[eDebate] ???Overturning Roe v Wade????

Paul Johnson paulj567
Mon Apr 10 11:50:14 CDT 2006

     I personally think whether or not we can debate
about overturning Roe V. Wade is a litmus test for
this community's ability to maintain debate as a
separate political space for argumentative and
intellectual practice before we walk into the world
"at large" where the political decisions we make could
actually affect whether or not Roe stands as good law.
we need trained effective advocates schooled in the
layers of argumentation on both sides of the issue in
order to properly advocate and advance arguments in
legal and public forums in the future.
     There is an old Latin saying which roughly
translates to "I fear a <person> of one book", and of
course the adage has two sides- we fear ideologues
because they are well versed in their arguments and
thus powerful advocates but also because those people
are often most resistant to change and reasoned
argument. Policy debate makes people not of one book,
or one ideological camp, but puts them together from a
constellation of political ideas and perspectives
(since no one perspective is totally right).
     There is a fight coming in our society to defend
a woman's right to choose in a forum far greater,
larger, and more visible than debate- the pages of
newspapers, the centers of courtrooms, and the
strategic planning centers of the political right and
left. Nothing can prepare the young political minds of
America better for that debate than to make sure those
people are critical of their own perspective anddo not
spend too much time living within them to understand
and recognize the weaknesses in their positions.
Creating a community of advocates schooled in the
arguments for and against Roe seems the best way to
create some hope for "women's issues" in the world at
    I suppose if you think that the debate community
is secretly a bunch of rightists aiming to destroy the
rights of women then maybe we should think about
boycotting debate because it could be training a
legion of convservative lawyers to do ill in the
future- then I think your position might make a good
deal more sense. I don't really think thats the
community makeup at all.
     Finally, if the right to choose is so damn
correct (and I think it is) then methinks the Roe case
would not be a winner- and few would run it- which
means inasmuch as we lose the political benefits of
debating it, we also don't engage in it as an
"oppressive activity" so to speak.
     None of this should be read as constraining the
introduction of more "women's issues" in debate- I
think thats a good idea- but I don't really think Roe
would scare a bunch of women away from debate either-
people have CHOSEN to politicize debate more and more
in the past few years and public speaking instructors
around the country have to ban abortion as a topic to
speak about because so many students want to discuss

Debate is good. Open exchange of ideas is good.
Figuring out the best most persuasive case for what we
believe is a good idea. I'm willing to bet at least
one former debater will litigate about Roe in the
years ahead. God I hope they are competent.

Good Night, and Good Luck

Paul Elliott Johnson
Wake Forest University

--- Nicole <nicole.colston at gmail.com> wrote:

> Okay, I thought this was a silly rumor until the
> recent Ballot postings by
> mancuso.  It was hard to avoid profanity in writing
> this e-mail and I
> definitely have not planned my formal and
> large-scale attack on this
> idea but . . .
> The Question:
> I wanted to know if anyone else thought that
> including "abortion"- ie
> overturning Roe vs. Wade- as part of the courts
> topic was a REALLY AWFUL AND
> #?#**%5$$%#$#!#%%#%*(&^^%%#%$%^^!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
> For the Topic Committee:
> I hope this is not someone's idea of including of
> women's issues in the
> topic.  Please consider addressing women's concerns
> from a different issue
> perspective, for ex. pornography or employment
> practices, or just not at
> all!!!!
> For the Community:
> I will WITHDRAW my squad's participation in NDT/CEDA
> debate without
> hesitation next year if Roe vs. Wade is included on
> the ballot.  I am sick
> over the extent in which this "activity" has no
> respect for women and fear
> the effects on female participation if Roe v Wade is
> included.
> Thoughts on the topic process:
> 1) I do not think we should vote on a topic area
> that does not have a topic
> paper.  How could I anticipate something as foul as
> this?
> 2) I feel politically neutralized as a professional
> in this community, as a
> woman, and as a small squad coach by the way this
> process occurs.  I do not
> support the elitist back-room and ignorant politics
> that dictate the
> process.  Where, when, and by who are these
> decisions being made?  Why
> aren't the "Minutes" from topic meetings posted on
> edebate?  Was there a
> topic meeting at CEDA?  Why aren't students
> involved?  Why aren't experts in
> issue areas involved?
> 3) I would like the thank and encourage those who
> seem to be a moving to a
> more open! and researched! topic process.  I know
> that we have committed,
> intelligent, and caring people in this community, it
> is just hard to see
> sometimes.
> 4) Let's make the change now, this year.  I hope to
> be in Kansas City and
> would like to invite anyone who is financially
> strapped to contact me about
> sharing rides/rooms/resources.  Maybe the topic
> hosts could identify cheaper
> camping areas, train/bus options, affordable food
> options.
> 5) I think we should webcast the meetings.  Everyone
> should be able to watch
> and IM ideas/responses to the meeting.
> Sending my love for debate- Nicole
> --
> Take a visible stand for peace!
> > _______________________________________________
> eDebate mailing list
> eDebate at ndtceda.com
> http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate

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