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We're Looking for Debaters

By Edward Epstein

Washington, D.C.

March 21, 2022

The Lincoln Group's member-led debate and discussion last December on the issue of whether President Abraham Lincoln was a cautious or visionary leader proved such a success that we have decided to try for a similar program on a different topic.

But to do that, we need members to step forward to volunteer to take one side of the issue under debate, defend that position and be prepared to defend that stand as members question and discuss the issue. The debaters have to study the issue, prepare a 10-minute opening statement defending their position and then take part in the discussion.

The Lincoln Group board has come up with some suggested topics for such a debate, but is open to other suggestions. The suggested topics include:

Was Lincoln a racist or a racial egalitarian?

Was Lincoln a progressive or a conservative?

Was Mary Todd Lincoln's influence on her husband during their long marriage a net positive or negative?

Is Lincoln's relevance to today's America and the world overemphasized?

If a debate is held, those leading the program will get some months to do their reading and thinking to help prepare their position.

The debate will follow the format made popular by the Oxford Union in England. The program will begin by stating the proposition under debate and the audience then votes on which side they favor. The debate ensues, followed by another vote to see if any minds were changed. In all, the program should last no more than 90 minutes.

If you're interested in taking up the challenge of leading such a debate or if your hav other ideas for a debate topic, contact Ed Epstein at


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