[eDebate] RE-OPEN THE DEBATE ABOUT SWITCH SIDE DEBATE
debate at ou.edu
Thu Apr 13 09:39:13 CDT 2006
This debate may hold up the topic discussion, especially if it does not occur now. If the topic committee is
open (as everyone says it is), this is where the debate has to begin for proper resolutional construction.
If you are going to respond please read carefully. Dont read 1/2 then kneejerk your debate jargon. I bet most
people have not considered these issues, but still spout the "switch side" debate is obviously good.
This should be pre-topic construction, irrelevant of what topic area is chosen. I have kept a library of the
articles concerning switch side debate. Cripe, Day and Murphy to name a few. Do we know the roots of the
topic framing ideologies we support?
This should precede any topic discussion, and investigate the true nature of ?switch side debate?
>From - Hicks and Green, 2005 - Cultural Studies, Vol 19 ? Issue 1 - Lost convictions Debating both sides and
the ethical self-fashioning of liberal citizens - Ronald Walter Greene and Darrin Hicks (this is not a direct
In 1954, the US Military Academy refused to affirm the resolution concerning China. They did not feel they
could ideological support communism as good based upon their commitment to democracy.
Burns claims that the framers of the resolution did not think debaters would succumb to Communist
propaganda and argue China good, there was an assumption that people would argue we must pull China
away from Moscow.
The debate about debate occurred for about 10 years, and then in 1964 McCrosky and Klopf declared the
debate about debate closed.
Now debate has become in international commodity. Debate is being promoted and circulated in other nations
as a technique of democratic decision-making. We will contend that there are global effects from our chosen
model of debate.
Forcing the affirmative to defend this resolution is using switch side debate to force students to portray views
that are not their own and is attempting to us this resolution to produce the liberal citizen. There are claims that
switch-side debate uses students as ?subjects? to be converted one at a time to become a tool of global
governance using universal norms for the exceptionalist subject to govern the world.
The community norms have constructed a resolution where we only here one side of the switch side debate.
Debaters who have an exceptionalists view of the United States and their role in democracy never have to
argue exceptionalism or realism bad. The tool of ?swith-side? allows a resolutional construction that forces a
one way ideological conformity, rather than a give and take reflection that most proponents of switch side
debate want to presume. My position is debate can be a training ground for discussing those issues that are
important to debaters, and giving students agency for dealing with your own personal oppressions and
inequalities. I contend that we will always debate negative, and feel that going negative, doing research, and
having discussion is a place where you can get all of the theoretical benefits of switch side debating, without
uttering the very words that foster personal oppression.
Will Debate die without strict switch side debating!
I will contend that there is a middle ground where debate can thrive, students can have the freedom to explore
conviction, and learning both sides of the issue can be possible. The death of many programs occurred
specifically because of the desire to legitimate debate as a game rather than a mechanism for learning how to
deal with ?real-world? issues. As educators become more distanced from debate, communication departments
find it hard to legitimate debate as important to the educational curriculum.
The alternative would be a resolution that allows for ideological maneuvering with the grounds of being
affirmative. Optimal methods of affirmative the resolution within a given topic area would be the best method
for allowing an infusion of the benefits of speaking with conviction, and debating things you might disagree with
when on the negative.
I REPEAT ? THIS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHERE WE BEGIN OUR TOPIC FRAMING NOW, WHICH IS
WITH THE QUESTION OF ?WHAT IS THE NEGATIVE GROUND??
THIS IS AN ARGUMENT CLAIMING THE CURRENT FORM OF EDUCATION WE OBTAINED FROM OUR
TOPICS IS NOT EDUCATION, BUT LIBERALISMS TOOL OF INDOCTRINATION! HOWEVER, SOME WILL
BELIEVE EXCEPTIONALISM IS GOOD ? THIS IS WHERE IDEOLOGICAL HEGEMONY OCCURS WHEN
THOSE WHO SEE IT AS GOOD GET THERE WAY WITH THE RESOLUTION!
Here are some arguments why strict notions of switch side debating are bad.
1. A Public utterance is public commitment ? We should not separate speech from conviction
This debate is important, discourse creates reality, and we must examine the effects that verbalizing things you
might disagree with could have on the people who are listening to you, especially if they believe you. You have
functionally changed their perspective and possible future actions towards an ideology you actually do not
2. College debate is public debate ? when we separate the two is when administrators and communication
professors see debate as a game, with minor educations benefits. This is when debate dies. That is one
reason why CEDA Debate resolutions increased participation amongst programs, not just amongst those
within existing programs.
3. Should not value technique over substance ? We will contend that this form of banking education divorces
debaters from their agency as individual actors, and moves them into a game of techne and domination without
understanding the pedagogical justifications for such a game.
***4. Speaking/Verbalizing evils does not help to understand, but draws one close to the middle. This is a
common tactic in attempts to liberalize the radical, the debate term for this is cooptation. This is specifically true
for the debate community because those who support the dominant ideology are for it on the affirmative, and
work within it on the negative, never having to verbalize the minority view.
5. Technique in debate does not translate into effective communication skills. There is no other place on this
planet where we would be respected or understood if we engaged in the communication methods we use in
6. Focus on technique is exclusionary on all levels ? HS level/college level/and the judging pool by justifying
the minority status as incapable of judging the techne of a conventional/traditional debate round because they
might vote on substance rather than technique. Legal techniques marginalize, government bureaucratic
techniques marginalize, and the specialized debate techniques do the same. Those who aren?t good at it or
those who may have alternative approaches are denied legitimate access.
8. We Should not divorce the rhetorical from the dialectical. This seems to be the problem of our modern day
politician is their ability to lie in our faces. My contention is that lyeing is bad, and making arguments for things
you do not believe in to win a debate round attempting to separate the dialectical from the rhetorical words.
9. Without conviction, narrow topics do not result in a positive educational experience. Most of the topics that
supporters of switch side debate endorse, assume there is an ample space of maneuvering room within the
topic to allow everyone to engage in the benefits of debate as advocacy. Our current framing methods try to
control this maneuvering space.
10. One Should not decouple the sincerity principle from argument presented by debater. This is particularly
true in relation to the use of sexist language, racist language, gendered language and even exceptionalist
langaguge. The discourse within the argument can have real effects on those within the room. If we can
decouple this principle, then that would make it Okay to read offensive language to startle or anger your
opponents without punishment. To be a community we have to respect the sincerity principle.
11. Accepting strict notions of switch-side debate forces one to replace beliefs with appreciation for the
process. Our contention is that this process has detrimental global impacts from the creation of the exceptional
American. ( we can move to the impact if needed of what the exceptionalist american does)
4 key reasons why we need to reopen the debate about debate.
1. The ethical and pedagogical relationships fostered from the notion that debate about debate is closed. We
need to examine how the resolution can make people verbalize what they disagree with and also mold
students into exceptionalist subjects.
*2. Debate under its current format has failed to foster inclusion based on sex, race, class, gender and ethnicity.
NOBODY CAN PROVE THIS ARGUMENT WRONG - THE COMMUNITY COUNTERPLANS AGAINST
LOUISVILLE HAVE FAILED! PROBABLY NEVER IMPLEMENTED BY THOSE SCHOOLS WHO PROPOSED
THEM! OH YEAH, ITS JUST DEBATE - A GAME - WE DONT REALLY NEED TO INCREASE MEANINGFUL
BLACK, NATIVE AMERICAN, OR FEMALE PARTICIPATION IN THE ACTIVITY. SO MANY GROUPS ARE
EXCLUDED, HARD TO JUST POINT OUT THREE!
3. Participation levels of the combined NDT/CEDA community is drastically declining. The number of
programs lost in debate is approaching 100 over the past 15 years.
4. The need to reclaim our agency as debaters and educators to address personal, local, and global problems.
Not to allow debate to be form of cultural technology re-affirming a commitment to American Exceptionalism
and global domination. We need to regain local control first and personal agency first.
5. There are global implications to the endorsement of our specific debate model and theories, we feel that
alone legitimates the need to re-open the debate about debate. Our model is being taught globally to foster
competitive debate in other countries, we should make sure its sound before we export it!
(I wonder if Josh read this far)
(And yes, I will be at the topic committee meeting this year)
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