Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io

I don't know whether to be furious, frustrated, or saddened by the presidential election. All I can say with certainly is that it's been the least presidential campaign that I've ever seen.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

You left out "embarrassed."


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io

That's not a word you use very often. Especially since it's almost impossible to embarrass you as you never seem to care what people think about you.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

I am not embarrassed for me personally; I am embarrassed for all Americans. Between the number of COVID-19 deaths, the civil unrest, and the presidential campaign, our country's reputation has taken a major hit.


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io

Well, the first presidential debate definitely didn't help. You would've been rolling your eyes at me if you had been at my house. I was actually talking, and at some points, shouting, at the TV. I knew I could just walk away but felt compelled to stay because I was hoping that the debate would provide useful information. I wanted to better understand the candidates' platforms and especially their plans to get us through all these crises.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

Instead, you just got a better understanding of their personalities, the showmanship of politics, and the challenges of moderating a debate when the rules are ignored.


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io

No kidding! I appreciate that people want their presidential debates to be entertaining, but they're also supposed to help undecided voters get clarity, and help all of us better evaluate the candidates. And by that, I mean their substance, not their style!


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

Actually, it is a mix of the two. A successful debate delivers factual information using strong presentation skills, but also has an element of cleverness and maybe even a little theatrics.


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io

Says the debate queen. I've lost track of how many conversations with you feel more like a debate.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

That is because I think of debate as sport. However, regardless of whether it is a debate or a conversation, it should always be civil and respectful. You love history. When was the first televised presidential debate?


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io

That's easy. 1960 between JFK and Nixon. And that's when things started to change. Instead of a campaign focused purely on policy and critical issues, it began to highlight the candidate's public image.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

Exactly. So, if you were a media or PR consultant, who would you have preferred as your client – a young handsome senator from an established family or a highly-qualified hollow-eyed lawmaker who had been vice president for eight years?


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io

Sounds like a trick question.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

Not really. I was pointing out how different the candidates were from each other, and how their "selling points" were more than just their experience. You can see why the "packaging" of politicians became so critical. And, strategic.


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io

Yes, but even without watching the JFK and Nixon debate, I'm confident they had one thing in common – to treat the other with respect and civility.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

Of course. Each was trying to convince voters they were the better candidate to be president so each had to project a presidential persona. But, being statesmanlike does not mean you cannot point out weakness or mistakes. It means you do it without being rude or demeaning.


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io

And if you want to be really clever, you can beat your opponent to the punch. I remember when President Reagan was seeking to become the oldest president to win reelection and in the debate with Walter Mondale said, "I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience." I know that the line was probably scripted in advance, but even Mondale laughed.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

It was a great line, delivered with style and charisma. Which is why it has been remembered all these years, even after people have forgotten whatever else may have been said. Now, what will people remember from this year's campaign?


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io

Are you asking big picture or specific sound bites? I can't speak for others, and rather not point out specific comments, but I'll never forget how ugly the debate was. I was totally turned off by the whole thing. It provided no value whatsoever and if there was anything of substance, it was lost in the chaos.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

I almost turned it off. The only reason I kept watching was I wanted to hear everything in real time and in context, not edited soundbites. And, no editorial.


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io

I heard several commentators saying how children watching it had left in tears and how many parents were having to console them and do their best to explain things.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

I have no idea how to explain it. Full stop. Yet alone to children.


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io

I'm so grateful that my girls are old enough that I didn't have to explain it to them. But at the same time, I'm so angry that they're experiencing this. I wish they could experience what it used to be. What it's supposed to be. Arguments, yes. Differences, absolutely. But not a total disregard for other people's opinions. And a total lack of civility and respect.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

I fully appreciate the theater and spectacle of today's political arena, but at the risk of showing my age, some things – including statesmanship – never go out of style.

Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io

Want to bet on that?


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

No. But, I am willing to debate it with you.

DAY 8: We started to call our Videos section "Retro" because initially it will only contain videos created by a high school senior back when we keynoted at YES Prep High School in 2012. (We hope to get all eight of them posted in the next few weeks.)

However, since Black's notorious for looking ahead and working backward, we decided "Videos" would be more accurate … as we have an assortment of ideas for future videos, not to mention interviews and presentations that can be edited into short videos or snippets. (Red's daughter, Sawyer, hopes to make a career in film editing, so this might be a great project for her.)

Although Black prefers to look forward, tomorrow we'll be looking back as we introduce our "Memory Lane" section.

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Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io

It seems like it was only yesterday that we were thinking about a new website. Now we're working on it non-stop.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

Actually, we have talked about a new website for years, but deciding to create this website became a high priority when COVID-19 changed everything – for everyone.


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io

No kidding. I was so surprised when educators reached out to us looking for online resources. But what really caught me off guard was when people started telling me my crisis, which happened years ago when my husband got fired, had so many analogies to what they're having to face today.
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DAY 7: To include, or not to include, that was the question. Until we get around to creating a shopping cart (don't tell our accountants or attorneys, and definitely not our mom, as they all keep telling us we need to be focused on revenue), we debated whether to include excerpts from our bestselling book.

We finally decided you should NOT have to buy the book to enjoy or benefit from it, so we're going to publish excerpts that we hope you'll find useful or amusing. Or (ideally), both. So, check out Book Bites for the first of many excerpts we're going to post.

We also have ideas for four or five new books and already have outlines! Now we just need the time to actually write them – or a publisher to put us on a strict deadline. (Interested publishers, please contact Black!)

Watch what we have in store for you tomorrow … as the operative word is "Watch" because we'll be introducing our "Video" section.

So, stay tuned … as, yes, there's still more to come!