“How I lost to Cornel West”

At the Telegraph Daniel Hannan reflects on a painful experience:

At the Oxford Union the other day, I was comprehensively outperformed by this man: Dr Cornel West. If you’ve heard him live, you’ll know that he speaks in the manner of a charismatic preacher, and that the timbre of his voice captivates almost any audience. The motion was This House would occupy Wall Street. He won.

For a while, I sat there in the manner of Harold Abrahams after he loses to Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire. But then, like Abrahams, I picked myself up and started trying to improve my performance….

By his reflections Hannan seeks to learn from his experience and make it of use to others. I think there is a long way to go, but Hannan’s reflections remind me of those of David Horowitz on West (more here) and of the continuing task before us.