The head of Buncombe County’s Republican Party wants to debate. He’ll even put some money up for it. Dr. Carl Mumpower says he’ll debate anyone, as long as there’s some kind of structure and rules for the discourse. And to sweeten the pot, he’ll make a $100 contribution to charity for each debate that happens.
“We’re getting a little too complacent with personal attacks and animosity and aggressive politics. And I was trying to think of a positive way to approach that", Mumpower says. Face to face debate is the best way to calm the waters the former Asheville city councilman says. “Usually in structured debate there’s an effort to focus on issues versus hostilities. There’s an effort to guide the conversation toward a productive expression of opinions versus an indulgence or a verbal fistfight like we watch in the news now.”
The reasons for political discourse reaching the level that Mumpower felt the need to make his offer is certainly something that may be debated during a debate. For his part, Mumpower faults what he calls ‘social manipulators’ – and something he says he sees in his psychology practice that he terms ’hostile dependency’. “The more dependent people become, the more angry and hostile they become. There have been very few people who have been bound to public housing or food stamps or other entitlement programs and feel stuck there that have felt expressly appreciative of that opportunity. You become a hostage and that makes you mad and when you get made you turn on things. I think we have a hostile dependency culture now where people don’t feel the hope that they can build their own destiny.”
Mumpower’s offer has been on the table for about a month, and so far there have been three takers – the local Democratic Party, a group wanting to discuss the effects of climate change, and the one he says he’s most looking forward to, a group that wants to legalize cannabis. If you want to debate Dr. Mumpower, you can email him firstname.lastname@example.org.