Suave vs. Sweat: John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon take the stage in Chicago during the nation's first televised presidential debate in 1960.

Presidential Debates: Our Union of Words

“Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric,” said Irish poet W.B. Yeats, “out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry.” And it is out of the quarrel of presidential candidates that U.S. voters intuit their way closer toward Election Day.


Loving Baseball and the Meaningful Life

Four years ago, I was in a local antique shop called Salvage Alley. A black window shade with gold lettering was hanging from the rafters. The shade said, “Negro League Baseball Tickets Sold Here.”


Campaign That Tune

Using a common language, whether verbal or musical, can ultimately create a community of people (in this case political supporters) that votes, sings, speaks, and even feels similarly. A candidate’s repertoire of songs can, in effect, address voters’ concerns.


About The Common Reader

The Common Reader, a publication of Washington University in St. Louis, offers the best in reviews, articles and creative non-fiction engaging the essential debates and issues of our time.