His name was Protagoras. He taught the Art of Debate in Ancient Greece from approximately 481-411 B.C. and is still regarded as the Father of the Debate. "One can imagine an Athenian father wondering why he was laying out all those drachmas only to end up with a son who argued with him at dinner," writes Frank McCall.
In the United States, the tradition of political debate goes back to a punishing series of seven, count 'em, seven debates Abraham Lincoln and his challenger, Senator Stephen Douglas, undertook in 1858. This started our lively tradition of political debates undertaken by choice but not actually required by law nor the Constitution.
The debates are intended to sway voters who might be on the fence...though how anyone could be on the fence, especially during this election, is beyond me and mine!
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