[eDebate] 2002 Policy Debate Round Robin Results
Jean Paul Lacy
Tue Mar 5 01:22:57 CST 2002
On Mon, 4 Mar 2002, kevin kuswa wrote:
> also, since when, Stefan, have we celebrated the fact that someone
> could stand up and yell at you that you are a murderous terrorist and
> no argument be advanced about that in the round?
> >> > It was cool. Someone said "terrorist."
Kuswa is right. In fact, I can personally attest to the fact that all of
the debates at this tournament were about one of two things:
1. A celebration of screaming "you are a murderous terrorist" as loudly &
as quickly & as often as possible during alloted speech times. A bingo box
ballot was specially produced for the tournament to keep score of the
judge's raw utilitarian pleasure over finally being able to hear the word
"terrorist." Unfortunately, this had the unintended discursive effect of
creating a self-fulfilling prophesy forcing Solt to shave off his beard to
avoid any appearance of collusion with barbarism.
(barber pun intended)
2. A veto cheeto counterplan with a sweet net benefit: Bush veto increases
political capital to push a new school vouchers plan that gets kids into
private school cafeterias where they serve real beef hotdogs that increase
cattle farming causing methane emissions that are crucial to linearly
increasing night warming thus feeding the world. (Berkeley had to rely
exclusively on this strategy since they are a K team who refuses to engage
in the terror talk described above.)
Seriously though, all the "K hacks" posting need to come up with more than
the same hackneyed arguments: "There isn't a difference" & "This is
This "no difference" arg is just silly. The only real definitional
question about the meaning of "Traditional Policy" is "does that
include the politics DA or not?" I'll repeat the dogma once more: If you
have to ask, you shouldn't come to a "traditional policy" tournament. I
know "traditional policy" when I see it. I'm dead certain that every
objector knows exactly what I'm talking about too.
The "well, some K arguments actually do speak to policy issues" argument
is blindingly obvious, but still not a relevant objection to a debate
between advocates who chose to deliberately bracket those arguments. For
god's sake, the disads that the negative didn't have time to read & the
add-ons the aff forgot to read are also "relevant" but who cares? Is
anyone willing to dismiss a debate round in its entirety because the
speakers made some choices about what issues to include?
If you think that a debate tournament that includes a prior agreement
about the subject matter is exclusionary, then the tournament was. This
was a tournament comprised of debaters who chose to have debates just
about "traditional policy." If that is somehow exclusionary, I'm willing
to encourage it.
Exclusion of some arguments is inevitable whether or not you think the
scope of debate ought to be limited to "policy." Creating space for
some arguments trades off with the opportunity to make other
arguments. One particularly salient example is Berkeley's new version of
their aff: They claimed a big nuclear power bad advantage: prolif,
terrorism & so on. Would they have had the opportunity to defend that
advantage on its own terms without a prior agreement to debate policy?
Would debates over that advantage have ever occurred in a world where
Berkeley had to spend four minutes of their IAC reading mapping/capitalism
args? Highly doubtful. It isn't like this topic has seen an excess of
debates about disads or the case.
Is it a good thing that Berkeley got to read their terrorism advantage?
Yes. If anything, it created an in depth discussion about whether or not
there is such a possibility, whether or not there were such "terrorists,"
& whether or not we ought to be concerned about it & whether we should try
to do anything about it. All of which are extremely important questions to
explore before self righteously condemming "terror talk."
(Plus, how exciting is it to have another debate about the terrorism K
anyway? Hearing another terror talk debate sounds about as exciting as
watching myself chew gum.)
lacyjp at wfu.edu
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