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There is value and merit to both sides of a debate

I was recruited for the debate team when I was a junior in high school.

I don’t think it was because of my IQ. I believe it had more to do with my propensity to argue; I mean to stand my ground.

I am not sure which teacher gave my name to Mrs. Sizemore, the teacher in charge of the group, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it had been Mr. Rittenhouse. He had been my history teacher, and I remember giving him a hard time in class.

I typically sat on the front row (I think that is the firstborn syndrome) and peppered him with questions.

If it wasn’t Rittenhouse who had suggested my name for the team, to whomever it was, I am forever grateful for the experience.

Learning how to debate against an opposing team was not only challenging, there was a lot of research that had to be done. I was also educated in the fact it was possible to defend a topic’s affirmative or negative side.

In our current culture, we can definitely witness how opposing sides, from CNN to Fox News, stand firm in their convictions proving, in my opinion, there is a broad scope of perspective.

Wouldn’t it be fun to have an opponent from both sides of the television aisle duke it out in front of a judge — a debate judge — and see which side scored the most points?

Oh wait, isn’t that kind of how it works now?

Points are rewarded by network ratings viewed by John Q. Public, and from the salaries each talk show host earns.

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s time these “talking heads” start zeroing in on debate topics that really matter, issues that affect people from all walks of life.

Take, for instance, toilet paper. Should the roll be dispensed with the paper hanging over or under the roll?

What about Cheetos? Are they considered chips? Are sandals shoes?

Does releasing a movie at Christmas time mean it’s a Christmas movie?

Just because an action film gives a wink to a Christmas theme, does this mean it’s comparable to Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life?”

What about Miracle Whip. Is it mayonnaise?

Is there still doubt that green M&M’s are lucky?

Is a hot dog a sandwich? It is meat and condiments between bread.

While there are times I jump to defend what I think is right, I know from my debate days opposing viewpoints can have validity. For that reason, no matter how strongly I defend my position there, too, will be merits for the opposition.

This no doubt may be challenging to recognize at times, especially when the debate is over soft drinks and which one is the most refreshing.

Everybody knows Coca-Cola is the real thing.


Terri Cowart Frazier is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. She can be reached at terri.frazier@vicksburgpost.com.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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