Debate Livens Up the Streets of Tampa

Wednesday, 29 Aug 2012 05:11 PM

By Stephen Feller

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Though the large protests that many expected in Tampa for the Republican National Convention didn't materialize, there was plenty of verbal action on the streets this week around the proceedings.

Take, for instance, this impromptu debate between Ben Howe, of the conservative site,, and a liberal protester. Howe, the balding gentleman pictured in the video below, engaged in an interesting debate with Aaron Black, in NY Mets hat, of the Occupy Wall Street group.

See video below.

And while they didn’t solve many of the issues pressing on the nation, they had a remarkably civil dialogue that found some common ground. The liberal emphasized he isn’t against people making money, or even getting rich. And the conservative acknowledged that many of the issues like corporate welfare driving Occupy had validity.

The debate delved into SEC regulations, the stimulus, Dodd-Frank, jail time for white-collar criminals, one percenters, President Barack Obama and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

“I guess one of my issues with a lot of what people say about is they want more oversight, they want the Dodd-Frank, they want all of this stuff and from my perspective they already had all of these rules and they broke them all so what does making more rules do?,” Howe says. “It doesn’t seem like it does anything. It just seems like every time we make more rules they just break them and then we yell about how they didn’t go to jail.”

But maybe, Black responds, “they would stop breaking the rules if we threw them in jail.”

“I don’t if that’s true,” Howe says. “I don’t think that ever works.”

Fears of city disruptions have so far failed to materialize at the convention, but the promise of vigorous debate seems to have been fulfilled, inside and outside of the convention.

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