Why does everyone admire John McCain? Because he was a leader who knew how to argue.

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I have been struck by the overwhelmingly positive and admiring comments about John McCain from people at all points on the political spectrum, including not just Republicans but the likes of Bernie Sanders, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama.There’s a lesson here in leadership for today’s politicians, on how to argue on principle. You … Continued

Who’s afraid of a vigorous argument: Edward Albee estate vs. producer Michael Streeter

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Portland theatrical producer Michael Streeter had planned to cast a black actor in his production of the late Edward Albee’s play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. The estate of the playwright objected. And despite a furious argument about what happened, nobody threw rocks or called each other names. The result actually made us all a bit smarter. Let’s … Continued

5 ways to use evidence to back up (or challenge) an argument

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Based on the material I’m reading and editing, a lot of people have forgotten how to use evidence in their writing. They make unsupported statements that the reader is just supposed to swallow whole. If you want to persuade me that your assessment is valid, your prediction is accurate, or your advice is effective, here are five ways … Continued