Republican Senate Candidate Austin Petersen Can Shock the Political Establishment by Following a Page from Abraham Lincoln’s Playbook
by Lee Enochs
The Libertarian Shaman
“For the best government is the least amount of government.”
Austin Petersen, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate can win can win a stunning victory in the Republican primaries and general election next year if he takes a page out of the playbook of another politician from America’s heartland-none other than Abraham Lincoln.
That’s right, if Austin Petersen can follow that campaign strategy Abraham Lincoln followed in his 1858 campaign against Senator Stephen Douglas, the Democratic Party candidate.
During the 1858 Illinois Senate race, between Abraham Lincoln and Senator Stephen Douglas, they agreed to a series of seven debates which Lincoln showed his masterful debating skills. The incredible Lincoln-Douglas debates (also known as the “Great Debates of 1858”), thrust Lincoln into the national consciousness and while he ultimately would lose his senate race to Douglas, his debate performances became the talk of the nation and would ultimately be a major factor in Lincoln winning the Presidential election of 1860.
The Lincoln–Douglas debates were a series of seven debates between Abraham Lincoln, the Republican candidate for the United States Senate from Illinois, and incumbent Senator Stephen Douglas, the Democratic Party candidate and focused on the topic of slavery.
In agreeing to the official debates, Lincoln and Douglas decided to hold one debate in each of the nine congressional districts in Illinois. Because both had already spoken in two—Springfield and Chicago—within a day of each other, they decided that their “joint appearances” would be held only in the remaining seven districts.
Lincoln-Douglas Senatorial Debates in 1858.
Locations in Illinois where Lincoln and Douglas debated. Green denotes debates between Lincoln and Douglas while purple denotes places where they spoke separately within a day of each other.
The debates were held in seven towns in the state of Illinois and caused a media sensation across America at the time.
The format for each debate was: one candidate spoke for 60 minutes, then the other candidate spoke for 90 minutes, and then the first candidate was allowed a 30-minute “rejoinder.” The candidates alternated speaking first. As the incumbent, Douglas spoke first in four of the debates.
Austin Petersen can become the next Senator of Missouri if he can show his masterful debating skills off to the fine voters of the “Show Me” State.
If I was part of the Petersen campaign team, I would strongly advocate that Austin challenge Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley to a series of Lincoln-Douglas style debates across the great state of Missouri and have them be televised across the state.
Petersen demonstrated his debating prowess last year during the first televised Libertarian debates hosted by John Stossel on Fox’s Business Channel. In these debates, Petersen easily defeated former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and tech guru John McAfee in both contests.
Team Petersen only needs to look back at the 2012 Texas senate race to discover that an unknown political candidate named Ted Cruz won his senate seat largely based on his masterful debate performance televised on statewide television against an establishment Republican candidate.
Liberty-minded Austin Petersen can shock the world and the political establishment in Washington if he can get Josh Hawley to do a series of “Lincoln-Douglas” debates where Petersen can show his commanding debate performance and display his political acumen.