Teaching the Debate

The AHA is having a series of round table discussions after the debates. Here is a preview from eminent historian Daniel Rodgers: The “j” word, jobs, was the dominant term in the evening’s debate:  how best to encourage their growth and keep them at home.  But the more striking word, from the historian’s perspective, was “I.”  It was everywhere in the debates.  “I know how to make jobs happen,” Romney repeated insistently; and he worked hard to leave the impression that, by force of will, he would do it.  There were more references to “we” in Obama’s remarks, but the big “We” of 2008, with its social movement overtones, was nowhere to be found.  Structures of politics, economy, and society loomed behind every one of the answers these two figures offered, standing alone with their microphones.  But except for brief interruptive movements, you would barely know it, and in the modern personalization of politics both men did their best to make sure you didn’t notice.

For more, go here: AHA debate

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