"Turn Left" Reaps Successful Debate Board; "The Pulse" Takes a Rest

By Robert Schiener

Not long ago, I was searching the Internet for debate boards to contribute to. I came across one named, "Turn Left-The Home of Liberalism on the Web." It caught my attention and I examined it in more depth. "Turn Left" (http://www.turnleft.com/) is an interactive web site dedicated to discussing common issues that our nation faces. It provides discussion boards for a political forum, an impeachment forum, and an American society forum. Although the site is notorious for hosting liberal beliefs, conservatives have not been excluded by any means. I, for one, have contributed to the American Society forum and have discussed taxes.

The benefits of Turn Left encompass it as being a "liquid" debate board, meaning you don't have to wait for days to hear a retort. At times, I've posted a message, only to receive a response in less than ten minutes! Another benefit of Turn Left is its variety of topics. Many issues, including regulatory reform, corporate taxes, and environmental policy appear.

Regardless if a liberal promotes the site or not, the site promotes debate and argumentation. This is helpful since people have ideas and opinions to give. How else will we determine opinion measures unless we have the means to do it? Turn Left provides an imperfect measure of such since this site is available anywhere in the world.

My personal experience with Turn Left is positive. Have I been verbally attacked by the left? Certainly, but I enjoy listening to their personal dilemmas of ignorance and hate. The most important attribute I have gained in discussing these issues is a better understanding of the issues themselves and how to defend people like Reagan and Laffer. Debating on the web is certainly fun, but as conservatives we must remember to define the issues ourselves. Too often I see fellow conservatives ride the terms of liberal debate. We must shake, rattle, and role the stools of liberalism by questioning the very purpose and role of government. Furthermore, we must not act as defenseless cowards toward their attacks. Liberals are great attackers and this is one of their ammunition for better success in debates. Clinton, Gore, and Gephardt are premier examples of capitalizing on opponents communication deficits.

On a more local scale, the College Republicans contain a forum for debate, called "The Pulse" (http://www.indiana.edu/~iugop/pulse.html). At times, it is a robust bastian for debate while at other points, it is a desolate island. The College Republicans might advertise their own forum more than at the present. Few attempts have been made to proactively promote it to the larger student body which contains both liberals and conservatives. Currently, it is an illiquid debate center. Reiterating a point made earlier, debate is so important for the agenda-setting process. Communication allows all of us to better assess and identify what others value.

It is hoped that others will recognize this importance too and create a social awareness of it. It is highly probable that others would contribute to both Turn Left and The Pulse if policy players rid the information asymmetry that individuals presently hold. Through advertising, word of mouth, and optimism, it can be accomplished with unequivocal determination.

Eric Seymour

Robert Schiener

Joel Corbin

Bryant Lewis