Good humor has a place in our politics

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By Tom Purcell

Among today’s most regrettable trends is the dying art of effective humor and satire in politics.

During 1984’s second debate between President Reagan and Democratic nominee Walter Mondale, moderators rightfully asked Reagan, then 73, if he had enough stamina to carry out his duties. Reagan answered, “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.”

Nearly everyone, even Mondale, laughed. Reagan’s humor reassured America that he had his wits about him. He defeated Mondale in a landslide.


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