[eDebate] the Real World 2 - kritik de Duane
Mon Sep 30 07:45:50 CDT 2002
Well, Kevin...I realize your notion of a democratic
process, and my notion are widely different. But,
since you asked, please allow me to explain.
The topic process is democractic. The topic list is
sent out, as I understand it, to the schools, and each
school gets a vote. You get to rank the topics in
order of preference, and then those votes are tallied
and the topic is selected. Since everybody gets a
vote, it's about as democratic as it gets.
You asked "why should limits be placed on discussion."
ON discussion, no, no limits should be placed.
However, competitive policy debate is not a
discussion. It is a competition, centered around a
specific proposition, in which one side upholds said
topic, the other side opposes the other side, and
winner and loser is determined. When you elect to take
part in policy debate, you elect to be bound by the
topic that is being debated. It's not a free-for-all.
I can't believe your knowledge of debate is so limited
that I have to explain this to you.
I don't know the CSU Fullerton coaching staff, they
might be, and most likely are, the nicest people in
the world. However, I do question their decision to
allow two fine debaters to run a case with which they
cannot win. I've been coaching for fifteen years now,
I've never put a team in a tournament knowing that
they can't win a round because their Affirmative
doesn't fulfill the basic burden of topicality - and,
furthermore, knowing that they can't be topical
because their case doesn't even meet the topic. That's
Also, you assume that things that go on in rounds are
revealed to the outside world. They can make all the
statements they want to about the subjects they are
discussing. However, who does it benefit if anyone
outside the round can't hear it? I mean, the community
is so liberal and activist these days, that anyone
they'd be debating with has knowledge of the harms
they are identifying in the case, they understand the
impact of them, and know why they are evil, and bad.
They are, in a sense, preaching to the choir. But, the
public could give a hoot less about what goes on in
the typical policy debate round - Round 7 of Wake last
year aside - so, I ask, what purpose do they achieve,
other than competitive suicide?
Yeah, I'm sorry, Kevin, I don't know if you ever
debated, but I consider the time investment necessary
to debate in college to be akin to the time investment
one makes to work a job. College debate alters your
college experience in ways that non-debaters can't
appreciate. So, yeah, it's a career of sorts. But even
if it weren't, you're still representing your school
in a competitive activity, and you should strive with
all your ability to win, to bring credit to your
I'm not saying that what they are doing is useless, or
wrong. I'm saying that they should seek another arena
to do it in so that they achieve the full effect of
what they desire, and the competitive arena might not
be that place. Debate is a game of wins and losses,
knowing that, why guarantee yourself a loss, when your
abilities, if you were debating the topic, might give
you a win?
"You may be whatever you resolve to be." Thomas J. Jackson
Do you Yahoo!?
New DSL Internet Access from SBC & Yahoo!
More information about the Mailman