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  • A Firing Line Debate: "Resolved: That U.S. Industry Does Not Need Protection"
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A Firing Line Debate: "Resolved: That U.S. Industry Does Not Need Protection"


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Product Details

  • Actors: William F. Buckley, Jack Kemp, Richard K. Armey, Henry Kissinger, Richard A. Gephardt
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Southern Educational Communications Association (SECA)
  • DVD Release Date: December 18, 2012
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B00ANCX0TI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,559 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Taped on September 3, 1992. Tonight's debate takes place against the background of a national debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement-which President George H.W. Bush was attempting to shepherd through Congress and candidate Bill Clinton was deciding whether to back-and also over our trade relations with Japan, which both Pat Buchanan and one of tonight's debaters, Jerry Brown, had made an issue in the primaries. Mr. Buckley starts out by citing the fabulous amount of merchandise that came into our country last year, and then says, "Was it to crush us or to conquer us or to starve us? Or was it to nourish and enrich our country? It's a sober fact that every single item, however inconsiderable, in all that vast catalogue of commodities that came to our shores came because some citizen desired it, paid for it, and meant to turn it to his comfort or his profit." He then confesses that "that three-sentence description of free trade was done by Winston Churchill in 1908, and not a syllable of it would I for one wish to alter." Mr. Brown turns the tables on the conservative side by making the argument for subsidiarity and states' rights: "What is happening now is a proposal in the GATT treaty and in the Mexican-Canadian-North American treaty to set up tribunals that meet in secret that will be given the right to overrule state laws and congressional enactments."
Summary by Firing Line staff.

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This Firing Line Debate was not what I hoped it would be. First, WFB Jr takes almost a backseat in the discussions. The apporach to the debates in the '90s is to have 4 versus 4 with equal time to debate and represent their cases. Very balanced, very democratic. Because there are 4 on 4, each person has less time to talk and thoroughly get into discussion about topics. As a result, people are speaking hurriedly and often punctuate their points by giving minispeeches either while answering and sometimes while questioning their opponents. Because the opposition has less time to address what's being said, they find themselves forced to interrupt. Instead of a strong civil discussion, you have something which is much more contemporary (and undesirable to many) which is a lot of loud crosstalking instead of listening and responding. This is a universal criticism of this debate format for all of the debates I've seen from this period.

The debate over this issue is more academic than anything else. I remember Obama, while campaigning in '08 said he would draw back NAFTA but days later, when a Canadian official questioned the campaign about this, someone involved in the campaign assured him that the Obama administration would never do such a thing, and they haven't , and they won't, nor will any other president. The point is, while some do oppose the notion of free trade today, it will never be what it was during the period of this debate which took place in September 1992. At the time of this debate both leading candidates (Clinton ad Bush) were campaigning for more free trade.

Again, like the debate on the wall of separation between church and state, aspects of this debate are considerably dated.
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