During most of the recent â€œdebatesâ€ about (you name it) health care, Russia, size of crowds, vote counts â€“ one side says one thing and the other side denies or refutes or obfuscates. Then it just boils down to a pissing contest whose takeaway is, for most people, â€œa pox on both your houses.â€ And it gets filed away in most minds as the same-old same-old political infighting, forgotten after an hour or so.
But what if one side says to the other, â€œYou just said X; I said Y. not only do I believe that Y is correct and X is wrong, but Iâ€™m willing to back up my belief with money. I will pledge $Z to your favorite charity if Iâ€™m proved wrong; are you willing to pledge the same amount to my favorite charity if Iâ€™m right?â€
Not only does this call the liarâ€™s bluff and bluster, it also increases the length of time that the supposed controversy is in front of the public. â€œWhy isnâ€™t Congressperson PR (for example) willing to put his money where his mouth is?â€