The Intelligence Briefing: ‘Twas The Sunday After Christmas

Intelligence Briefing Intelligence Squared

…and all through the House, attention was focused on what Georgia’s voters would espouse. A run-off election to control the other chamber, in a contest that could pit neighbor versus neighbor. Meanwhile, vaccinations continued to roll out. But who could get them was all that many talked about. The elderly or workers essential; a debate to be had among those with high medical credential. And yet the stockings were still hung by the chimney with care, as the lawsuits mounted about whether the election was fair. Most were dismissed on the grounds that it was, but that didn’t stop Twitter from remaining abuzz. Perhaps that is why we need reasoned debate, with experts who rise above pundits and clickbait.

And so, as we look back upon the year 2020, our favorite debates, to be sure, there are plenty. From Iran to China to the Electoral College, our hope is that each will have offered some knowledge. From policing to whether we should redistribute the wealth, civic debate is good for your health. But we rely on your support, as philanthropies do, so we can inform and discuss and bring a broad view. If you can offer a hand, click the website below. And with that, we invite you to this end-of-year show!

Wishing you the very best in 2021,

The Open to Debate team


Thank you for your ongoing support during this notably challenging year. To help us continue bringing high-quality debate, visit our website.

As always, let us know what you think.

Help Keep Civil Debate Alive





Debate #1

The Electoral College Has Outlived Its Usefulness


“We see no particular reason voters in purple states such as Wisconsin should be valued more than voters in red states such as Mississippi or blue states such as Washington.” 

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– THE EDITORIAL BOARD, The Washington Post


“The fact that the Electoral College doesn’t align with the “popular vote” isn’t alarming; it is the point. If the Electoral College synchronized with the outcome of the direct democratic national vote tally every election, it wouldn’t need to exist. It isn’t a loophole; it is a bulwark.” 
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Debate #2

Coronavirus Will Reshape the World Order in China’s Favor


“The countries that best controlled the coronavirus pandemic haven’t necessarily been rewarded with economic benefits. But one economic giant has, and its success is likely to resonate for years. That’s China.”
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– MATHEW A. WINKLER, Bloomberg


“China’s image is left hugely tarnished as a result of the outbreak. There have been outbursts of xenophobic violence in the country recently, and also the fact that foreigners were separated from their families has led to tensions.”
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– JORG WUTTKE, president of the European Chamber of Commerce in China, DW


Debate #3

Unresolved: American Policing

One of our questions: Defund Police?


“[M]illions of dollars will be paid out directly to victims of the police officers’ crimes against the people they pledged to protect and serve. But somehow it’s always just “a few bad apples” causing the problems, as if they spoil by accident.” 
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– D. WATKINS, Salon


“The majority of Americans agree that law enforcement requires major changes, but few want to defund departments. At a time of intractable disagreement and wild proposals by the Left, Republicans should act as the voice of reason. In this instance, the right should do what it often does best: look to the free market for solutions.” 

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– MIMI ST. JOHNS, The Standford Review


Debate #4

It’s Time to Redistribute the Wealth


“Inequality saps economic resilience, but the tax code does less to reduce inequality than it used to, even as income and wealth have become much more concentrated.” 

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“The notion that tax increases are positive for the economy is false. Hiking the marginal tax rates on labor or capital will reduce the incentive to work or save even if the higher revenue will be used well.” 

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– ERICA YORK, The Hill


Debate #5

The Maximum Pressure Campaign Against Iran Is Working


“While critics of “maximum pressure” suggest that the policy undercuts so-called reformers, this too projects a misunderstanding of Iranian politics as reformers have no influence over the security and military issues at the heart of Iran’s rejectionism.” 

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– MICHAEL RUBIN, National Interest


“Trump might be tempted to order a military attack on Iran, because his “maximum pressure” campaign failed to thwart that country’s nuclear program.” 

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– KORI SCHAKE, The Atlantic

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