Republican, Democrat, Independent – at the top of the evening. Before the debate, the IQ2US audience voted with the following:

  • 46 %
  • 24 %
  • 30 %

P.J. O’Rourke Zev Chafets

  • 50 %
  • 40 %
  • 10 %

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Since its inception in 2006, the goals have been to provide a new forum for intelligent discussion, grounded in facts and informed by reasoned analysis; to transcend the toxically emotional and the reflexively ideological; and to encourage recognition that the opposing side has intellectually respectable views.

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SOURCE Intelligence Squared Debates

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